Josh Gustin and Stephen Powell on Business Rockstars
Today on Business Rockstars, Ken Rutkowski interviews Josh Gustin and Stephen Powell, the founders of GUSTIN, a blue jeans company that has set the record for the biggest first day for a fashion project on the crowdfunding website, Kickstarter.
Josh Gustin taught himself how to make the perfect pair of jeans during business school and started a fashion brand called OneOff Denim, which ended up being a great learning experience. Though some of OneOff’s products were sold in stores, it was not the right time for the brand. In late 2011, Josh launched GUSTIN – premium, American-made denim for men. It took off and was featured in 14 boutiques in SF, LA, and NYC. The jeans sold for $205 – $269.
In mid-2012, Josh partnered with Stephen Powell to reinvent the brand. They realized there was a better way than the traditional retail model. The two of them set out to redefine premium menswear by totally changing the way top quality garments are designed, priced and delivered.
GUSTIN launched on Kickstarter (bit.ly/weargustin) on January 7th, 2013 with the goal of raising $20,000. Incredibly, GUSTIN set the record for the biggest first day for a fashion project on Kickstarter, and was fully funded by the morning of the second day. After four days, GUSTIN raised over $60,000 from over 650 people from around the world, making it the fastest growing fashion Kickstarter project of all time. GUSTIN is completely self funded, and its only employees are Josh and Stephen.