Brian Smith

Born in Australia, Brian Smith developed his love of surfing which became one of the inspirations behind the iconic brand, UGG. The day he graduated as a CPA in Australia, was the day he quit the profession. Instead, he headed to California and after studying at the UCLA Graduate School of Management, Smith, with $500 of start-up money, founded UGG Imports to bring sheepskin footwear to America. After seventeen years, as sales reached $15 million, he sold the business to Deckers Outdoor Corporation. The UGG brand has exceeded $1 billion of international sales for the past several years.

A passionate innovator and entrepreneur, Brian is one of the most sought after business speakers in the world as he captivates audiences of CEO’s, business executives and entrepreneurs. Brian is a mentor to many business leaders and young entrepreneurs because his journey is both aspirational yet relatable.

He authored The Birth of a Brand, a gripping story of the ecstatic highs and crushing lows of UGG starting with his journey from conceiving the idea, all the way to selling the business as a multi-million dollar brand. Every business starts with conception, then birth…the long infancy, then toddling, youth and teenage phases. This understanding is powerful, because Brian, like most people, felt like giving up. Instead, Brian shows you how you can dig deep to overcome every obstacle in your path. Written with time-worn truisms and business acumen, Brian’s amazing story proves that you can stick to your guns, authenticity, and spirituality and still grow a wildly successful career and company.

His keynotes can be tailored to a diverse group of audiences but all are highly inspirational and follow the “stories” of his own personal adventures building the iconic UGG brand. Brian infuses his Aussie-style humor, heart-felt approach and business passion into an unforgettable presentation.


Building the Foundation for an Iconic Brand

Brian’s presentation takes you on a journey of ecstatic highs and crushing lows that will be familiar to all business owners, and powerful lessons for every potential entrepreneur that wants to follow their dreams of self-expression through business.

Brian customizes his presentation to connect with your audience on topics including entrepreneurialism, branding, marketing, sales and customer service.

Brian will teach you lasting lessons:

  • “Boots-on-the-Ground” Life and Business Tips They Don’t Teach in Business School
  • Goosebumps, Karma and Other Essential Business Principles
  • Using Fear and Uncertainty to Your Advantage
  • You Can’t Give Birth to Adults


Only in YPO do we have the opportunity to listen to a real life success story like Brian’s. The world is so stratified right now. We have so many tech innovations happening and Google is talking about an 80% US usage of Virtual Reality glasses in 5 years but we still have plenty of companies doing exactly what Brian did- provide a product that makes people feel good and connected!
~ YPO Member 

When planning our annual Small Business Summit, we constantly struggle with finding speakers that not only understand and relate to our small business audience, but can relay inspiration and actionable advice through their presentation. This year we were honored to have Brian Smith as our keynote and, simply put, he blew our audience away!

Brian is a natural story teller and he conveys his journey as the founder of UGG Boots in a way that captivates the audience because they can relate to where he’s been, the struggles he’s had and the absolute determination he had to muster up to succeed. He is one of the most relatable people I think I’ve ever met and he just draws you in with his pleasant personality and ‘realness’.

Those traits translate fully when he speaks and the audience is engaged and engrossed in Brian’s story – it was fantastic to witness. The feedback we’ve received from our attendees has been absolutely phenomenal!

If you are looking for a speaker that has a fun, real and inspirational story and has the ability to captivate your audience, I would highly recommend Brian Smith.
~ Carolyn Crummey, Director of Operations, 9th Annual Small Business Summit

Brian Smith has an incredible story of what it really took to build the UGG brand. Our group of high-level entrepreneurs have seen a lot and his presentation was very highly rated and well received. I’d highly recommend Brian speaking to any group of business owners or founders.
~ Yanik Silver, founder Maverick1000

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