20/20 Visionaries-To-Watch: Devin Lars

20/20 Visionaries-To-Watch: Devin Lars at Kurieo

It’s with great honor that OBVIOUS Magazine presents: The 2020 Visionaries To Watch. Recipient: Devin Lars at Kurieo.

We intended to highlight the 20/20 Visionaries-to-Watch featuring Devin Lars at Kurieo much earlier in 2020, but we found it wise to hold his story until it felt right to release.

When you think of the word vision, you almost immediately associate that word with sight, your sensory ability. It is something required to turn a thought into innovation. To have vision doesn’t specifically mean the ability to see something physically, but rather an intention or inclination to create change.

At the beginning of 2020, OBVIOUS had intentions of using our vision to create new stories, highlight new outlooks, and continue offering the cutting edge content that our viewers have grown to love over the years.

What started out as a promising new decade quickly turned into a dark age of disorder as COVID-19 became a global threat that altered all of our realities.

Amid the pandemic, the masks of American “justice” started to show themselves more clearly than ever before as an uprising from the Black Lives Matter movements called out the wrongful murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others at the hands of police brutality.

One thing was sure: It clouded our vision.

There needed to be some refocusing of what matters and what messaging #TeamOBVIOUS could provide to its audience that would resonate with something optimistic and hopeful.


The world has now spent more than half of the year enduring the stress of these trying times, yet we can still look towards the people making a difference as a means of inspiration.

There’s no doubt that the individuals selected in this article showcase a tenacity and touch of creativity that has shown the potential for greatness in their lives and for others.

They’ve used their heart and motivation to strive for change and create space for new generations to learn from them.

It is with great honor that OBVIOUS Magazine presents: The 2020 Visionaries To Watch.

20/20 Visionaries: Devin Lars at Kurieo

Why is it important to have resources like ‘The Teeshirt Business,’ a business dedicated to providing young entrepreneurs the knowledge and opportunity to control their creative ventures?

Devin Lars: Simply put, resources are just not always available to everyone. We launched ‘The Teeshirt Business’ to help the next generation of entrepreneurs, but this idea of helping others alongside me or pulling someone up with me at every step is something I’ve always done.

Since the beginning, when I was screen printing, I would help friends who wanted to start clothing brands. In 2012, I started speaking more formally to young entrepreneurs, trying to share what I’ve learned in the hopes that it will help someone achieve their goals.

This is something we should all be doing because there are so many circumstances that prevent access and opportunity from being available to everyone. Often these factors are out of our control.

My goal has always been to help eliminate those barriers.

With my agency, Kurieo, creating ‘The Teeshirt Business,’ I have the opportunity to do that on an even larger scale.

The reality is many people don’t have a close friend or family member who can share the advanced knowledge and insight needed to take a leap and start a business. It’s expensive, risky, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, risk and cost increase exponentially.

I don’t want anyone to give up because they didn’t know the right people or didn’t have an extra $20k+ laying around. I’ve been so lucky to have several people help me throughout my journey, and it’s made a massive difference in my life.

From screen printing in my bedroom, building a manufacturing business, starting Kurieo, and building it to where it is now, working with some of the world’s biggest brands and companies.

We all need help, and a little bit of mentorship can go a long way. I’ve experienced that firsthand.

Why is it important to have resources like ‘The Teeshirt Business,’ a business dedicated to providing young entrepreneurs the knowledge and opportunity to control their creative ventures?

Devin Lars: Simply put, resources are just not always available to everyone. We launched ‘The Teeshirt Business’ to help the next generation of entrepreneurs, but this idea of helping others alongside me or pulling someone up with me at every step is something I’ve always done.

Since the beginning, when I was screen printing, I would help friends who wanted to start clothing brands. In 2012 I started speaking more formally to young entrepreneurs, trying to share what I’ve learned in the hopes that it will help someone achieve their goals.

This is something we should all be doing because there are so many circumstances that prevent access and opportunity from being available to everyone. Often these factors are out of our control.

My goal has always been to help eliminate those barriers. With my agency, Kurieo, creating ‘The Teeshirt Business,’ I have the opportunity to do that on an even larger scale.

The reality is many people don’t have a close friend or family member who can share the advanced knowledge and insight needed to take a leap and start a business. It’s expensive, risky, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, risk and cost increase exponentially.

I don’t want anyone to give up because they didn’t know the right people or didn’t have an extra $20k+ laying around. I’ve been so lucky to have several people help me throughout my journey, and it’s made a massive difference in my life.

From screen printing in my bedroom, building a manufacturing business, starting Kurieo, and building it to where it is now, working with some of the world’s biggest brands and companies.

We all need help, and a little bit of mentorship can go a long way. I’ve experienced that firsthand.

What’s the best way to turn creative endeavors into full-fledged businesses that can thrive in such competitive markets?

Devin Lars: First, lean into technology. We have so much available to us right now that it can be used to your advantage.

It’s never been easier to try something new or test something out. Even scrolling through social platforms like Instagram, you can see all types of small and new businesses advertising, raising awareness, and raising money right away. If you’re creating a product, make a few, see how friends and family respond, then see how a bigger audience responds.

Back in the day, it was ridiculously expensive to access even hundreds of people, let alone millions.

Secondly, take the leap. Some people will tell you you’re crazy, but it’s because they’re scared, and they let that fear hold them back. You have to jump at some point, and when failure knocks you on your butt, you don’t give it all up. You put it under a microscope, figure out what went wrong, how to do better, and realize that what you thought was a failure was learning (there will be a lot of learning!). And it was necessary, because now you know more than when you started, and you’re closer to that goal.

What words of encouragement would you give to the next generation that will follow in your footsteps?

Devin Lars: You get one life. There’s no point to not go after what you want. It’s going to be challenging, hard, and frustrating, but look at progression versus results.

This is what pushed me to keep going watching the progress seeing that we were able to land a vital account or personally improving at delegating.

There are so many achievements in the journey that will go unnoticed if you only have your eye on the ultimate goal, and it can make the path feel more difficult. Those achievements will keep you motivated, and when you’re focusing on the journey, the results will naturally come.

View the entire 20/20 Visionaries List here.


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