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HOW SHAUN NEFF BUILT A $100 MILLION BUSINESS OUT OF HIS BACKPACK

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At a design showroom in midtown Manhattan, Shaun Neff is browsing racks of panama hats, fedoras and flower crowns -- the latter of which he calls last summer’s hottest accessory for tween girls across America. “We’re really trying to nail what that next trend is gonna be,” the headwear entrepreneur says. “Is it gonna go more bohemian? Tribal? Feathers?” An assistant has pulled some options: a hair clip strung with suede cords and peacock plume; a gold-leaf Grecian headpiece; electronic extensions that can change their wearers’ hair color. “That one’s kinda dope,” Neff says in his surfer-dude drawl, inspecting the feather barrette. Pinpointing trends is a talent for which Neff, 35, seems to have an uncommon knack. After all, his eponymous company -- which he founded in college selling T-shirts out of a backpack -- has grown into one of the hottest lifestyle brands on the youth market, having grossed well over $100 million in sales to date. Click to read full story