By: Rachael Andrews
Josh Moore, co-owner of Res Ipsa, a travel-inspired lifestyle brand, is one of the 2020 Bulldog 100 honorees. Moore is a Double Dawg from the University of Georgia with a Political Science degree (AB ‘98) and a law degree (JD ‘01). After he practiced law for 15 years, he began to find that profession to be stifling, creatively.
Moore’s formed the company with his partner, Odini Gogo, also a lawyer by trade. The name “Res Ipsa” is derived from a Latin legal expression for self-evident facts. Originally focused on neckwear, Res Ipsa as it exists today began with a trip to Istanbul, Turkey in 2013 where they encountered a Turkish man who had gone to Kennesaw State University from a family of manufacturers. They saw this as the catalyst they needed to begin their business, and saw that there was a market for upcycling scraps from Turkish rugs into shoes, bags, and accessories.
Moore and Gogo opened Res Ipsa’s first location in Nantucket, MA, a highly seasonal market, and then soon opened a second location in Aspen, CO. The third location recently opened in Los Angeles, CA.
Moore says that the most surprising part of owning his own business is how difficult it is to get it all started. “Generally speaking, the American education system does not teach entrepreneurship, [so] you have to figure stuff out as you’re doing it. There are daily obstacles,” he says, “but that’s not a complaint, [because this] is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.”
Moore emphasizes that the independence that comes with being a successful entrepreneur is worth the challenges.
Moore sees his time at UGA as a valuable training ground for business, especially the exposure to a broad range of subjects as a college student. “Entrepreneurs have to do a little bit of everything,” Moore says.
When asked about the most important values that have made his success, Moore says, “Treating people the way I want to be treated, whether it be employees, customers, landlords – that creates good karma.”
Another value that Moore upholds in his business: effort. “It’s important to do your best, [because] when you’ve done your best and you don’t get the result you want, you have nothing to be upset about,” Moore maintains, “because there’s nothing you could have done to change the circumstances.”
Moore has some advice for future Bulldog entrepreneurs. “I think a lot of people talk about their ideas and then they get comfortable,” Moore goes on, “they’re lulled into a false sense of security.” But Moore says the most important thing for recent college graduates is to “do it and do it early, do it before you get comfortable, when you’re hungry, and you have very little to lose,” Moore concludes, “figure out that thing that makes you happy and figure out a way to do it for a living.”