About this episode

Meet John Wilson, co-founder of STANCE. STANCE has turned socks into one of the world's most exciting accessories in less than five years.

If you think about denim you instantly think of the brand Levi’s. If I were to ask you to think of an iconic brand for sunglasses you would probably say Oakley. And,,, if I were to ask you to name a major brand of socks, you would probably be stumped. Until today, that it is. That is the significance of STANCE. The global market for socks is $20 billion and STANCE entered the game a few years ago.

John was 39 years old when he co-founded STANCE. That age bucks all the narrative standards when it comes to startups. During our time together he shared his belief that entrepreneurial abilities and tendencies show up differently. I tend to agree. So, as you listen to John share his journey, remember how fortunate we are to hear about the building of a future icon because like all founders, the beginning was far from iconic. This is John Wilson’s startup story.

In this episode, you’ll hear

  • His early childhood, entrepreneurship not being a part of his life, and discovering a love for surfing
  • Getting his first job at a surf shop, the lessons he learned, and how it set the stage for his journey
  • Attending college at San Diego State, getting a degree in Marketing, and being hired by Oakley just prior to graduation
  • What it was like for him going from one side of the retail counter (in-store customer sales) to the other (sales and manufacturing side)
  • His progression at Oakley, what he learned, mentors he learned from, and how he evolved
  • Entrepreneurship is sometimes incredible and sometimes there's a whole lot of hardship to it
  • His decision to leave Oakley and take a position at Reef to eventually become their VP of Sales and later, president
  • How the conversation about starting STANCE began and his transition away from Reef
  • Learning everything he could about the sock category, from merchandisers, retailers, and designers
  • Setting out to make the sock category more than just an afterthought, the start of STANCE, and where they are now

“I think everybody has entrepreneurial DNA strands they just show themselves in different ways and at different times.”
—John Wilson, STANCE

Resources from this episode

STANCE: https://www.stance.com/
John Wilson on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-wilson-05416321/
Oakley: https://www.oakley.com/
Reef: https://www.reef.com/
Clairemont Surf Shop: https://www.instagram.com/clairemontsurf/?hl=en
The Startup Story on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestartupstory/

Article $50 offer: https://www.article.com/startupstory

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If you like this podcast and are thinking of creating your own, consider talking to my producer, Danny Ozment.

He helps thought leaders, influencers, executives, HR professionals, recruiters, lawyers, realtors, bloggers, and authors create, launch, and produce podcasts that grow their business and impact the world.

Contact him today at https://emeraldcitypro.com/startupstory

Special Guest: John Wilson.

Listen Now

October 29 2019
John Wilson, founder of STANCE
Sponsored by: Your Logo Here

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