Life is good.
It’s more than a slogan. For more than 25 years, it’s been an ethos for the company that makes $100 million a year printing those three words on T-shirts, ball caps, coffee mugs and other merch.
But then 2020 arrived, and with it the coronavirus pandemic. When Bert and John Jacobs, the brothers who founded the company in 1994, met in March with the top leadership staff of Life Is Good, they spoke of things that seemed a rejection of the optimism they normally peddled. Layoffs. Bankruptcy. Even an end to the business.
It wasn’t as if Jake – the smiley-faced stick figure who adorns many of the company’s T-shirts – hadn’t had a reason to frown before. After 9/11, people told the Jacobs brothers life wasn’t good any longer. They responded with a shirt bearing a stylized American flag above their brand. Customers bought it up,