Daymond John is a self-made American millionaire with a massive net worth of $350 million. He is also an author and motivational speaker. John is among the richest investors in the ABC reality TV show Shark Tank. He is famous for founding one of the most popular American hip-hop clothing companies, Fubu.
Are you curious about a multi-millionaire who never went to college? Dive into the inspiring journey of Daymond John. From his humble beginnings to becoming a self-made millionaire. Learn how he built his staggering net worth.
Daymond John’s Biography
Daymond John married his long-time girlfriend, Heather Taras, in 2018. The couple has a daughter, Minka Jagger. Minka is John’s third child. He has two older daughters from his first marriage, Destiny and Yasmeen John. In 2017, he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in stage two. The early diagnostic made it possible for John to undergo a successful surgery.
Daymond Garfield John is an American businessman famous for the apparel company Fubu. The fashion designer and television personality was born on February 23, 1969. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Margot John and Garfield John.
John grew up in Hollis, Queens, with his mother. The parents divorced in 1979, which forced Daymond to start working to support the family. One of his early jobs was distributing flyers at $2 per hour, equivalent to $8 today.
John went to a Catholic school with a program that allowed him to work full-time. He attended classes on an alternating weekly basis.
After high school, John went straight to business instead of college. He started a commuter van service. He also worked at the Red Lobster Restaurant as a table waiter. When John was 16, his mother got a boyfriend, an attorney whom John considered a mentor.
Was Daymond John Poor Growing Up?
Daymond John was raised in the Hollis neighborhood of Queens by a single parent. His father walked out on the family when John was only ten. To sustain the family, his mother had to hustle, working three jobs at a time. Even then, she could not meet all the bills. John remembers when they could not turn on the heat during winter.
To help his mother, John took up odd jobs while in high school. He started working at 10, handing out handbills for $2 an hour.
The first time the self-made millionaire desired wealth was when he encountered hip-hop. The music felt like a movement he wanted to participate in. Since he could not sing or dance to the music, he decided to dress the artists. FUBU was born out of the desire to clothe the hip-hop community.
Daymond John’s Career and Awards
For his work as an entrepreneur, John has received many accolades. He served as an ambassador for underserved entrepreneurs under President Barack Obama. His book, The Power of Broke, was awarded the NAACP Image Award. Other awards include the NAACP Entrepreneur of the Year. He was also awarded Ernst & Young’s New York Entrepreneur of the Year.
- Fubu co-founder and CEO, 1992
- Shark Tank cast and investor, 2009
- The Crow: Wicked Prayer, horror and superhero film, 2013
- Founder and CEO of the Shark Group
- Shopify brand ambassador
Daymond John started his urban apparel company in his mother’s house in Queens. He had fallen in love with hip-hop. The company, whose name is an acronym for For Us By Us, perfectly blended the love for hip-hop and the passion for fashion design.
John’s mother taught him how to sew and allowed him to use her house full-time. She even mortgaged it to raise the $100,000 John needed to start the business. He partnered with Carlton Brown, his next-door neighbor, to sew knock-off wool ski hats. They considered the ones on the market way overpriced at $20. They sold their first batch for $10 per hat, making $800 in a single day.
Their next project was selling t-shirts screen printed with the FUBU logo. They sold the t-shirts at large events in the neighborhood. At this time, John was still waiting tables at Red Lobsters. He kept the job for five years while still running FUBU. He says the day job provided security in case FUBU dipped.
John and Carlton brought their friends J. Alexander Martin and Keith Perrin on board. The team of four designed and branded hockey jerseys with the Fubu logo. The partners added sweatshirts and t-shirts to their consignments, all branded with the FUBU logo.
Take a Look at What Actually Happened to FUBU ? | Shark Tank’s Daymond John:
FUBU loaned their products to hip-hop artists to appear in shows and music videos with. It was a marketing tactic that worked magic, pushing the products to the market. They hoped for endorsements but secured over 30 product placements in music videos.
In 1993, LL Cool J wore a FUBU t-shirt and hat for a promo campaign. Those who knew Cool J in the 1990s can attest that this was a big deal for FUBU. Appearing in The Gap commercial with FUBU skyrocketed the brand’s demand.
At one point in the early 1990s, FUBU received orders exceeding $300,000. John could not meet the production cost. He tried securing a second mortgage on the house but was unsuccessful. 27 banks turned him down. As a last resort, John ran an ad with the New York Times, which secured him a deal with Samsung Textiles.
Within six years of operations, FUBU was making over $350 million in annual revenues. Though its popularity has since diminished, the company made Daymond John rich. It moved him from utter poverty to extreme wealth in less than ten years. To date, FUBU has made over $6 billion in global sales.
John is among the most popular casts and investors in the ABC’s Shark Tank. He was invited by Mark Burnett, the writer and producer of the show, in 2009. On the show, entrepreneurs present their businesses to the sharks for investments. As of 2017, John has invested around $8.5 million through Shark Tank.
Daymond John is also a famed author with many books under his name. He has authored books such as:
- Display of Power
- The Brand Within
- The Power of Broke
- Rise & Grind: Outperform, Outwork, and Outhustle Your Way to a More Successful
- Rewarding Life and Little Daymond Learns to Earn.
Daymond John is also invested in other business ventures. He executive produced the 2005 horror superhero film The Crow: Wicked Prayer. He has been the brand ambassador for Shopify since 2012. Daymond founded a consulting and brand management company called Shark Group. John acts as the Manhattan-based company CEO.
In 2015, John founded the Daymond John’s Success Formula program. It teaches entrepreneurs how to build and grow their businesses from scratch. He renamed the program in 2019 and called it Next Level Success. Next Level Success collaborates with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, which funds two aspiring entrepreneurs through college every year.
Daymond John runs an online training program, Daymond on Demand, which trains entrepreneurs. He is also a public speaker who signed a deal with Audible in 2021.
Building His Brand Recognition
FUBU was John’s exit from poverty. With FUBU, John’s net worth exploded from struggling to survive to $350 million. His tremendous success made him a worthy shark in the ABC reality television show Shark Tank.
When looking back at his journey, John shared a few tips on how he built his brand recognition.
Using Product Placement
One technique Daymond John used to build his brand recognition is embedded marketing. Also known as product placement, this is a technique where a reference to your products is incorporated into another work. These could be films or television programs.
Product placement can create real success in brand recognition, especially for an apparel business like FUBU. Daymond used product placement to make FUBU look huge when it was actually small.
John and his partners at FUBU used their connections to sell FUBU. At one point, he convinced LL Cool J to wear a FUBU t-shirt and hat for a promotional campaign. Cool J was a force to be reckoned with in the 1990s. Having him wear his products was like having a walking backlit billboard.
Other Small Business
Daymond John used small businesses to grow his brand. But it was not in a parasitic way. Using an existing store to expose your brand creates a win-win situation. If your brand, like FUBU, is really good, you benefit by getting free shelving for your products. In return, the store benefits from the customer flow your product creates.
Daymond John has 1.3 million followers on Instagram, 690 followers on X, and 950 Facebook followers.
Facebook: Daymond John
X: Daymond John
Instagram: Daymond John
How Tall Is Daymond John?
Though he appears quite tall, Daymond John is 5’6″ to 5’9″ tall.
How Much Is Fubu Worth Now?
Daymond John started Fubu with minimal capital and grew it to the successful corp it is today. He used his cutting-edge marketing skills to expose FUBU to the world. The company has made over $6 billion in global sales, leaving the founder with a net worth of $350 million.
Who Is the Richest Investor in Abc’s Shark Tank?
Mark Cuban is undoubtedly the richest investor in the ABC reality TV show Shark Tank. The serial entrepreneur has a net worth of $5.1 billion.
Daymond John is a self-made millionaire who has by far proved that college is not the only way. He graduated from high school and started his apparel company, FUBU. He created it from scratch into a multi-billion-dollar corporation.
Besides FUBU, John is a shark in ABC’s Shark Tank. He has invested over $8 million since he joined the show. He is also a bestselling author and public speaker.