10 Founders of Worldwide Brands Who Don’t Usually Show Their Faces
Some founders of famous brands enjoy their fame and can be seen on magazine covers all over the world. But there are also those who prefer to stay out of the spotlight. Their success stories are just as impressive and we’d like to share them with you.
Magicorama offers you to take a look at the people who created the things that we use every day.
Nike — Phil Knight
Young Phil Knight and his coach Bill Bowerman both loved running. The quality of the running shoes that were sold in the US in the ’60s wasn’t good enough for them. And that’s how they created the Blue Ribbon Sports company to sell Japanese sneakers in the US. This company is now called Asics.
Over time, it was becoming harder and harder to work with suppliers, so Phil and Bill decided to create their own brand of sneakers. Bowerman designed them and the waffle-like design was created when the coach looked at his wife’s waffle iron.
In 1978, the company got its official name, Nike, and their famous logo. Knight didn’t like the word Nike, he wanted to name the company something else. By the way, Knight tells about all these events in his book Show Dog.
Starbucks — Howard Schultz
In the beginning, Starbucks was opened in 1971 as a store that sold coffee beans and equipment in Seattle. And only in 1987, when the company was bought by Howard Schultz (the owner of Il Giornale), the place finally started to turn into a real coffee shop.
Howard was inspired by the atmosphere of Italian espresso bars and it’s safe to say that he was the one who made the espresso-based beverages popular in the US. Now you can find a Starbucks almost anywhere in the world.
ZARA — Amancio Ortega
Amancio started his business in the ’70s: He made nightgowns and bathrobes with his wife right in their living room. Once, their German partner declined a huge order and the spouses decided to sell clothes on their own. They opened their first store in 1975 in La Coruña, Spain.
The business went very well: the company decided to follow the concept of instant fashion when new and trendy clothes appeared in the stores every 2 weeks. Later, the company was renamed to Inditex and opened new clothing stores: Massimo Dutti, Pull and Bear, Oysho, Zara Home, Uterqüe, Stradivarius, Lefties, and Bershka.
Pandora — Per Enevoldsen and Winnie Enevoldsen
In 1982, the Enevoldsen family opened a small jewelry store in Copenhagen: they imported jewelry from Thailand and sold it. By 1987, their company was already quite big and so they decided to create jewelry of their own design.
But it took more than 10 years before Pandora became famous. In 2000, the charm bracelet was created: buyers were able to create jewelry of their own design by putting the charms they wanted on the bracelet. Since then, the company has been growing and the Enevoldsen family are one of the richest people in Denmark.
Ferrero — Michele Ferrero
In 1957, Michele inherited a family business creating a chocolate paste with nuts. The man was very passionate about it. In order to create new products, he thought about a collective image of an Italian housewife and asked simple questions: what does she buy for her and her children, what does she like?
This is how he created Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs — he figured that kids liked chocolate and parents made them drink milk so he combined these products. He created Ferrero Rocher and Raffaello sweets and he improved the recipe of chocolate spread and gave it a more recognizable name — Nutella.
Michele noticed that American women cared about their weight and wanted to make a good impression: for them, he created the famous Tic Tac which only has 2 calories.
Michele lived a long life and died at the age of 89, leaving his children the brand that people all around the world know and love today.
Hard Rock Cafe — Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton
This worldwide famous cafe chain has an interesting history. In 1969, the musicians from The Doors were recording the album Morrison Hotel. At about the same time, they accidentally came across a diner named Hard Rock Cafe, and their album was exactly in this music style. They made a few pictures in this cafe and then put the photos on the back side of the album cover.
A year later, 2 Englishmen called them — Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton and asked them to let them open a cafe in London named Hard Rock Cafe. The musicians didn’t object, and soon the cafe started developing really fast.
Laсoste — René Lacoste
This worldwide famous brand was not made by a fashion designer. It was created by a French tennis player. In the 1920s, people played tennis in long-sleeved shirts. In 1926, tennis player René Lacoste sewed a short-sleeved shirt for one of the tournaments. He sewed it himself.
Rene had a nickname — “alligator” because he always destroyed his competitors if they made a mistake. This is how a small crocodile appeared on the shirt — it became the logo of the company. In 1933, Rene founded a company that made shirts for tennis, golf, and sailing.
Lego — Ole Kirk Christiansen
At the beginning of the 1930s, Ole Kirk opened a company that made ironing boards and ladders, but he soon started making wooden toys. The word “Lego” consists of 2 Danish words: “leg” (play) and “godt” (good).
In 1947, the toys became plastic and had special parts that allowed children to connect them together — this is how the Lego we know today appeared. It is interesting that the elements of Lego are compatible with each other in all of their forms: the shape and the design changed but the attachment parts have always been the same. That’s why you can always combine modern parts with the first ones ever created.
Ole died when he was 66 years old and his 4 sons inherited the company.
Google — Larry Page and Sergey Brin
The company was created by 2 students from Stanford University — Larry Page and Sergey Brin. In 1998, they founded a company and registered the google.com domain. The name Google was made from the English world googol that means a number with 100 zeros.
Now we use this search engine every day.
Instagram — Kevin Systrom
The worldwide famous service was made by another Standford University student — Kevin Systrom. This guy loved photography and even went to Florence once to find out more about this art. A teacher showed him a Holga camera that made square photos in retro style.
Later, Kevin found investors and he and Mike Krieger started developing their own photo service. They needed to make something unique but simple to use. Systrom remembered the cheap camera from Florence and was inspired to create filters. This is how the first filter X-Pro II was made.
2 years after the launch of the application, Facebook bought it for $1 billion. Instagram has become something more than just an application. And regardless of whether you love it or hate it, you have to admit — it’s huge!