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How I Built This with Guy Raz

How I Built This with Guy Raz

Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world's best known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists?and the movements they built.

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npr.org/series/490248027/how-i-built-this

Episodes

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company: Ken Grossman

Ken Grossman was experimenting with beer before he was old enough to buy it. As a high school student in the late 1960s, he bought his first home brewing kit and mixed the ingredients in a bucket, hiding his early batches from his mother. About ten years later, before most Americans knew what craft beer was, Ken decided to build a brewery in Chico, California. With $50,000, a few piles of scrap metal and some hand-me-down dairy tanks, Ken and his partner built Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, and crafted a beer with a distinctive, hoppy bitterness. Today, as the third largest craft brewer in the U.S., Sierra Nevada Brewing Company ? like so many other businesses ? faces unprecedented challenges due to the Coronavirus crisis.
2020-03-30
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Ben & Jerry's: Ben Cohen And Jerry Greenfield (2017)

In the mid-1970s two childhood friends, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield decided to open an ice cream shop in Burlington, Vermont. Their quirky little shop packaged and sold unusual flavors like Honey Coffee, Mocha Walnut, and Mint with Oreo Cookies. In 1981, the regional brand spread across the country after Time magazine called it the "best ice cream in America." Today, Ben & Jerry's is one of the top selling ice cream brands in the world. And, like the original founders, the company doesn't shy away from speaking out on social issues. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Clay McCabe of Zipper Rescue, a repair kit that helps people fix their broken zippers at home.
2020-03-23
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Birchbox: Katia Beauchamp

When Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna launched Birchbox from business school in 2010, they set out to disrupt the beauty industry by delivering monthly samples in a box. Even though people told them the idea would never work, Birchbox attracted hundreds of thousands of subscribers and enthusiastic buzz as a subscription pioneer. But the speedy success was overwhelming for Katia; over the years the company endured plenty of growing pains as it found its distinctive voice in the beauty industry. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," after noticing that many of her female friends hated buying cars, Athena Staton launched SheCar, a personalized online service for used car buyers.
2020-03-16
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Live From The HIBT Summit: Stacy Madison of Stacy's Pita Chips

Our ninth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Stacy Madison, co-founder of Stacy's Pita Chips. In this live conversation with Guy, Stacy explains how pita chips became a passion--even though they didn't start out that way. We'll be releasing one more episode from the Summit in the next few weeks, so keep checking your podcast feed.
2020-03-12
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Stripe: Patrick and John Collison (2018)

Brothers Patrick and John Collison founded and sold their first company before they turned 20. They created software to help eBay users manage inventory online, which set them on a path to help make e-commerce frictionless. Today, John and Patrick are the founders of Stripe, a software company that used just a few lines of code to power the payment system of companies like Lyft, Warby Parker, and Target. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Kirby Erdely, who saw a problem with flying beach umbrellas and developed a new kind of tent stake?with a twist.
2020-03-09
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Video Artist: Casey Neistat

When Casey Neistat was a teenager, the odds were against him; he had dropped out of high school, was washing dishes to pay rent, and was a father by age 17. But he eventually scraped together enough money to buy a camera and an iMac, and began churning out short films that went viral even before YouTube took off. Despite having to start his career over several times ? Casey Neistat became a brand name in social media and advertising, and is now one of the biggest names on YouTube, with an audience of nearly 12 million. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," Pat Erley explains how struggling with a perpetually stopped-up sink inspired him to design Dripsie, a no-clog sink strainer.
2020-03-02
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Live From The HIBT Summit: Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

Our eighth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Jeni Britton Bauer, the founder of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. In this live conversation with Guy, Jeni talks about maintaining authenticity while growing her company, and how Columbus, Ohio played a key role in her company's success. We'll be releasing a few more episodes from the Summit, so keep checking your podcast feed.
2020-02-27
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Lululemon Athletica: Chip Wilson (2018)

After noticing more and more people sign up for yoga in the late 1990s, Chip Wilson bet everything on an athletic apparel company aimed toward young professional women. What started as a small pop-up store in Vancouver eventually became the multibillion-dollar brand Lululemon Athletica, spawning a new fashion trend and forever changing what women wear at the gym. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Kate Westervelt who took an overwhelming experience and turned it into a gift box for new moms--filled with essential items women need to recover from childbirth
2020-02-24
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Eventbrite: Julia Hartz

In the early 2000s, Julia Hartz was helping develop TV shows for MTV and FX Networks, and seemed headed for a promising career in television. All of that changed in 2003 when she went to a wedding and found herself sitting next to a serial entrepreneur named Kevin. They started dating, and Julia eventually quit her job and joined Kevin in the Bay Area. In 2006 they married, and co-founded the online ticketing service Eventbrite out of a warehouse closet. 14 years after launch, Eventbrite is a publicly-traded company with 1,100 employees and offices around the world. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," Tomo Delaney describes how raising two picky eaters led him to create Noshi For Kids; brightly colored fruit puree that kids can paint with.
2020-02-17
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Live From The HIBT Summit: David Neeleman of JetBlue Airways

Our seventh episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features David Neeleman, the founder of JetBlue Airways. In this live conversation with Guy, David talks about the benefits of having ADD, and why he thinks it's important to talk to the passengers on his airlines. We'll be releasing a few more episodes from the Summit, so keep checking your podcast feed.
2020-02-13
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Panera Bread/Au Bon Pain: Ron Shaich (2018)

In the early 1980s, Ron Shaich bought a small, struggling Boston bakery chain called Au Bon Pain, and built it out to 250 locations nationwide. Ron then saw an opportunity to build something even bigger: Panera Bread. It was the start of "fast casual" ? a new kind of eating experience, between fast food and restaurant dining. Today, Panera Bread has over 2,000 stores, and $5 billion in annual sales. PLUS, for our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Lisa Dalton, who turned a relationship mishap into a game-changing braille label that solves a daily problem for blind consumers.
2020-02-10
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M.M.LaFleur: Sarah LaFleur

When she was working corporate jobs in New York City, Sarah LaFleur hated getting dressed in the morning; the choices in her closet felt overwhelming, many items didn't fit right or wore out too quickly. So in 2011 she launched a line of clothing for working women that would be simple, elegant, and well-tailored. She had no experience in fashion but partnered with a top-line designer, Miyako Nakamura, to create M.M.LaFleur. Today it's a multi-million dollar company with loyal customers from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," Taylor Mali explains how he created Metaphor Dice, which ease the pain of writing the first line of a poem.
2020-02-03
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Live From The HIBT Summit: Stewart Butterfield

Our sixth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Stewart Butterfield, the co-founder of Flickr and Slack. Both companies emerged out of failure. In this live conversation with Guy, Stewart describes how he pivoted from two unsuccessful video games into two multi-million dollar brands. We'll be releasing a few more episodes from the HIBT Summit over the next few weeks, so keep checking your podcast feed.
2020-01-30
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Wikipedia: Jimmy Wales (2018)

During the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, Jimmy Wales was running an internet search company. That's when he began to experiment with the idea of an online encyclopedia. In 2001, Wales launched Wikipedia, a website where thousands of community members could contribute, edit, and monitor content on just about anything. Today, the non-profit has stayed true to its open source roots and is one of the ten most visited websites in the world. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Leigh D'Angelo, who explains how her sister's break up inspired them to create a dating app?for dog owners.
2020-01-27
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Happy Family Organics: Shazi Visram

While she was a student at business school, Shazi Visram ran into an old friend-- a new mother of twins. The friend confided she felt like a bad mom because she had no time to make her kids healthy meals. That gave Shazi her initial idea: why not make organic pureed baby food, and sell it frozen instead of jarred? People told her she was crazy to take on Gerber, but she convinced dozens of friends and family to invest in Happy Baby. 15 years later, the brand is known as Happy Family Organics and reportedly makes more than $200 million a year. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," after learning that many restaurants use gallons of running water to defrost food, Dylan Wolff invented CNSRV WTR-- a recirculating tub that keeps water from going down the drain.
2020-01-20
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Spindrift: Bill Creelman

Bill Creelman graduated from college in 1996 with a business plan ? to sell smoked fish from Nantucket. But over time, that idea morphed unpredictably into a brand that sold cocktail seasonings and supplies. After selling that company to liquor giant Diageo, Bill wanted to stay in the beverage industry. As a way of kicking his Diet Coke habit, he started making sparkling water with a fresh squeeze of lemon or grapefruit. That deceptively simple idea grew into Spindrift, a beverage that came with huge production challenges. Today, the company has an annual revenue topping $100 million. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," Gaurav Chawla loved home-made chai but hated how long it took to make. So he quit his engineering job and started the five-year process to create Chime ? an automatic chai brewer that uses tea and spices from India.
2020-01-13
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Live From The HIBT Summit: Marcia Kilgore

Our fifth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features serial entrepreneur Marcia Kilgore, founder of Bliss, FitFlop, BeautyPie and more. The animating question behind all of Marcia's business ideas is 'So What?'? if she can't answer it, she doesn't pursue it. We'll be releasing more episodes from the HIBT Summit over the next few weeks, so keep checking your podcast feed!
2020-01-09
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Dell Computers: Michael Dell (2018)

Before it became fashionable to start a tech company in your dorm room, Michael Dell did exactly that. In 1983, he began selling upgrade kits for PC's out of his dorm at UT Austin. A few months later he dropped out of school to focus full time on the PC business. At age of 27, he became the youngest CEO to head a Fortune 500 company. Today, Dell has sold roughly 700 million computers. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Vanessa and Casey White, who turned their grandfather's pierogi recipe into Jaju Pierogi, hand-made Polish dumplings that are sold across the Northeast.
2020-01-06
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Chicken Salad Chick: Stacy Brown (2018)

For many of us, chicken salad is just another sandwich filling, but Stacy Brown turned it into a $75 million business. In 2007, she was a divorced mother of three looking for a way to make ends meet. So she started making chicken salad in her kitchen and selling it out of a basket, door-to-door. She eventually turned that home operation into Chicken Salad Chick, a chain that now has close to 150 locations in the U.S. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Ofer and Helene Webman who developed the Tonewood Amp, a device that can change the way an acoustic guitar sounds without bulky pedals and amps.
2019-12-30
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Live From The HIBT Summit: Tariq Farid Of Edible Arrangements

Our fourth episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Tariq Farid, founder of Edible Arrangements. In a live conversation with Guy, Tariq talks about flowers, fruit, and family?and how he wouldn't be where he is without the sacrifices and support of the people he loves the most. We'll be releasing more episodes from the Summit in the new year, so keep checking your podcast feed!
2019-12-26
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Steve Madden: Steve Madden (2018)

Steve Madden fell in love with the shoe business in the 1970's, when he sold platform shoes at a neighborhood store in Long Island, New York; that was in high school. About 15 years later, he struck out on his own, designing and selling shoes with a high-end look at affordable prices. As his business?and his ambitions?began to grow, he got involved in a securities fraud scheme and wound up serving two and-a-half years in prison. In 2005, he returned to Steve Madden, where he helped the company grow into a business valued at $3 billion. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with "kid-preneur" Gabrielle Goodwin and her mom Rozalynn who invented GaBBY Bows?double snap barrettes that don't slip out of your hair.
2019-12-23
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Live From The HIBT Summit: Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger Of Instagram

Our third live episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, co-founders of Instagram. They talk to Guy about what they've been doing since they stepped down from the company, and whether they think social media can still help make a kinder world. In the new year, we'll release more episodes from the HIBT Summit, so keep checking your podcast feed!
2019-12-19
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Tate's Bake Shop: Kathleen King

Kathleen King was 11 years old when she started baking cookies to sell at her family's farm stand on Long Island. After college, she opened a small bake shop, and eventually started selling her cookies to gourmet grocery stores in Manhattan. But after twenty years of running a small business, she wanted more time for herself. She brought in two partners to grow sales, but the partnership was a disaster ? and after bitter lawsuits, Kathleen was forced to start over from scratch. 18 years later, Tate's Bake Shop ? the second cookie brand that she built out of the crumbs of the first ? sold for $500 million. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," Thomas Althaus made his wife a bracelet and earrings out of a tin can for their tenth wedding anniversary. What began as a lighthearted gift became Canned Goods?a recycled jewelry company that donates one can of food to charity for each piece sold.
2019-12-16
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Live From The HIBT Summit: Troy Carter

Our second episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features founder and investor Troy Carter, who re-started his career in the music business after becoming Lady Gaga's manager. In a live conversation with Guy, he offers advice on staying hungry, being humble, and admitting when you don't know the answer. Every Thursday through the new year, we'll release new episodes from the HIBT Summit, so keep checking your podcast feed!
2019-12-12
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Minted: Mariam Naficy

In 2000, Mariam Naficy sold her first company, an online cosmetics store called Eve.com, for $110 million. Several years later, she got the entrepreneurial itch once again: she founded Minted.com, an online stationery store that solicits designs from artists all over the world. Today Minted is one of the biggest crowdsourcing platforms on the Internet. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Christopher Rannefors who created BatBnB, a sleek wooden box that hangs on your house and provides a safe home for mosquito-eating bats.
2019-12-09
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Live From The HIBT Summit: Sara Blakely Of Spanx

Our first episode from the 2019 How I Built This Summit features Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx. In front of a live audience, she tells Guy how she stayed confident in the earliest days of building the business, and why one day she still wound up sobbing on the floor of Office Depot. Every Thursday through the new year, we'll release new episodes from the HIBT Summit, so keep checking your podcast feed!
2019-12-05
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Live Episode! OtterBox: Curt Richardson

In the 1980s and 90s, Curt Richardson started making simple plastic boxes in his garage in Fort Collins, Colorado. They were originally designed to keep small items dry while you're fishing or skiing, and Curt and his wife Nancy called them "Otter Boxes." But after the launch of the Blackberry and the iPod, Curt started tailoring the boxes to fit and protect the breakable devices ? and OtterBox evolved from an outdoor goods supplier into a company tightly adhered to the tech industry. With the rise of smartphones, Otter Products grew by more than 1000% in just five years. Today, it controls a massive share of the phone case market and sells more than $1 billion in cases each year. This interview was recorded live at the Paramount Theatre in Denver, Colorado.
2019-12-02
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Outdoor Voices: Tyler Haney

In 2013, Tyler Haney was a 24-year-old graduate of the Parsons School of Design in New York. One day on a jog, she realized that her workout outfits looked, and felt, like they were made for competitive athletes. Tyler envisioned a brand of athletic wear for more everyday activities, like walking the dog or hiking with friends. She launched Outdoor Voices and she got her two-piece "kit" ? a crop top and leggings ? into a few specialty boutiques. Soon afterward, her brand made it into J. Crew stores and took off. Today, Outdoor Voices has raised close to $60 million from investors and has around 350 employees. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," after a lunch with some new moms turned into baby bedlam, Beth Fynbo created Busy Baby Mat ? a placemat that would securely stick on any table, keep toys off the floor, and provide a fun surface for babies to eat and draw.
2019-11-25
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Remembering Jake Burton Carpenter

The founder of Burton Snowboards, Jake Burton Carpenter, has died. He was 65 years old. We are grateful that Jake shared his story with us in 2017 and we are republishing it as a tribute to his life and career in which he elevated snowboarding into an international sport. In 1977, 23-year-old Jake Carpenter set out to design a better version of the Snurfer, a stand-up sled he loved to ride as a teenager. Working by himself in a barn in Londonderry, Vermont, he sanded and whittled stacks of wood, trying to create the perfect ride. He eventually helped launch an entirely new sport, while building the largest snowboard brand in the world.
2019-11-21
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Crate & Barrel: Gordon Segal

In 1962, Gordon Segal?with his wife Carole?opened a scrappy Chicago shop called Crate & Barrel. That store turned into a housewares empire that has shaped the way Americans furnish their homes. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Ashlin Cook, whose love for dogs inspired her to create Winnie Lou: a Colorado business that sells healthy dog treats.
2019-11-18
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Evite: Selina Tobaccowala

At the height of the first dot-com boom, Selina Tobaccowala and college friend Al Lieb were determined to start a tech company. After a few false starts, they landed on the idea for Evite?an on-line invitation business that within its first year, attracted a million followers and $37 million in investment. When the tech bubble burst, Selina and Al were forced to lay off dozens of employees before selling Evite in 2001. But the company has survived to this day, and Selina remains a role model for women in tech. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," Jamia Ramsey describes how her frustration with pink ballerina tights led her to create Blendz, apparel for dancers that matches darker skin tones.
2019-11-11
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Live Episode! Luke's Lobster: Luke Holden and Ben Conniff

Luke Holden grew up in Maine, working on lobster boats and in his father's lobster processing plant. But his parents pushed him to find a more stable career, so after college, he moved to New York and got a job in finance. One of the things he missed most about home was lobster rolls, so he decided to open his own lobster shack as a side project. Luke posted an ad on Craigslist looking for help, and linked up with Ben Conniff, a history major with a passion for food but no restaurant experience. Ben and Luke opened a 200-square-foot take-out restaurant in the East Village in 2009. Ten years later, Luke's Lobster has over 500 employees, and more than 40 locations in the U.S. and in Asia. This show was recorded live at the Back Bay Events Center in Boston.
2019-11-07
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FUBU: Daymond John

Daymond John grew up during the 1980s in the heart of hip hop culture: Hollis, Queens. In his early 20s, he was working at Red Lobster and trying to figure out how to start a business. Eventually, he stumbled on the idea of making clothes for fans of rap music. In 1992, he started FUBU (For Us By Us) and began selling hats outside of a local mall. Three years later, FUBU was bringing in $350 million in sales. Today, he's a judge on Shark Tank, and a motivational speaker and author. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Loren and Lisa Poncia who turned a 100 year-old family business into an organic beef supplier: Stemple Creek Ranch.
2019-11-04
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LÄRABAR: Lara Merriken

In 2000, Lara Merriken was 32, recently divorced, and without a job when she decided to make energy bars by mixing cherries, dates, and almonds in her Cuisinart. Eventually, she perfected the recipe and launched her company: LÄRABAR. After just two years, the company was bringing in millions in revenue. In 2008, she sold to General Mills, but stayed on to help grow LÄRABAR into one of the biggest energy bar brands in the U.S. PLUS in our post-script "How You Built That," we check back with Gerry Stellenberg who combined his knack for technology with his love of pinball to create a company for modern pinball enthusiasts called Multimorphic.
2019-10-28
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Gimlet Media: Alex Blumberg and Matt Lieber

Alex Blumberg made his early career by helping build two of the most successful shows in radio and podcasting: Planet Money and This American Life. In 2014, convinced that podcasts could make money, he walked away from the safe umbrella of public media to start a new media company with co-founder Matt Lieber. Every doubt, triumph and humiliation of building the business was documented on the podcast Startup, which included the back-and-forth over how the company got its name: Gimlet. Many more successful podcasts followed, and five years after launch, Gimlet sold to Spotify for roughly $200 million. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," after years of researching how women's shoes wreak havoc on the joints, Casey Kerrigan quit her job in medicine to start 3D printing more comfortable designs: Oesh Shoes.
2019-10-21
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Live Episode! Milk Bar: Christina Tosi

For Christina Tosi, baking wasn't just a delicious childhood hobby ? it was a daily creative outlet and a way to blow off steam. After college, she went to culinary school and honed her pastry technique at high-end restaurants in NYC. But she also craved the opportunity to make unfussy, nostalgic desserts like the ones she grew up eating. So in 2008, Christina opened her first Milk Bar bakery in the East Village, with the help of her mentor, Momofuku chef David Chang. Soon, people from around the country were calling her up, begging for her gooey pies, confetti birthday cakes, and pretzel-potato-chip cookies. Today, Milk Bar has spread to 16 locations, and reportedly brings in tens of millions of dollars a year. This show was recorded live at The Town Hall in New York City.
2019-10-14
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The Knot: Carley Roney & David Liu

When Carley Roney and David Liu got married, they had a seat-of-the-pants celebration on a sweltering Washington rooftop. They never planned to go into the wedding business, but soon saw an opportunity in the market for a fresh approach to wedding planning. In 1996, they founded The Knot, a website with an irreverent attitude about "the big day." The Knot weathered the dot.com bust, a stock market meltdown, and eventually grew into the lifestyle brand XO Group, valued at $500 million. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Tyson Walters who got so tired of his St. Bernard shedding everywhere that he created a zip-up body suit for dogs: the Shed Defender.
2019-10-07
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Live Episode! Walker & Company: Tristan Walker

The very first time Tristan Walker shaved, he woke up the next morning with razor bumps all over his face. "I was like, what is this?" he remembers saying. "I am never shaving again?ever." He soon discovered that like him, many men of color were frustrated by the lack of shaving products for coarse or curly hair. Fifteen years after that first disastrous shave, and after countless meetings with doubtful investors, Tristan launched Bevel, a subscription shaving system built around a single-blade razor. Eventually his brand Walker & Company grew to include 36 hair and beauty products, used by millions of men and women across the U.S. In 2018, Walker & Company was sold to Proctor & Gamble, and Tristan became P&G's first black CEO. Recorded live in Washington, D.C.
2019-09-30
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Headspace: Andy Puddicombe and Rich Pierson

Andy Puddicombe is not your typical entrepreneur ? in his early twenties, he gave away everything he owned to train as a Buddhist monk. But after ten years, he decided he wanted to bring the benefits of his meditation techniques to more people. While running a meditation clinic in London, Andy met Rich Pierson, who had burned out on his job at a high-powered London ad agency. Together, they founded Headspace in 2010. Nine years later, Headspace's guided meditation app has users in 190 countries and an annual revenue of over $100 million. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how a quick fix to a broken pair of sunglasses inspired Jensen Brehm and Nikolai Paloni to create an armless set of shades: Ombraz Sunglasses.
2019-09-23
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Stitch Fix: Katrina Lake

In 2010, Katrina Lake recruited 20 friends for an experiment: she wanted to see if she could choose clothes for them that accurately matched their style and personality. That idea sparked Stitch Fix, an online personal shopping service that aims to take the guesswork out of shopping. Today, it has about three million customers and brings in more than a billion dollars in annual revenue. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Justin Li, who created wearable equipment to keep cool and hydrated called IcePlate.
2019-09-16
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Dippin' Dots: Curt Jones

In the late 1980s, Curt Jones was working in a Kentucky lab, using liquid nitrogen to flash-freeze animal feed. He wondered if he could re-invigorate his favorite dessert by pouring droplets of ice cream into a vat of liquid nitrogen and ? voila! ? out came cold and creamy pellets that he soon branded Dippin' Dots. The novelty treat spread to fairs, stadiums and shopping malls, and eventually grew into a multi-million dollar brand. But a few years ago, Curt was forced to walk away after the company was hit with debt, recession and a punishing lawsuit. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," how Nadine Habayeb hopes to popularize puffed water lily seeds from India with her snack brand Bohana.
2019-09-09
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The Life Is Good Company: Bert and John Jacobs

In the late 80s, brothers Bert and John Jacobs were living as nomads, traveling from college to college selling t-shirts out of their van. It wasn't a sustainable living ? until one day, they created a new design. It was a simple sketch of a grinning face, with three words printed underneath: Life Is Good. The optimistic message was deeply personal to the brothers, who grew up in what they describe as a dysfunctional home ? and it also resonated with customers, who started buying Life Is Good designs printed on just about anything, from towels to tire covers. Today, the Life Is Good Company has a reported annual revenue of $100 million. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," Jim Malone of CounterEv Furniture describes how he turns reclaimed wood from bowling alleys into tables and chairs for fast-casual restaurants.
2019-09-02
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Aden + Anais: Raegan Moya-Jones

Cotton muslin baby blankets are commonplace in Australia, where Raegan Moya-Jones grew up. But when she started a new life and family in NYC, she couldn't find them anywhere. So in 2006, she started the baby blanket company Aden + Anais, which now makes more than $100 million in annual revenue. We first ran this episode in 2017 ? but about a year later, Raegan's role as leader and co-founder took a dramatic turn. She fills Guy in on what happened in this special updated episode. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Brian Sonia-Wallace, who started the business Rent Poet, and makes a living writing spontaneous poetry at weddings, corporate events, and other gatherings.
2019-08-26
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Stonyfield Yogurt: Gary Hirshberg

In 1983, two hippie farmers decided to sell homemade organic yogurt to help raise money for their educational farm in New Hampshire. As the enterprise grew into a business, it faced one near-death experience after another, but it never quite died. In fact it grew ? into one of the most popular yogurt brands in the US. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Carin Luna-Ostaseski, who became the first American woman to start a Scotch whisky company after she created her own blend called SIA Scotch.
2019-08-19
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Serial Entrepreneur: Marcia Kilgore

After high school, Marcia Kilgore moved to New York City with $300 in her pocket and no real plan. One step at a time, she became a successful serial entrepreneur. First, she used her high school bodybuilding experience to find work as a personal trainer. Then she taught herself to give facials, and eventually started her own spa and skincare line, Bliss. The spa became so popular that it was booked months in advance with a list of celebrity clientele. After selling her shares in Bliss, Marcia went on to start four new successful companies: Soap & Glory, FitFlop, Soaper Duper, and Beauty Pie. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with Emma Cohen, who explains how she helped develop and market The Final Straw, a collapsible metal drinking straw.
2019-08-12
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Shopify: Tobias Lütke

In 2004, German programmer Tobias Lütke was living in Ottawa with his girlfriend. An avid snowboarder, he wanted to launch an online snowboard shop, but found the e-commerce software available at the time to be clunky and expensive. So he decided to write his own e-commerce software. After he launched his online snowboard business, called Snowdevil, other online merchants were so impressed with what he built that they started asking to license Tobi's software to run their own stores. Tobi and his co-founder realized that software had more potential than snowboards, so they launched the e-commerce platform Shopify in 2006. Since then, it has grown into a publicly-traded company with over 4,000 employees and $1 billion in revenue. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," after Barb Heilman invented a device that easily releases child car seat buckles, she started a business with her daughter Becca Davison called Unbuckle Me.
2019-08-05
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Live Episode! Angie's BOOMCHICKAPOP: Angie & Dan Bastian

Angie and Dan Bastian weren't trying to disrupt an industry or build a massive company ? they just wanted to put aside some money for their kids' college fund. In 2001, Dan stumbled across an internet ad touting kettle corn as a lucrative side-business, so he and Angie decided to take the plunge, investing $10,000 in equipment. At first, they popped kettle corn in front of local supermarkets in the Twin Cities and at Minnesota Vikings games. Eventually, they moved indoors to Trader Joe's, Target, and Costco ? and got a crash course in how to run a business along the way. Angie's Kettle Corn eventually took on a bold new name: BOOMCHICKAPOP. And in 2017, the company was acquired for a reported $250 million. Recorded live in St. Paul, Minnesota.
2019-07-29
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Dyson: James Dyson

In 1979, James Dyson had an idea for a new vacuum cleaner ? one that didn't use bags. It took him five years to perfect the design, building more than 5,000 prototypes in his backyard shed. He then tried to convince the big vacuum brands to license his invention, but most wouldn't even take his calls. Eventually, he started his own company. Today, Dyson is one of the best-selling vacuum brands in the world, and James Dyson is a billionaire. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with television producer Mike Sorrentino, who created an iPhone case called EyePatch that cleans and protects the phone's camera.
2019-07-22
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EO Products: Susan Griffin-Black & Brad Black

In the early 1990s, Susan Griffin-Black was working for Esprit in San Francisco. On a business trip to London, she walked into a Covent Garden apothecary shop, picked up a bottle of lavender oil and took a whiff. The aroma ? "like being in a beautiful garden" ? literally changed her life. That was the inspiration to develop her own line of essential oil products. For 15 years, she and her husband and co-founder Brad Black barely scraped by, but the business eventually thrived. And though their marriage ultimately ended, their partnership continues. PLUS for our postscript "How You Built That," Lia Heifetz of Barnacle Foods describes how she and her partners turned Alaskan bull kelp into pickles and salsa.
2019-07-15
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Teach For America: Wendy Kopp

In 1989, college senior Wendy Kopp was trying to figure out how to improve public education in the US. For her senior thesis, she proposed creating a national teaching corps that would recruit recent college grads to teach in needy schools. One year later, she launched the nonprofit, Teach for America. Today, TFA has close to 60,000 alumni and continues to place thousands of teachers across the country. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," we check back with 19-year-old CEO Abby Kircher who turned a peanut butter obsession into Abby's Better Nut Butter.
2019-07-08
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