By: Sarah Zomaya
I have the great honor of introducing you to Paige Wingert ’92, our May 2019 Entrepreneur of the Month. Paige founded Legacy Athletic during his second year at Dickinson Law School with co-founder, fellow law student, and roommate, Mark Landgren ’92. With the initial goal of creating the ultimate baseball hat, Paige has since grown his business into a leading supplier in the hat, apparel, and home décor industries. Legacy Athletic recently merged with League Collegiate Outfitter and together, under the name L2 Brands, the merged business is serving the collegiate, resort, and corporate markets. Based in Hanover, Pennsylvania, Paige is now the innovative CEO of L2 Brands and is passionate about leading the merged company.
Prior to my interview, Paige and members of the Legacy workforce gave my Company Creation class a tour of the facility. Following the tour, our class had an informative and fun Q&A with Paige and Legacy’s counsel, Jeremy Frey. You can read about our visit here. Paige appeared to me to be a principled man who rightly takes pride in the company he has built.
Elements for Success
Paige conveyed that in order to succeed in the early stages of running a business, you have to be passionate about your product or service. Companies will inevitably go through hard times and some entrepreneurs start a business because they like the idea of owning their own company, but it takes passion to get over the hurdles and succeed. Paige added that communication is key when it comes to running a business. Entrepreneurs have to be able to communicate their vision competently in order to grow the business. Paige explained that in the early stages of his business he had been working on the product day in and day out for years. In order to grow the business and bring other members aboard, Paige had to take a step back and communicate his vision and ideas for the business.
Watch Paige elaborate on elements for success here.
Follow this link to hear Paige describe his experience when times were tough with the business.
Advice for Entrepreneurs
Paige has had over 25 years of experience with running a business. His advice for entrepreneurs is to self-evaluate; know what you’re good at and what you’re not good at. As Paige explained, the things you’re good at – do that as much as possible, the things you’re not good at – you have to have confidence to hire people who have that skill/expertise. Paige attributes his success, in part, to his well-rounded team. The team at L2 Brands is made up of people with all different skill sets and all different personality traits. Paige described that he is a Type A person, very self-driven and motivated to get from point A to point B. Paige’s Senior Vice President and brother, Brandon Wingert, on the other hand, is very analytical and thorough. As a team, Paige and Brandon are effective and efficient because they have personality traits that complement each other.
Follow this link for to hear more of Paige’s advice for entrepreneurs.
Check out this link to hear Paige discuss his most valuable lesson.
Key Considerations Surrounding Merger/Acquisition
Legacy Athletic recently went through a major merger with League Collegiate Outfitters and Paige was willing to offer some insight into that process. First, you have to make sure that the products or services of the two companies complement each other. If the products or services don’t meld, then combining the two businesses may not be the best option. Aside from the typical business due diligence, Paige explained that you have to put a lot of time and effort into assessing the “people part of the business.” This can be hard to assess, but you must consider how to bring the organizations together and how long it will take to get everyone in step. During the merger process, the executives and high-level employees are working on the deal for months, but they must remember to constantly communicate that information to the rest of the team.
Click this link to hear more about Paige’s consideration surrounding mergers and acquisitions.
Using Your Law Degree in Business
Paige recounts that over the years many people have asked him, “you have a law degree, why are you making hats?” Paige explained, “I have never had one day of regret about the three years I took to get my law degree…the education I got in three years of law school was transformative to me as a person…I deeply believe that you go through law school and the whole teaching method, and you come out really a different person – it’s a tremendous education.” Paige also noted that he benefits from the technical aspects of a law degree too; he can preliminary read contracts and is better equipped for negotiations. Paige emphasized that the real difference maker in how he uses his law degree is his ability to hone in on the crux of an issue. In law school you are trained to cut through the clutter, the red herrings, and get to the heart of the matter – Paige expressed that this ability is not only extremely valuable in business, but in all aspects of life. The ability to analyze and hone in on the true issue will lead you to making wise, informed decisions.
To hear more about how Paige uses his law degree in business, click here.
Best Attribute in a Company’s Legal Counsel
In our conversation about a company’s legal counsel, it was very clear that Paige and his company’s legal counsel, Jeremy Frey, have an exemplary relationship that benefits the entire organization. Paige discussed that when looking for company counsel, your attorney has to have the basic degree of competency – this may seem common-sensical, but don’t take it for granted. Paige also explained that you want to find an attorney who has the ability to emerge and learn about the business to such a point where the company counsel serves not only as a legal advisor but also as a strategic business advisor. The ideal company counsel has a deep knowledge of the organization: the history, the current challenges, and the company’s direction. Paige’s legal counsel, Jeremy, even described a time when his young son pointed out Legacy Athletic apparel while at Disney World. Paige succinctly put it that, “there’s no substitute from really knowing that specific company’s needs.”
To hear specific advice for law students who want to represent businesses, click here.
Sarah Zomaya, at the time of this post, is a second year law student at Penn State’s Dickinson Law. She is from Southern California and is interested in corporate transactional law. Sarah is currently serving as Vice President of the Business Law Society and as an Associate Editor of the Dickinson Law Review.