March 30, 2021

From Layoffs to Payoffs

with Daniel Shapiro, Founder and CEO of Fourlaps

About this episode

Daniel Shapiro is the Founder and CEO of Fourlaps. Offering stylish staple pieces that wear equally well both in and out of the gym, Fourlaps prides itself on creating thoughtfully designed apparel for guys who don't want to compromise on performance or style. In this episode, Daniel shares with us his journey from working in merchandising at The Gap, to working for three years at Old Navy, to moving to Pittsburgh to work at American Eagle, to finally taking the leap into entrepreneurship to pursue his passion and starting an apparel business of his own. Daniel talks with us about his battle with anxiety and depression, the many pitfalls he experienced while trying to launch his business, and how he scored a major partnership with Peloton.

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In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • How growing up with an entrepreneurial dad helped him experience the ups and downs of business at an early age and how being on the water polo team, even though he wasn’t good at it, taught him perseverance and time management
  • How his time in investment banking after college went and why he was thankful to move on to something else after being laid off, but then had to deal with being laid off a few more times within the next few years 
  • What led Daniel to fall in love with retail, what ideas that love for retail sparked, and how he got started in the retail industry 
  • What he learned during his time at the Gap, Old Navy, and American Eagle and what finally gave him the push to start Fourlaps
  • What difficulties he experienced in the beginning of getting his company launched and why a trip to China revealed what he needed to do to save the business
  • How lots of good press led to some growing pains, but ultimately set them up to be ready to be catapulted forward because of their partnership with Peloton and the fact that so many people were working out at home and looking for good athletic apparel during the pandemic
  • How he has worked through anxiety and depression and what he has done to make sure he stays connected with his community in valuable ways that help him stay grounded
  • What advice Daniel shares for those who are entrepreneurs and who have an idea and want to go for it but perhaps don’t feel ready or feel afraid to make that leap

To Find Out More:



“I think the best bosses that I've had have embraced my energy and my craziness and my ideas and motivated me by encouraging those things, but also teaching me different ways of doing things.”

“I learned so much there. I would say from a career point of view, it was the best career decision I could have made. But it was a very tough personal move.”

“Our tagline for the brand is "Start before you're ready." And that's also my personal mantra, I would say, because if you wait for the perfect moment, it will not present itself.”

“I think failure was the biggest thing that was holding me back. And I think you actually learn way more through failures than you do through successes.”

“I think when you come out of a really tough situation, then it kind of puts things in perspective. And I think what I thought was what's the worst thing that can happen to me is that I have to find another job.”

“I just knew that it was the right thing. And I just knew that what was out there was lackluster and was overseen and over logo-ed and neon and made from nasty materials, and I saw that people were going to start dressing differently. “

“I did not pay myself a salary until last year, the middle of last year, like four years later.”

“The combination of the pandemic plus Peloton, I think kind of catapulted us.”

“In the beginning, your gut is all you have. You don't have data. You don't have data. You don't have science. You just have your gut. And if you have a bad feeling about something, you need to listen to that feeling.”

“One of the things that I learned, now that I have a team, is that you really need to focus on the things that you're good at and you need to hire people to do the things that you're not good at.”

“You have to be surrounded by people that you love, that are positive, that are going to encourage you and want to be on this journey with you.” 

Read the transcript

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