By Robert Stitt
Daymond John is the founder of FUBU. You might say he knows a thing or two about business. Beyond just growing his own brand, however, John has also taken his acumen and savvy and used it to invest in new ideas on the hit ABC show Shark Tank. His passion for business and understanding of what it takes to succeed has not gone unnoticed.
According to Black Enterprise, John has been selected to become a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship. He will be “working with the White House to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs across the globe, providing opportunities and pathways to capital and skills, and helping to inspire success in others.”
John’s inaugural event is quite a way to kick-off a new venture. He will travel with President Obama to Stanford University for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit to inspire over “700 entrepreneurs from 170 countries and 350 investors.” And, Damond John has an inspirational story….
Growing up poor, he spent his time sewing and dreaming instead of running with the wrong crowd. Hip-hop was in its prime and the tale of the urban streets was making it into the mainstream media. John’s idea of “For Us By Us” was a representation of his community.
John remembers his big break, “I made 40 hats—and my brand FUBU was born. At the time, I didn’t know how to access capital or source material. I didn’t know how to build a business.” What he did know was how to use what he did have. He asked his neighbor, the soon to be mega-star LL Cool J, to wear one of his hats for a photograph. He recalls spending every last dime he had sending that picture out to buyers.
John had a product that met the needs of the people at the right time. Almost instantly he was flooded with orders to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Together with his partners, his home became a clothing factory and FUBU was soon to become a billion dollar piece of cultural history.
Not forgetting where he came from and what it took him to get to where he is at is what allows John to see the potential in other young entrepreneurs. He knows that many of them simply need the break that LL Cool J gave to him.