How Padgett NC is serving Shawn Langton and Kujo Yardwear
“Padgett understood what we were trying to do right from the start, and we hit it off immediately.” - Shawn
Shawn Langton has considered himself a “sneakerhead” since he was a kid, dreaming of working in the shoe industry for as long as he can remember. It just took a pair of soggy old tennis shoes to convince him to take the leap into a new life. In 2018, he launched Kujo Yardwear, a shoe and apparel company geared toward creating comfortable, durable products that can be worn for yard work and landscaping.
While Kujo has enjoyed steady, solid growth, thanks to a popular product and an effective e-commerce strategy, Shawn, who lives near Raleigh, North Carolina, said the company’s previous accountant struggled with communication and failed to provide innovative ideas to drive growth.
Enter Scott Scarano, the owner of a nearby Padgett office whom Shawn found thanks to a collection of great online reviews. The two made an instant connection, with Padgett coming in to provide the payroll, bookkeeping and tax support that ultimately alleviated all those earlier headaches.
We sat down with Shawn for a Q&A session to learn more about his experience starting a company, what inspires him, and what it’s like working with the Padgett NC team.
PADGETT: How did you get the idea to start the company?
SHAWN: Kujo Yardwear started out of personal experience. As a homeowner always mowing my lawn, I would just wear old tennis shoes. My feet would get wet. I would slip on the hills. They weren’t working well, so I was always searching for a better solution, and I hated heavy work boots. I was looking for something light, functional and perfect for yardwork. I couldn’t find anything that worked, so I eventually just said I’m going to create this thing.
PADGETT: So, what’s your working relationship like with Padgett?
SHAWN: It’s great. I’ve been extremely happy and very pleased. The communication is fantastic, and the responsiveness is there. Things always come up and being able to trust Padgett to help takes a big weight off my shoulders. There are so many hats that I wear between inventory, products, sales and customer service, and I do not have an expertise in things like sales tax or prepping for our federal taxes or just how to do our books month-to-month. Working with Padgett has been a lifesaver.
PADGETT: What are some forward-thinking ideas that Padgett has brought to the table?
SHAWN: Before, it seemed like everything was really convoluted. As soon as Matt and Brett from the Padgett NC team really investigated things, they had multiple ideas right away of how we could streamline and simplify. That made a big difference. Now I can get reports way easier, and everything is less complicated.
Another thing is how we calculate our inventory. There were a lot of inventory errors and our cost of goods were always off with our previous firm. Matt had a smart way for us to calculate cost of goods, which gives us tax savings and is an easier way to keep track of everything.
PADGETT: Let's talk about inspiration, suppose you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
SHAWN: Probably Phil Knight from Nike. I read the book Shoe Dog which is his story. I was fascinated by it, how he went overseas to Japan and, in his own words, didn’t know what he was doing but just went after it. It was inspiring to me. I would love to sit down with him and pick his brain on the footwear industry and everything he did to build Nike into the brand it is.
Partnering with Padgett
Thanks to Padgett, Shawn now has the communication and transparency in his financial reporting that was lacking with his previous provider, as well as someone who is adept at using the Xero accounting software that he relies on.
"Getting the financial reports used to be the end goal for Kujo," said Matt Ray with the Padgett office in Raleigh. "We were able to streamline systems to make the financials our starting point. Now we can use that information to help guide Shawn in making the big decisions that make his business more profitable. In a year that was tough for so many businesses, Kujo was able to substantially grow its revenue and bring on additional staff."
Whether you’re doing the landscaping or fashioning the shoes for the landscaper, Padgett’s team of CPAs, Enrolled Agents and tax professionals is ready to go to work for your business.