FUBU: How Daymond John Turned $40 into $6 Billion

Podcast name:

How I Built This

Business name:

FUBU

FUBU is an American apparel brand, created by Daymond John, specializing on clothing prevelant in the New York hip-hop scene, thus inspiring the name FUBU, or For us, by us. With $3,000 in his pocket and  working a job at red lobster, Daymond started by selling his clothing from the trunk of his car. He would buy clothing that was popular in the Hip-Hop community and sew in his label after tearing out the old labels. Unlike companies which did not want to reperesent hip-hop as it had a fairly negative stigma, Daymond used hip hop to promote his clothing. His mother influenced him to start buying fabric and create his own clothing for much cheaper, clothing which was hard to come by yet very popular in the black community. He started by creating hats, then branched out to T-Shirts and went around asking for stores to carry his products. As a kid growing up in inner city Brookyln, Daymond did not have lots of money to finance his brand and as interest grew, so did his need for money  to support it.

Daymond was turned down by 27 banks, and even some loan sharks, as he tried to receive funding for his company after receiving $300,000 worth of orders at a convention which he snuck into.  His mother took out an $100,000 loan on her house in order to support Daymond’s orders and he soon found himself with only $500 of that left after producing $75,000 of the $300,000 order. In desperation, his mother posted a classified ad using $2,000 (all of their money) and was able to gain attention from Samsung textiles. Aware of the popularity of the brand garnered from the hip-hop community, Samsung agreed to manufacture the clothing on the condition that they could do $5,000,000 worth of sales in 3 years. FUBU was able to produce $30,000,000 in 3 months. Daymond went through a long and difficult process to create his brand, and it could have been a bit easier with a background of financial intelligence, yet he persevered through all of it and now has an estimated net worth of around $300 million.

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