Life is Good is the original positive lifestyle brand, dedicated to spreading the power of optimism through art and message. Co-founders and brothers Bert and John Jacobs set out to design T-shirts that inspired people to celebrate simple pleasures, and focus on what’s right in the world and our lives instead of what’s wrong. In 1994, after five years of disappointing sales and with just $78 to their names, Bert and John designed their first Life is Good tee and discovered how those three simple words could help people to focus on the good.
For almost 30 years, Life is Good has been building a “culture of optimism” through its online shop and presence within 4,500 retail stores. Life is Good’s mission “to spread the power of optimism” isn’t just a marketing angle—it influences every part of the brand, from company culture to philanthropy.
Tom Hassell, president of Life is Good, joined Toptal’s Chief People Officer Michelle Labbe on The Talent Economy podcast.
For the past three years, Hassell has overseen the Life is Good e-commerce business as it has grown from $30 million in annual revenue in 2017 to more than $86 million in 2020. Outside of his role at Life is Good, Hassell has served in leadership roles at a diverse group of companies, including Lord & Taylor, Perry Ellis, Ann Taylor, and Eastern Mountain Sports. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve as the president of Life is Good, where spreading the power of optimism is both the company mission and his personal passion.
In this episode, Hassell discusses his journey in the apparel industry, his work at Life is Good, the power of optimism, Life is Good’s social work through the Life is Good Playmaker Project, and more.
Some Questions Asked:
- How does Life is Good maintain its optimistic culture throughout all levels of the company? (8:26)
- Who develops Life is Good’s creative designs? (17:57)
- Among the positive letters the company often receives from its customers, is there a particular story that moved you? (21:24)
In This Episode, You Will Learn:
- How Life is Good believes in rational optimism.
- About Life is Good’s social work, the Life is Good Playmaker Project.
- How founders Bert and John Jacobs continue to lead the company.