Shapiro did not actually study fashion at WashU. He double-majored in finance and history, unaware of his interest in fashion until after graduation when he worked at a startup that collaborated with several retailers. He went on to gain 10+ years of experience in retail, working at name brands such as Gap Inc., Old Navy and American Eagle before founding Fourlaps.
As a St. Louis native now living in New York, Shapiro is excited to see the brand take off in his hometown. He collaborated with STL Style House on Cherokee Street to design Fourlaps’ signature tees. The line’s brightly colored, optimistic designs appeal strongly to Midwestern sentiment: While walking in the Delmar Loop, he even received a compliment on his Fourlaps shirt.
Shapiro designed his clothing to be approachable and heartening. He wanted his garments to not only be wearable but inspirational as well. “Start before you’re ready” is the motivational mantra printed in the hem or waistband of all Fourlaps pieces. It encourages putting your excuses aside and just going for it, applicable to exercise and also life in general.
In terms of his own life, this mantra guided his path to entrepreneurship. Shapiro said he did not feel ready to start his own business—however, once he did, he realized it was worth it. “That’s what it’s all about, moving forward every day, even if you’re just moving a little because it’s just so hard.”
“I was working really hard for other people and I thought, I could use the same amount of time and energy to make a living or to do something that I had always dreamed of,” Shapiro said.
Though Shapiro’s entrepreneurial journey has had its ups and downs, he says it has certainly been worth it.
“It’s not about your first mile,” he said. “It’s about what’s next.”