Shark Tank

How Daymond John went from selling hats on the street to starting a multi-million dollar business

He gets it from his momma. Daymond John accredits a lot of his success to his mom who worked multiple jobs to put food on the table and was the brains behind the risk that eventually made him famous.

Hailing from Hollis, Queens, John faced a lot of adversity growing up. His neighborhood was hit with the crack epidemic during the 1980's, and many of his friends became drug dealers, some even losing their lives. Daymond was left back in school after spending too much time hanging in the street. His mother remained his one salvation. John says, "she made me feel like I was a special individual, and that I was made for something bigger." That something bigger eventually turned into his clothing label FUBU.

With Queens being at the center of the hip-hop movement, John found his voice through fashion tailored to his community. He started small with hats that brought in huge profits. Later down the road rappers were sporting John's clothes in music videos and on red carpets while Daymond was working as a waiter at Red Lobster just to make ends meet.

After twenty-seven banks rejected John's request for financing, his mom told Daymond to take another mortgage on their house to support the business. This sacrifice turned out to be the best decision for their family as John turned that money into a multi-million dollar business.

No matter how much his fame and fortune grows, John says he will always be just, "a little brown boy from Queens" at heart. The number one thing he wants to instill in people is that if you apply yourself, you can be whoever you want. It also doesn't hurt to have a fantastic mom.

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