HW’s Media Strategists Jamie Hodges and Olympia Shakespeare attended AT&T’s speaker series 28 Days which honors history makers and innovators in Black History at the Apollo Theatre. They caught up with Daymond John (DJ), founder of the clothing line FUBU, and rapper, actor, and activist Common for a short interview.HW: How did you get started in the fashion industry?
DJ: I got started ironically by selling caps on 125th Street right outside of the Apollo Theater. I had stayed up all night at home and sewed my logo on these caps to bring uptown to sell.
HW: What are your rules of success?
DJ: I follow Five Rules of Entrepreneurship that I call SHARK.
S: Set Goals
H: Homework; do your homework and research your business.
A: Amore (Spanish for love); love what you do.
R: Remember your brand (stay true to your audience and what they would want)
K: Keep Trying and never give up.
HW: What message do you want to send to the youth who have dreams of owning their own business?
DJ: My message to them is that it takes the same amount of energy to think small as it does to think big. Always think big and follow SHARK.
Common: At the moment my activism is mainly on a national level although many of the issues are global. I aim to bring awareness to HIV/AIDS almost everywhere I speak or perform, nationally or internationally. I’m blessed with having the platform to reach the youth and educate them on these issues especially in Chicago.