Interview with Social Entrepreneur Davis Smith of Cotopaxi for Online Business Tips

Building a Do-Good Online Business with the Help of Two Llamas with Davis Smith of Cotopaxi | Episode #39

The founder and CEO behind your favorite outdoor gear brand, Cotopaxi, shares the mindsets, practices and strategies behind how they've grown and created an impact around the world.
The Rank & File Podcast

The Rank & File Podcast

Hosted by Kari Elizabeth Enge - Certified Life and Business Coach for Purpose-Driven Entrepreneurs at Rank & File

Today I am joined by adventurer, entrepreneur, and angel investor Davis Smith — founder and CEO of Cotopaxi.

Davis grew up living in several countries around the world, which fueled his sense of adventure and his empathy for those living in poverty. After college, he ended up starting several successful e-commerce businesses while living in Brazil, but despite his success, he still wanted to do more to make a difference in the world using business.

For his next venture, he decided to merge his love of travel with a poverty-fighting business model. He named the new social impact e-commerce company Cotopaxi to represent the spirit of adventure, optimism, and determination that he’d experienced during his time in Ecuador. He soon started things off with a “scrappy” idea to bring two llamas onto a college campus to get the word out about the new brand.

Today, on the Rank & File podcast, Davis and I talk about his experience as a purpose-driven entrepreneur and CEO with a focus on doing good. We talk all about how his time building large e-commerce brands has helped him shape the sales strategy of Cotopaxi and the various ways they engage their customers throughout the year to drive revenues and impact at the same time.

Davis also shares his advice with fellow entrepreneurs on fighting impostor syndrome, copying others who inspiring you versus finding your own way as a founder, and why the little moments that touch just one person’s life deeply as a business owner are what matter most.

I can’t think of a better person to help me kick off the launch of Issue #16 of Rank & File Magazine.

In Today’s podcast episode, you’ll learn:

  • Davis’ advice for balancing out seasonality in business both from a revenue and social impact perspective when working with vulnerable communities
  • How Davis deals with impostor syndrome even now as the founder of his fourth successful business
  • How Cotopaxi drives revenue online and through “scrappy” and adventurous events
  • Davis’ most proud moment as an entrepreneur, giving insight into what should matter most to us as we grow our businesses.

Important links from this episode:

Rank & File Issue #16 — Building a “Do Good” Online Business With the Help of Two Llamas a Conversation with Davis Smith, Founder and CEO of Cotopaxi



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Learn how to design and implement an annual CEO Day – a strategic planning tool for purpose-driven entrepreneurs. Get step-by-step guidance on how to structure your CEO Day so you can reach your income and impact goals this year.

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Rank & File Magazine for Purpose-Driven Entrepreneurs

Get instant access to the entire magazine library. 20 issues filled with first-hand advice from female founders you admire, plus dozens of workbooks and worksheets on the most important things you need to know. (Seriously, the library is full of so much value, and it’s my free gift to you.)