When we first started our only real contact in fashion was the founder of Tommy Bahama. He let us come to breakfast at his golf club in Minneapolis and told us a story about resilience.

He owned an apparel store. Then a failed denim brand and some other middling businesses. 1/
He launched Tommy Bahama with $2 million in funding from his partner and a Hong Kong factory owner who loved the concept.

At launch the brand was too broad, and they blew through almost all the money. That’s when they decided to focus 2/
They went all in on the tropical feel but still couldn’t get large distribution. They decided to open a store, but it didn’t feel right to Bob.

He thought “would Tommy Bahama open a store?” It came to him, we should open a cabana bar in Naples so people can live Like Tommy. 3/
They invested the remaining funds in the restaurant. Within 12 months they had sold over $2 million in merchandise just in the restaurant.

They went on to open 15 more, and become an iconic national brand. 4/
Like the clothes or not 😬 . The creativity and focus that went into to selling wealthy Dads the Jimmy Buffet lifestyle is genius. Then risking it all opening a cabana bar in Florida.

Branding is all about segments and identifying a community. Bob Emfield mastered it. 5/

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Andrew Swiler

Andrew Swiler Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @swilera

16 Sep 20
When building a company, finding progress in the failures is a struggle. Hindsight is 20/20, and it can takes years to see it.

Writing has helped me see progress. Going to share stories that helped me, hopefully it will help others that are building too.👇
Read 7 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!