Zappos was founded in 1999 by Nick Swinmurn, who says that his initial inspiration came when he failed to find a pair of brown Airwalks at his local mall. That same year, Swinmurn approached Tony Hsieh and Alfred Lin with the idea of selling shoes online. Hsieh was initially skeptical, and almost deleted Swinmurn's voice mail. After Swinmurn mentioned that "footwear in the US is a 40 billion dollar market and 5% of that is already being sold by paper mail order catalogs," Hsieh and Lin decided to invest $2 million through their investment firm Venture Frogs. The company was officially launched in June 1999, under the domain name "ShoeSite.com."
A few months after its launch, the company's name was changed from ShoeSite to Zappos (a variation of "zapatos," the Spanish word for "shoes") so as not to limit itself to selling only footwear. In January 2000, Venture Frogs invested additional capital, and allowed Zappos to move into their office space. During this time, Hsieh found that he "had the most fun with Zappos" and came on board as co-CEO with Nick Swinmurn. After minimal gross sales in 1999, Zappos brought in $1.6 million in revenue in 2000.
On September 9, 2013, Zappos moved their headquarters from Henderson, Nevada to the former Las Vegas City Hall building in downtown Las Vegas, after an extensive $48 million effort to renovate and make major improvements to the building. CEO Tony Hsieh, who also leads the Downtown Project, an effort to revitalize downtown Las Vegas as a vibrant cultural and economic hotspot, has said he wants "to be in an area where everyone feels like they can hang out all the time and where there's not a huge distinction between working and playing." The move was lauded by Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman who said "this will be a game changer for Southern Nevada. This move will bring about a critical mass of creative persons to the inner core of Las Vegas in addition to causing a significant shot in the arm for the economy and for new jobs.
Begson created a custom 12 foot by 8 foot wallpaper design for the Zappos headquarter’s lobby space. Printing and installation by walls360.