The Life Is Good Company: Bert and John Jacobs In the late 80s, brothers Bert and John Jacobs were living as nomads, traveling from college to college selling t-shirts out of their van. It wasn't a sustainable living – until one day, they created a new design. It was a simple sketch of a grinning face, with three words printed underneath: Life Is Good. The optimistic message was deeply personal to the brothers, who grew up in what they describe as a dysfunctional home – and it also resonated with customers, who started buying Life Is Good designs printed on just about anything, from towels to tire covers. Today, the Life Is Good Company has a reported annual revenue of $100 million. PLUS in our postscript "How You Built That," Jim Malone of CounterEv Furniture describes how he turns reclaimed wood from bowling alleys into tables and chairs for fast-casual restaurants.
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The Life Is Good Company: Bert and John Jacobs

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The Life Is Good Company: Bert and John Jacobs

The Life Is Good Company: Bert and John Jacobs

The Life Is Good Company: Bert and John Jacobs

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Chelsea Beck for NPR
The Life Is Good Company was founded by Bert and John Jacobs.
Chelsea Beck for NPR

In the late 80s, brothers Bert and John Jacobs were living as nomads, traveling from college to college selling t-shirts out of their van.

It wasn't a sustainable living – until one day, they created a new design. It was a simple sketch of a grinning face, with three words printed underneath: Life Is Good.

The optimistic message was deeply personal to the brothers, who grew up in what they describe as a dysfunctional home – and it also resonated with customers, who started buying Life Is Good designs printed on just about anything, from towels to tire covers.

Today, the Life Is Good Company has a reported annual revenue of $100 million.

How You Built That: CounterEv Furniture

Jim Malone of CounterEv Furniture describes how he turns reclaimed wood from bowling alleys into tables and chairs for fast-casual restaurants.

How You Built That: CounterEv Furniture

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/755877251/755883143" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">