UV50 Startups to Watch: No. 8 Taft

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Founded 2014 City Provo Employees 6 Industry Retail/fashion Website TaftClothing.com Founders Kory Stevens, 28; Mallory Stevens, 25 The Company A direct-to-consumer designer men’s shoe company.

YOUNG + HUNGRY 

Taft has given the men’s fashion world a kick of innovation. It’s sold more than 25,000 pairs of shoes this year alone, it’s grown to more than 350,000 followers on Instagram, and the company received a valuation of $15 million.

SCRAPPY

“You know you’re a startup if the founder is responding to customer service emails and calls from his personal phone number seven days a week,” Kory says.

JUST YOU WAIT — GOALS

1. Maintain the “mom-and-pop” vibe as they scale.

2. Build to $100 million in annual revenue within three to five years.

3. Keep designing and producing unique offerings in the industry.

FUN FACT, SIR

“We actually launched our shoe line totally unexpectedly over Sunday dinner at my parents’ house,” Kory says. “Glad I brought my laptop to dinner! Also, all of our shoes are named after family members or characters from movies.”

WORK! WORK!

“Avoid comparing your company to other companies. Never compare your beginning to another company’s middle or end.”


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