Brian Linton: United By Blue
Posted by The Editors on May 10, 2011
Name: Brian Linton
Employer: United By Blue
Degree: B.A. Temple University, 2008
Brian Linton is fascinated by fish. Growing up in Singapore, a leading exporter of tropical fish, he was surrounded by a culture that valued marine life. Most days after school, Linton found himself at the neighborhood fish store, learning how to breed fish. At home, he had 30 fish tanks. When it came time to choose a career, Linton took one look at his aquatic friends and decided to make a career out of cleaning the oceans.
In Spring of 2010, Linton started United By Blue, a sustainable, ocean-friendly line of apparel and accessories. For every UBB product sold, the company removes 1 pound of trash from the world’s oceans, beaches, and waterways. So far, the company has conducted cleanups from Georgia to Massachusetts, removing more than 3,000 pounds of trash.
Linton’s Asian studies major did little to prepare him for running a business, especially when it comes to handling money. With no training in finance and accounting, he had to teach himself how to manage his supply budget, monthly expenses, and five-person payroll. “I spend a lot of time worrying about money. I just have to take a deep breath and remember, as long as we are doing what we love and meeting our goal of helping the oceans, the money will follow.”
The most important skill Linton has perfected on the job is his ability to sell himself and his company with confidence. “Everything in life is about selling. You’re either selling your resume to get a job, selling yourself to the press, or selling yourself to potential partners.”
Linton has learned a lot along the way and believes that above all, you have to possess the passion to keep a new venture going. “With UBB, we’re not just talking about helping the oceans. We’re out on the weekends getting sunburned on beaches cleaning up trash.”