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The Breakout

They obsessively designed the coolest cooler. But their brand’s momentum made Yeti’s co-founders fret.
RYAN AND ROY SEIDERS Ryan (left) and Roy Seiders’s frustration with flimsy coolers—you couldn’t stand on one to spot redfish—led them to create the ultra-sturdy Yeti.

By early 2012, almost six years after its founding, Austin-based Yeti Coolers was hitting its stride. The maker of high-end coolers for the hook-and-bullet set had grown to 20 employees and finished the previous year with $29 million in sales, which would earn the company its third consecutive appearance on the Inc. 5000. Roy and Ryan Seiders, the co-founders, had faith in the company they’d bootstrapped,

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