The People’s ‘Shark’ Lands In Jonesboro

(TB&P)– Daymond John had unforeseen problems with his startup clothing business, FUBU. He’d been able to hustle up to $300,000 worth of orders at a trade show in Las Vegas, but when he returned to his New York area home he came to a sudden realization – he had to make $300,000 worth of clothes and he didn’t have the money to make his products. He went to 27 banks and every single one of them turned him down for a loan.

His mother came to his rescue. She took out a $100,000 mortgage on their home, and helped to transform it into a clothing factory. John, who’d passed out fliers in front of a local mall and worked as a waiter at Red Lobster to make money, was starting a business that has now sold more than $6 billion worth of clothes. John is commonly referred to as the “People’s Shark” on the hit television show, Shark Tank.

He was the first speaker in the Mike Watson Lecture series held Wednesday night (Oct. 30) on the Arkansas State University campus. He spoke to a capacity crowd inside Riceland Hall.

“It’s fascinating where business and life are going today,” he said.

Long before his business success and Shark Tank, John grew up in a relatively obscure neighborhood in New York. His parents were working class and there was nothing special about their name or the work his family did, he said.

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