Did you know FUBU founder and Shark Tank investor Daymond John has investments in these ventures?

BY Ben Ebuka Oji February 15, 2024 11:51 AM EDT
Daymond John
Daymond John. Photo Credit: Subject

Daymond John, renowned for his investment deals on “Shark Tank” and the launching of the clothing brand FUBU (also recognized as For Us, By Us), is a dynamic entrepreneur with a remarkably modest start.

John began exhibiting his entrepreneurship acumen early at 10 when his parents divorced. His initial job involved distributing flyers for a modest sum of $2. However, his entrepreneurial journey commenced in the lively streets of Queens, New York, with the creation of a tie-dye hat, inspired by a music video and crafted with the sewing expertise of his mother.

“We went from middle class to poor,” John told Business Insider. “I became the man of the house and started working at that age.”

During his high school years, he actively engaged in a program that enabled him to balance a full-time job and attend school on a rotating weekly schedule. This experience played a pivotal role in cultivating his entrepreneurial mindset. After high school, he established a commuter van service while simultaneously working as a waiter at Red Lobster.

In the late 1980s, wool ski hats with tied tops were a trend and sold at $20, which John felt to be exorbitant. Determined to offer a more affordable option, he sought the guidance of his mother who taught him how to sew and allowed John to use their family residence as a makeshift workshop, and with his next-door neighbor, they sewed 90 hats.

On the afternoon of March 24, 1989, just after turning 20, John stepped onto a street corner in Queens, New York, with his first batch of handmade hats. It happened to be Good Friday, and John began selling his headwear to pedestrians on the sidewalk.

Within two hours, John had sold $800 worth of hats, priced at $10 each, marking the birth of FUBU, John’s first significant business venture. Over the next decade, with tenacity and commitment, John boasted a $350 million clothing company. However, this success did not come without its fair share of challenges and hardships.

“Honestly, I didn’t think it would ever become anything,” said John.

Within a few decades, FUBU has amassed over $6 billion in global sales. Nevertheless, FUBU represents just one of John’s numerous business endeavors. He has broadened his influence through ventures such as Crown Holder, Kappa USA, Coogi, and Heatherette. Leveraging his business expertise, John has cultivated partnerships with tech industry leaders and achieved success as a Shark Tank investor.

Beyond the corporate realm, John’s philanthropic efforts and mentorship leave a lasting impact, embodying the ethos of “For Us, By Us” (FUBU). Initiating programs like “Daymond John’s Success Formula” (now known as “Next Level Success”), he offers support to aspiring entrepreneurs and grants scholarships to nurture the future generation of business pioneers.

John’s impact is also felt through his best-selling books, which have garnered acclaim from both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. His entrepreneurial achievements have been honored with various accolades, such as Ernst & Young’s New York Entrepreneur of the Year award, the NAACP Entrepreneurs of the Year Award, and an ambassadorial appointment by U.S. President Barack Obama in 2015 to champion underserved entrepreneurs.

His journey from rags to riches symbolizes limitless potential, serving as a testament to resilience, foresight, and practical wisdom. Through his role on Shark Tank, he continues to inspire millions with each pitch, embodying the spirit of perseverance and success.

Below, Blackstars.News delves into various business ventures associated with John, highlighting his diverse and influential business portfolio.


John established FUBU in 1992, initially utilizing his mother’s residence as a workshop. Witnessing her son’s fervor and determined attitude, John’s mother secured a $100,000 loan by mortgaging her home to support his business. In 1994, John and his business partners received a remarkable $300,000 worth of orders from retailers at the Magic fashion trade show in Las Vegas. To manufacture the products, John and his mother wanted to acquire a second mortgage on their house, a strategy that John would later discourage due to the potential risk of losing ownership of their home. Despite facing rejection from approximately 26 banks for a loan, his mother utilized the last of their funds to place an advertisement in The New York Times. This advertisement led to a partnership between FUBU and Samsung Textiles, enabling them to fulfill their orders. Over time, FUBU expanded into a renowned global lifestyle brand. Representing the concept of “For Us, By Us,” FUBU advocates for inclusivity and has achieved an impressive $6 billion in global sales. Its triumph exemplifies the fusion of entrepreneurship and popular music.

Shark Group

John is the CEO of the Manhattan-based Shark Group. In his role as CEO, John places great importance on capitalizing on opportunities and cultivating swift business expansion. With a focus on branding, marketing, and advertising, the Shark Group endeavors to revolutionize the world of entrepreneurship and philanthropy. Their ultimate goal is to drive meaningful change within systems and foster the development of aspiring leaders.

The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)

John is a board member and volunteer for NFTE, an international non-profit organization. NFTE is dedicated to delivering entrepreneurship training and educational initiatives in 12 nations with an emphasis on marginalized communities. John’s dedication to NFTE’s cause is in harmony with the organization’s objective of empowering young individuals with vital entrepreneurial skills and nurturing the leaders of tomorrow.


Bombas, a New York-based apparel brand established in 2013, counts John among its investors. It mostly focuses on T-shirts and socks. Bombas experienced exponential growth following John’s $200,000 investment in Shark Tank in 2014, elevating its total sales from $450,000 in the initial nine months to over $12 million and surpassing $100 million in revenue by 2018. Beyond its commercial achievements, Bombas actively engages in charitable endeavors. For each pair of socks sold, the company pledges to donate a pair to someone in need, resulting in millions of pairs donated to date, emblematic of John’s dedication to impactful and socially conscious ventures.


John’s investment of $500,000 in Spikeball during Season 6 of Shark Tank demonstrated his astute ability to identify promising opportunities. Despite initial challenges with the deal, Spikeball later flourished, demonstrating the resilience and growth opportunities for businesses that are capable of weaving through adversities.


John’s acquisition of a 20 percent stake in Sun-Staches through a $300,000 investment played a pivotal role in the company’s growth, underscoring John’s influence as a vital stakeholder. This strategic partnership paved the way for lucrative licensing agreements with renowned brands such as Nickelodeon and Marvel.


John’s support of Shefit, a groundbreaking fitness apparel brand tailored for women, stands out as a notable highlight in Season 12 of Shark Tank. Through a $300,000 investment securing a 20 percent stake, John not only infused financial resources but also offered strategic counsel, expanding Shefit’s influence and nurturing its development.

FUBU Foundation

Established by John in 1997, the FUBU Foundation directs its efforts toward financing non-profit endeavors aimed at empowering underprivileged youth. By assisting in arts and culture, the foundation strives to alleviate the challenges posed by poverty, racism, and discrimination. With an annual fundraising target of $1 million, the foundation perpetuates the FUBU legacy beyond the realm of fashion.

Bad Ass Helmets

John’s investment of a 50 percent stake in Hells Bells Helmets, a bespoke motorcycle helmet enterprise, showcased his early dedication to pioneering endeavors. The company’s transition to Bad Ass Helmets in July 2021 signifies its sustained triumph, with John retaining a crucial position as both an investor and advisor.