Born in Australia, Brian Smith developed his love of surfing which became one of the inspirations behind the iconic brand, UGG. The day he graduated as a CPA in Australia, was the day he quit the profession. Instead, he headed to California and after studying at the UCLA Graduate School of Management, Smith, with $500 of start-up money, founded UGG Imports to bring sheepskin footwear to America. After seventeen years, as sales reached $15 million, he sold the business to Deckers Outdoor Corporation. The UGG brand has exceeded $1 billion of international sales for the past several years.
A passionate innovator and entrepreneur, Brian is one of the most sought after business speakers in the world as he captivates audiences of CEO’s, business executives and entrepreneurs. Brian is a mentor to many business leaders and young entrepreneurs because his journey is both aspirational yet relatable. He authored The Birth of a Brand, a gripping story of the ecstatic highs and crushing lows of UGG starting with his journey from conceiving the idea, all the way to selling the business as a multi-million dollar brand. Every business starts with conception, then birth...the long infancy, then toddling, youth and teenage phases. This understanding is powerful, because Brian, like most people, felt like giving up. Instead, Brian shows you how you can dig deep to overcome every obstacle in your path. His keynotes can be tailored to a diverse group of audiences but all are highly inspirational and follow the “stories” of his own personal adventures building the iconic UGG brand. Brian infuses his Aussie-style humor, heart-felt approach and business passion into an unforgettable presentation.