Inkandescent Entrepreneur Show

May 8episode

Walking on the Wild Side: Banana Republic Founders Patricia + Mel Ziegler


Banana Republic founders Mel and Patricia Ziegler insist that living life on the wild side is the only way to fly.

Five years after opening their exotic retail company, they’d sold it to The Gap, had opened 101 stores, and were doing $250 million in business. But then, the former journalist and illustrator for the San Francisco Chronicle got out almost as fast as they got into the clothing business. Why?

We learned all about it when we sat down with these amazing entrepreneurs to talk about their wild ride.

  • With $1,500 to their names, and no business experience, Mel and Patricia Ziegler turned a wild idea into a company that would become the international retail colossus Banana Republic. How?
  • How did a trip to Australia, and the purchase of a British Army jacket, start them on the path?
  • How did a radio jock from New York help them afford to get the business rolling—and enable them to eat dinner for months?
  • What made them want to sell to The Gap?
  • What was the moment in time that they knew they had to move on—and what did they do next?
  • What inspired them to write their “untold story,” their new book, “Wild Company.”
  • And what are their tips for other entrepreneurs hoping to live their dreams?

Don’t miss a moment!

We leave you with this parting thought from the introduction to the Zieglers’ book:

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few. — Shunryu Suzuki

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