Ep: 223 Bew White

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Bew White

Bew White lll, is Chairman of the Board of Gabriella White and its brands, Summer Classics, Gabby, and Wendy Jane.

In 2013 he was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Society of International Business Fellows and in 2021 Bew White received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Casual Furnishings Association. He is also the subject of the well-received biography A Summer Classic: The Bew White Story by Christopher Taunton.

Bew graduated from Auburn University in 1972 with a degree in textile engineering. The phrase “outdoor living” had hardly been coined, as outdoor furniture was simply known as a table and chairs you would find on a basic patio deck.

At just 28 years old, Mr. White left his job at his family-owned business, Avondale Mills, and started a sales representative company in 1978 called Vista Corporation, specializing in selling outdoor furniture. In 1987, Bew started multiple companies in an effort to expand from selling on the road to building a national brand. One of those companies was Summer Classics, which was created around Bew’s thought of designing and manufacturing products that he would want for his own backyard. With a business model based on creating products that were consumer-driven, would stand the test of time, and would not go out of style, Summer Classics officially took off in 1987.

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Show Notes:

  • Bew’s health complications prompted him to get going and write his book.
  • Two of the biggest events in Bew’s life were the 2008 recession and his 25th wedding anniversary.
    • It caused him to think back on his life and realize that he needs to focus on his wife and her presence.
  • Bew jokes that he has his MBA in mistakes and that he’s working on his PhD.
    • It’s about moving forward and learning from your mistakes.
  • Bew says that he realized that he needed to start on something that could work without him.
    • Branding is the biggest part of his marketing business.
  • How will you differentiate yourself?
  • Bew always knew his business would take off and told his employees that they were working on a $500 million idea.
  • Get experience.
  • Learn how to read a financial statement.
  • Relationships are important to living a successful life.
    • You have to constantly work on developing them.
  • People often say they didn’t take enough risks in life or didn’t spend enough time with their family.
    • Bew thinks he took more than enough risks in his life.

Bew White’s Recharge Round

  1. What habit do you think has led to success in your life? Bew says that a habit of integrity is really important because it takes a lifetime to build a reputation but a moment to lose it. You get the future you plan for.
  2. If you had one do-over, what would it be? He would have spent more time with his children.

Connect with Bew:

Bew’s website:  summerclassicshome.com/bew-white




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