Mike Spangenberg, State Forty Eight
#RedBullBoothTalks Vol. 8
In the last episode of #RedBullBoothTalks series at Phoenix Startup Week 2018 Skyler talks to Mike Spangenberg, co-founder of the clothing apparel brand State Forty Eight.
Mike has started the company together with two friends as a small online operation only five years ago. Since then they significantly expanded and now shirts, hoodies and hats with their signature Arizona state-shaped logo and lettering can be seen everywhere.
How did Mike get where he is? On the podcast he discusses how he creates opportunities for himself and his brand. He also explains why it’s so important for an entrepreneur today to “get out there,” create meaningful relationships, and engage with people in person. As a result, now “it’s spreading like a wildfire for us.”
As a social media power user he offers some advice on how to use the platforms to your advantage, even when they seem to introduce changes that are working against you; how to never give up, even if there will be blood, sweat and tears on the way to the top. And – spoiler alert – there will be!
About Mike Spangenberg:
Mike Spangenberg is an entrepreneur born and raised in Chandler, Arizona, who together with his friends Stephen and Nicholas Polando established the clothing company State Forty Eight.
The idea came from their love of the state of Arizona and its sports teams. They quickly realized that State Forty Eight perfectly filled in the missing link on the market: “The Phoenix community is more and more about love for our state. That’s why it was cool to start [the company] five years ago: there was a missing niche of the Arizona Pride and now more and more kids are growing up and becoming Suns and Diamondbacks fans.”
In 2014, State Forty Eight was chosen as one of Phoenix Fashion Week’s “Emerging Designers.” Things really took off after that.
Now they are looking into expanding even further. Spangenberg is especially excited about filling the niches that nobody thought of earlier and collaborations with other brands. One of them is with another Arizona company, Jack Grace, which is creating custom golf shoes.
“I’m so excited about all the collaborations we have on the list, but on top of that, we’re creating the new revenue stream which is license deals. That was a major focus of mine.” Now Spangenberg is hoping to collaborate with ADOT on creating a custom license plates. “You can license to brand and get it out to a different demographic.”
State Forty Eight is already creating apparel in collaboration with Bruce Arians and his foundation and is partnering with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Besides that, Spangenberg is in the trenches of the digital innovation in business. Currently his company is part of beta-testing of the new Shopify button on Instagram, which will allow the user to shop directly in the app. “I think that’s going to make a huge difference for anyone selling products on Instagram. The only downfall to Instagram right now is that you can’t click and buy [a product] if you really like it.”
But their focus remains the same: to develop a brand that’s positive, uplifting, and representing the Grand Canyon State. “That’s what we’re all about, just showing love to Arizona through our products.”
Instagram @ statefortyeight
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