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How Street Artist Marc Ecko Launched A Billion Dollar Clothing Company
Last Updated January 1st, 2019

Today I’m pumped to share the unusual story behind how Marc Ecko turned his love of street art into a billion dollar clothing company.

You see, like most artists, he got the “itch” early on, but he abandoned his craft for a much more stable career move – pharmacy school.

He didn’t last long though, and he soon dropped out to launch a clothing company.

He shares everything on this new Social Triggers Insider podcast, and here’s why I’m excited to share this with you:

Marc Ecko’s Secrets to Success in Business


Here are 5 reasons why you should listen to this podcast today:

1. This isn’t some “rosy” tale of crazy success. Yes, he built one of the largest clothing companies, but he flirted with failure and beat it. It’s inspiring.

2. He’s a commercial artist. He never “sold out,” but he did turn his art into a successful business. All business owners should take note.

3. If you’ve ever stressed about designs or logos, you’ll see what Marc Ecko – the street artist – thinks about logos. It might surprise you.

4. Have you ever thought, “It’s gotta be hard to build a business based on creativity?” If yes, you’ll see how Marc Ecko makes it sound like anyone can do it.

5. And more.

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“Logos are guns without ammo” – Marc Ecko – Click to Tweet

When you’re done, leave a comment sharing your BIGGEST insight – and how it’s going to help you.

Or, have you ever walked away from pursuing one of your dreams because you went after what you thought was “more stable?” What happened? Share your story as inspiration!

Also, one more thing…

marck ecko unlabel book

As I mentioned on the podcast, Marc Ecko has a new book out. It’s called Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out.

I received an advanced copy and read it in like 2 days. It was a book I just couldn’t put down. If you’re a creative, and you’re looking to make a living from your work, I believe this book will be the book you reference for years to come.

So, I highly suggest you pick up the book here on Amazon. That’s an affiliate link, but trust me – it’s not for the commissions. I use book sale numbers to ensure I continue to land the BEST guests on Social Triggers Insider. Period.

I should also note: By now, as a Social Triggers subscriber, you probably know I’m an avid reader, successfully reading a few books each week. And I can honestly say this is one of the better books I’ve read in the last 12 months.

Did you know Social Triggers Insider is now on iTunes? If you enjoy this series, please take a few seconds and leave an honest review. There are 317 of them and we need to hit 350!

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The transcript for this podcast is not available… yet. Please check back.

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45 comments Leave a comment
Richa Agrwal

Great article. As someone have just starting out in the world of blogging, I need all the tips I can get. I am so grateful for some simple, easy to implement advice.

Richa Agrwal

Great Article.As someone have just starting out in the world of blogging, i
need all the tips i can get. i am so grateful for some simple, easy to implement

Asif Raza

Book looks amazing , really a motivated which covers both dreams and mistakes

Jalil Khan

There are two rules :
Think from your own mind and the other is: Let somebody else think for you if you are not successful(this time) in your plans–whatever may be the reason.
From an Indian Movie – I used to work with my old dated rules copied from society, religion, elders etc. I was not successful then I met an uncle who taught me new rules of 22nd century as he knew world much more than me. Now I can be called as a successful person following uncle’s rules
But in it also
I never leave my norms and values

Carlos Andrade

Ha !! And i am actually the AMMO(Ammo Nutrition USA) but i need to learn to shoot yet!!
Awsome interview!! I’ll keep grinding…..


I listen to a lot of podcasts and interviews and this was awesome. Probably because it speaks to where I am in the process of my business development. Nice job Derek, well done!

Brian Dooley

This interview was great. It’s truly empowering to hear the real story behind a brand, complete with the failures and mistakes.

Brian Lau

Derek and Marc – great interview! It’s nice to hear about a creative being successful in the entrepreneur path. It’s not an easy one. Part of it is because of wanting to be authentic and truly creative.

I would like to comment on the logo thing though. He is right that the brand will load the logo. But he is not saying its useless and shouldn’t be thought out. Anything you show visually on your website or letterhead will represent your company.. Your brand. Design is about communication. You can communicate the wrong thing sometimes. It happens in advertising. You see an idea that is supposed to be funny but ends up insulting people and pissing people off. So think it through.

Anyway, just my 2 cents.


I really loved this interview. I appreciate how honest Marc is about the pavement he had to pound to get traction for his tshirt business in the beginning. It’s not enough to be brilliantly creative, or make unique and beautiful things. That’s a tough lesson for a lot of creative types.

Abbey Dieteman

Loved this podcast!

Key takeaway: Your logo is not your brand…it becomes part of your brand because its associated with what you do and who you are. Great point. People focus on creating a logo, website, etc. but all of that is meaningless without your brand behind it…as mark said, “Guns with no ammo.”

Thanks for an awesome podcast, just ordered the book.


Wow….this podcast was loaded with pearls of wisdom! Thanks so much to the both of you.

My biggest take-away is to focus on the doing more than the saying. It is so easy to get wrapped up in presenting my company and products in a socially acceptable way, and I began lose sight of my original product idea – the reason for starting the business in the first place.

After listening to this podcast, I am going to pause for a moment and recalibrate to ensure that I am creating designs that are true to my original mission.

Thanks again!


Thank you Derek for the awesome interview!
Thank you Marc for the enlightening insight!

I just purchase the book 🙂


Friggin A!!!!

There were so many brilliant insights in this podcast that I can’t even begin to list them. Amazing interview Derek, amazing perspective Marc.

I have learnt, I’ve been inspired and I’m pretty damn sure that the last 53 minutes and 48 seconds just changed my life!

Thank you.


Derek/ Marc

First of all, great podcast.

Do you think a massage therapist or a personal trainer can create a “swag bomb” with their service?

If yes, what would you suggest to do in that case?




Best Podcast ever! the guy is brilliant,and knows exactly what he
wants to get across.Usually I want to wait for a transcript,but if
you listen for 10 sec,you’re hooked.Thanks Derek.



I just signed up for the newsletter and listened to five pod-casts. The download option is great as I have an Android based phone.

Marc Ecko knocked me out and resonated the most for me. I truly enjoyed every one of the interviews and have learned a great deal, but Marc conveyed passion, conviction and an acute intelligence. I can’t figure out why I feel so moved; perhaps, it is pragmatic wisdom, delivery? Ahhh, who cares, it was an impressive interview. Maybe what I’ll learn here will help me to understand.

Thank you for a great site to educate me in a new field and one which you base upon science and fact. Impressive execution.




in a great way ,the things you say hit me right where i needed to be hit , now it sucked because it spoke about how i suck at doing certaing things i thought i was good at , but i will listen to this podcast over and over again until i get the info to really apply what you guys are saying and will have to go out and get the book

thanks iggy

big fan of MARC and DERECK


Great interview very raw and easy to follow plus there were some very good insights to what it takes to succeed. I worked as a Warehouse supervisor for 5 years and realized that I wanted more value in my life. The turning point was when my 3rd child was born. I was told that our company was growing and they couldn’t afford to honor my leave so I told them that unfortunately I will no longer be able to work for this company and quit on the spot. Luckily my wife had a digital scrapbook website that was able to support us and have been able to see my son grow up and be a big part of his childhood. Thanks for reading my story and I now know that I must not compromise what I want and value in my life.
Garett Smith


Derek… Marco…

I’m listening…

Thank you. … Again, and again, and again, and again.

Workin’ it.


Khantool kamran

Just love your podcast. I really appreciated.

Ryan Beltran

Couldn’t be more on point for those building brands and chasing the dream. As a recently launched brand, I continue to see how easy it is to get caught up with the long-term goals (sales projections, future product lines, etc.) when what you are doing RIGHT NOW, TODAY tends to be far more effective in terms of growing the business.

Some golden nuggets of wisdom dropped on that Podcast.
“Swag Bombs” – love it!

Thanks Marc and Derek!


Hit the nail right on the head, why don’t you! I heard him say that most people are afraid to be successful and that is something that I battle with a lot. All because I know that I can create the vision in my head, and it really freaks me out. Freaked out, because I keep trying to figure out how I will manage the 5,000+ fans that I will be attracting, and how to keep them excited, entertained and on board with my plans. For now, I keep telling myself to set my goals, reach them, keep up with learning new concepts from other successful people, like you, and I will figure out a lot of things along the way.

Bob Bright

Your the new Johnny Carson, Derek! Sway bomb is awesome. Much appreciated.


I am looking forward to the book. I have heard so many stories that jump from, “I was making such and such in my one bedroom apartment all by myself,” to, “Now I have a multi-million dollar company.” I am hoping his story will get into detail about the in-between steps. For example, when and how did he fill large orders, how was he able to start mass-producing, did he bring in employees, did he get manufacturers or factories involved, etc. I hope it is not another book that just gets you psyched up to do it and how to conquer fears and such but doesn’t explain the middle steps or give their own personal story about how they were able to produce more as the company grew.


Wow awesome podcast , getting the book right now

Matt Mikulla

That was a damn good interview. I’m gonna pick up the book and I’ve already shared the podcast with some art and fashion people.

It’s refreshing to hear business and success discussed from the perspective of a creative.

As an artist you are told your whole life to take a more “acceptable” or “real” path in life. It is so ingrained in us that we often divert ourselves from the path of creativity to accept something else. In Mark’s case it was pharmacy school.

Lynne from Design The Life You want to Live

Oh la la… I just listened to the podcast AGAIN.


Logos are guns without the amo !

The ability to be authentic and connect is the amo !

Build connective-ness.

It’s okay if the deal doesn’t happen.

Reach out.


You are just building your network.

Find some other currency, other than closing the deals.

Selling YOU without selling out.

Epic. Awesome. thank you .

Lynne Knowlton !

Dotti Templeton

Hi Derek,

I think it’s pretty funny how Marc talks about the importance of listening then completely ignores your request to keep his language decent. Talk about arrogance. Guess he thought it would be selling out.

If you hadn’t beeped out half of his presentation, I wouldn’t have continued to listen, so thank you.

If I was in the audience when he called us MF’ers I would’ve walked out.

Although I wouldn’t be his target market, but I buy gifts for his target market, but it’s not gonna be his brand.


Great interview Derek!
Marc is the man, and it’s good to hear such frank discussion of the principles that help Marc frame his day-to-day work. I especially enjoyed the part where he he attacks the starving artist mindset, which is kind of a pet issue for me. I recently decided to write a book on the topic, and I know this book will be a big help!
I have been following your blog and Youtube channel for a while, and I really appreciate your emphasis on reading to stay motivated, educated and relevant. Keep up the great work!

Lynne from Design The Life You want to Live

EPIC podcast !

Loved it ! I love your awesome tips Derek, and Marc you rock out loud too !!

Double awesomeness.

PS. On a completely unrelated/related note…. Marc ~ Your ring is even gorgeously creative. LOVE it.

Thanks for the epic inspiration !!

Lynne xx


I love his attitude about logos – I felt the same way and yet every resource out there tells you otherwise and dumps a bunch of rules on you. For my logo, I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted for it. I started spending too much time worrying about font types and so finally I just went for it. I picked a font type that was a little scripty to reflect creativity and then slapped the image of my artist-persona on there and that’s what I have been using. I’ve had comment son it where people thought it was cute. So I guess it’s working out. I’ll know for sure when things get going. (Oh so painfully slow…)

I have been doing the traditional job market thing for years and it kills me. I feel like I’m growing more depressed because I feel like my life is being controlled by others instead of me. I’m a Sagittarius so naturally I HATE that lack of freedom. I can only hope that I’ll make the right decisions and do the right things so that I can dump this day job insanity and finally live for myself and not die with regret for wasting time.

    Derek Halpern

    Hilarious, right?


Amazing inspiring podcast Derek. thanks for the sharing and the ideas Marc gave are so amazing. It gives the momentum and justification that anything is possible at any level with the mindset and determination with passion.


Wow, amazing interview! This came at the perfect time for me, thanks Derek and Marc! I started a business that has no real blueprint to follow. I am creating it all, I am making it happen, but it’s difficult and have wanted to jump ship. This interview motivated me to stick with it. THANK YOU!

Keiko Elizabeth

I really related to the idea of being trapped by your art. Reminds me of Steven Pressfield’s words in The War of Art. He says ,”The amateur overidentifies with his avocation, his artistic aspiration. He defines himself by it….Resistance loves this. Resistance knows the amateur composer will never write his symphony because he is overly invested in it’s success and overterrified of its failure. The amateur takes it so seriously it paralyzes him.” I also loved the idea of a swag bomb!

    Derek Halpern

    I find anyone who’s in a creative role gets trapped by their art at least once. Until they learn better.

Jason Gammon

Hey, I haven’t listened to the podcast yet, but I wanted to tell everyone that Marc Ecko is also teaching a class on Skillshare.com that coincides with this book release. If you pre-order the book my tomorrow, you can register for the class for free ($25 value) Just thought some of you may be interested.

    Keiko Elizabeth

    Awesome! Do have the details of how to make that happen? I looked on skillshare but… :/ Thanks so much!

John Pitt

Very valuable interview with Marc Ecko. Biggest insight: don’t fall into the trap of putting style ahead of substance, don’t obsess over the inessentials, get off your butt and do the thing! How will that help me? Well, I’m off to do the thing!

Fit Missy

I tried the stable corporate world but after 4 years discovered it wasn’t for me!

I always wanted to run my own business and you know what? it’s actually making me so much happier!

    Derek Halpern

    I lasted 2 years myself, heh.


After I finished my MBA, I ran head first into the first job I could find rather than taking time to reflect and determine what I really wanted to do. It was misery. The stability of the full time gig only made my passion for writing stronger. Even though I regret taking the job, in a way it was a blessing in disguise because it reaffirmed my desire to be an entrepreneur and eventually led me to start my own business writing company.

Stability chokes my creativity. It’s just not for me.

    Derek Halpern

    I hear you there. I talked a little bit about my experience on the podcast as well.

Nick Reese

Dude, the book looks outstanding. It is sweet to hear the backstory. Ordered. Love the dude’s personality.


Great topic, Derek!

I walked away from being a pro musician for the stable corporate life. I’m not complaining, I have a great family because of it, but now I’m burned out and ready to revisit my dreams. This will include freelancing as a web-designer and playing/writing music for a living.

I’ve started sharing my dream and experience in music by writing an eBook for bands that are just starting out. I want to help other musicians achieve their dreams and not take the “stable” path.

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