June 1, 2017

This Austin company sells clothes in order to give clothes—and jobs—to the homeless

With 'patience, hope, and hustle' Tim and Agata Scott built Mitscoots Outfitters after witnessing a need in their community.

With every piece of clothing they sell, Mitscoots gives an equal-quality item to someone in need. The company also employs the transitioning homeless. Photo courtesy of Mitscoots

For years we had been volunteering our time with the homeless community while going to school. We consistently came across individuals in need and sadly didn’t have a way to help. We always brought enough food and water but were constantly running out of hand-me-down clothing items like socks, beanies, scarves, gloves, and accessories. It was unreal to see such demand for many of the basics. Tim, having just gotten out of the military, was driven crazy witnessing the need for help and having no way to fix it. So, we set out to find a company that might be willing to donate items to us so that we could give them out to individuals in need.

Sad to say it was a lot harder than we expected. So, we decided to make the company ourselves.

What started as a crowdfunding project turned into an Austin, Texas-based clothing company on a mission to outfit and employ individuals transitioning out of homelessness. Originally, we started with the one-for-one concept, but as the company grew we saw tons of employment opportunities. We looked around and realized we had an amazing and underutilized workforce that could become the cornerstone for our company.

If we hire, we hope to address one of the core issues of homelessness: the ability to earn.

For every item that’s purchased through Mitscoots Outfitters online or through our 200-plus retail partners, we donate an equal-quality item to someone in need. Hat-for-hat, gloves-for-gloves, socks-for-socks. To take it to the next level, we employ individuals transitioning out of homelessness. They are key in getting our goods packaged up, branded and sent out all over the world. If we hire, we hope to address one of the core issues of homelessness: the ability to earn.

Three things that we’ve learned through our journey are patience, hope, and hustle.

    1. Being co-founders and married comes with a number of unique struggles for a startup. That’s where we’ve learned the most patience. Not just for our company to come into itself, but for us to work together and grow together into better leaders. Case in point, we’ve been in debate about how to write this editorial. So, having the patience to learn the hard lessons and become a better person and leader is essential.

    2. Having a company that offers a second chance to many individuals that thought their chances had run out is the truest test of hope we’ve come across. Not everyone that walks through our door has grown up with a passion for the clothing industry. But, they have developed a personal drive and hope for a better tomorrow. We are beyond lucky to be the mechanism by which they can get there. Have the hope that guides your dream to the place it could be and not just where it is.

    3. As we’re sure most entrepreneurs have learned and heard a thousand times, hustle is key. We built a veteran-owned, U.S.-made, philanthropic, eco-conscious company with the foundation to lift others out of poverty while making a great product. We wish we could say that was enough to end up on The Today Show. The truth is, you’ve got earn those few fleeting moments that people take out of their busy lives by making something that is worth talking about and then hustle to tell the world about it.

We’ve seen that success can start from a number of different places and perspectives. The common traits we’ve seen that connect that success and that can come from anyone are patience, hope, and hustle.

Tim and Agata Scott

Co-founders of Mitscoots

Tim and Agata Scott cofounded Mitscoots, an Austin-based clothing company on a mission to outfit and employ individuals transitioning out of homelessness.
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