After-Action Report: RVM #45 with Dean Wegner

Many thanks to Dean Wegner (USMA ’93) for his presentation last night about his Authentically American apparel brand!

I owe a special debt of gratitude to Dean for his patience. Those in attendance will certify: I had a million questions. They all started from a statement Dean made in his bio, that he started Authentically American in 2017 from a blank sheet of paper.

I mean… the sheer audacity of the man to believe that he can just roll up his sleeves and make SOMETHING out of NOTHING! 😂🤣😂 Seriously, folks, how can we not love an attitude like that?

So we dug into everything, including:

  • Seriously just what in the world gave him the confidence to go DO that?
  • Why did he choose to focus first on building the brand, instead of creating product?
  • How did he choose business partners and investors?
  • What sorts of investment did he seek, and what is his working relationship with his investors?
  • How does he deploy social entrepreneurship—in this case meaning targeted charitable donations—to support his brand in a cost-effective way?

Dean also gave us a tour through the product line, including a demo of his “sweat-activated” t-shirt line that is just plain AWESOME. I threatened to make him ship me some tank tops all the way to Indonesia, and I am NOT kidding around!

Honestly this was one of those meetups that I can hardly do justice to in summary. So those of you who were there, I hope you had as much fun as I did! And for those of you who weren’t—especially if you are thinking about starting a business and want some great ideas on how to get started—see the premium Subscriber Content below!

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