Fossil was founded in 1984 as Overseas Products International and the second business effort by Tom Kartsotis. Kartsotis operated a ticket brokerage business in his early twenties that gave him fame and wealth but wanted something new after a few years. His brother Kosta suggested Tom to import fashion watches for a reasonable price, made in the far east. Tom withdrew his savings and sold half of the ticket brokerage business to start his new enterprise. He flew to Hong Kong and hired a manufacturer to produce 1.500 watches and sold them in the United States to stores and boutiques. A new company, Overseas Products International, was born.
At age 24, Kartsotis hired Lynne Stafford (who later became his wife) as designer and created the “retro” design style that made the company grow in the 1980’s and 1990’s. They were inspired by nostalgic advertisements in fashion magazines of the 1930’s – 1950’s for designing new watches which became a huge success. In 1987 the company became Fossil. Inc. and in 1989 they began to package their watches in tin and wooden boxes which made the nostalgic look of Fossil watches stronger.
In 1990 the company expanded their product line with leather goods, sunglasses and jewelry and went international and they became one of the most populair watch brands worldwide.