At 29, keynote speaker Brian Smith decided that a life in Public Accounting was not for him! He quit his job and went to California to look for a new business idea and to surf all the legendary breaks such as Rincon, Malibu, Dana Point and Windansea. He soon noticed that there were no sheepskin boots in California, so he and a friend brought six pairs from Australia to test and so, “UGG” was born and over the next seventeen years Brian built it into a national brand and solidified himself as a business expert.
The business grew too big for Brian to finance, so he sold it to Deckers Outdoor Corporation. The new team built upon the “casual comfort” theme and through style development, merchandising and great marketing, established UGG as an International fashion brand, with sales exceeding one billion dollars for each of the past five years. In 2000, he founded Prefast, a company that provided pre-cast concrete walls in a two-story configuration for California schools. Speaker Brian Smith sold this business, and the company continues to build California schools to this day. In 2003, he then Patented a new type of pre-cast wall panel incorporating lightweight concrete and steel studs. A breakthrough technology, over 100 structures were built prior to the economic recession in 2008. The 3-year halt in construction set in play those events that would lead to the eventual demise of the company.
As Napoleon Hill says in his book “Outwitting The Devil”: “Experiences of adversity were among the most fortunate and profitable of all my experiences”….., Brian found that his lessons learned would be valuable to share.”