Video: JanSport Keys To Success

Learn what has made JanSport successful from one of the JanSport founders, Skip Yowell.

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Length: 2:38
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Kirsten Chapman: Who says three self-proclaimed hippies can't create one of the world's most recognized brands out of nothing more than a great idea and the ability to harness their love for the outdoors? Not Skip Yowell.

Skip Yowell: We could see early on our idea was successful and a good idea.

Kirsten Chapman: Skip, his cousin, Murray Pletz and Murray's girlfriend, Jan Lewis, who the company was named after, founded JanSport in 1967.

Skip Yowell: 40 years later, I still get really excited when I see product on people's backs all over the world.

Kirsten Chapman: So, what advice does this wildy successful entrepreneur have for today's dreamers?

Skip Yowell:  Live your dreams. The opportunities to do what you want to do in your career and your path are there.

Kirsten Chapman: As Skip tells it, they had no business plan, no special training, even less money and no store; just Murray's innovative design, Jan's skill and Skip's instincts and love of people.

Starting in the early 70's, Skip would invite shop owners who sold JanSport to learn about the product while experiencing the adventures of Mount Rainer, which as you can imagine was a huge success.

Skip Yowell: A lot of it has to do with the fun we have had and what we've done those past 40 years.

Kirsten Chapman: Skip says the trio embraced four guiding principles, "We'll succeed because we will work the hardest. We value and appreciate each person. We believe there's more to life than a day's work and we'll make fun a part of everything we do."

Skip Yowell: Having that positive attitude back then and today, I think is a real key aspect that we try to live with all the time.

Kirsten Chapmanr: Another of Skip's keys to success is patience, which he also learned outdoors climbing great mountains. He recalls an exhausting Mount Everest expedition and having to spend four full days waiting for a plane to fly him out.

Skip Yowell: Some people today get uptight when the plane is 30 minutes late. So, you learn patience. You learn a lot of different virtues by these experiences.

Kirsten Chapman: He says reach for things just beyond your grasp.

Skip Yowell: Whether it's the sunlight of a mountain or the sunlight of your business.

Kirsten Chapman: And his final thought?

Skip Yowell: Set your pace. Don't look back because it might be gaining on you. So, look to the future and have a vision. Strive for that vision and live your dreams.

Kirsten Chapman: For eBags, I'm Kirsten Chapman.








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