In 1989, Bert and John Jacobs designed their first tee shirt. They knew nothing about the business.
For five years, the brothers hawked tee shirts in the streets of Boston and traveled the East Coast, selling door-to-door in college dormitories.
They collected some good stories, but were not very prosperous. They lived on peanut butter and jelly, slept in their van, and showered when they could.
Chicks were not impressed.
Original Jake drawing, July 1994 By the Fall of 1994, heading home from a long, less-than-fruitful roadtrip, Bert and John were desperately searching for answers to keep the dream alive. Little did they know, the only answer they needed was back in Boston, hanging up on their apartment wall.
Jake's contagious grin, simple as it was, seemed to express everything the Jacobs brothers believed in.
First day ever selling Life is good, Cambridge Street Fair, September 1994One fateful September day, they printed up 48 Jake shirts for a local street fair in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They laid the shirts out on their rickety card table. By noontime, all 48 of those tees were gone. A star was born.
Soon Jake was introduced to local retailers, and his simple message of optimism was embraced like nothing the brothers had ever seen. As demand for product soared, Jake's team grew, and the Little Brand That Could began to spread across North America.
Today, the New England based brand stays close to its roots, with an emphasis on simplicity, humor and humility. Through positive products and a steady dose of ping pong, Jake's crew does its best to keep the good vibes flowing.