Entrepreneur and investor Daymond John is a staple on “Shark Tank,” but it might surprise many to learn his presence on the hit show resulted from one of the Kardashians.
In an interview with “1010 Wins,” John revealed that in 2008 he was working on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” when he was offered a spot on “Shark Tank.”
The admission has resurfaced on social media recently.
“I was representing all their product integration in their television shows,” John said in the 2016 interview. “I had promised to go on one or two shows, and ABC said, ‘You can’t do any other show but ours.’ And so I passed, initially.”
But when Khloe Kardashian found out that he’d made this decision she took matters into her own hands. Kardashian fired him because she didn’t want to block John’s opportunities. Soon, John saw the benefit of taking on the opportunity, especially as many of his clothing lines were in a financial crisis as a result of the economic downturn in 2008.
John famously founded successful urban clothing brand FUBU back in 1992 and went on to create other clothing lines such as Crown Holder, Kappa USA, Coogi, and Heatherette.
John was instrumental in the Kardashian family becoming fixtures in popular culture. In 2007, John and his former partners at Heatherette placed Kim Kardashian on the runway. Later on, John would support products being placed on their reality show, a move that would position both him and the Kardashians as celebrities.
“I never thought that people would want to look at other people’s lives,” he said in an interview with US Weekly. “So I never thought that the world would take them like they did, and I’m very happy because they deserve it. Very, very hardworking family and I just adore them.”
John has been a judge “Shark Tank” since 2009. Everyone — from contestants to other judges — knows John as an advocate for underrepresented entrepreneurs. Known as “the people’s shark,” John has invested more than $8.5 million in businesses appearing on “Shark Tank.” Businesses such as Bombas and Mission Belt are just some of the brands that have been some of the show’s most successful investment stories.
Restraining Order Won’t Stop John’s Shine
One of the most successful brands to receive an investment from John, Bubbas-Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs, has recently been the center of conflict for John. The Baker family appeared on season 5 of “Shark Tank.” They accepted an offer from John for an investment of $300,000 for 30 percent of their company.
In July, John was awarded a temporary restraining order against the owners of the company — Al “Bubba” Barker, his wife, Sabrina, and their daughter Brittani — who are not allowed to speak about their business experience with John.
The Bakers were asked to remove any social media posts speaking of John and their partnership. The action against the business was a result of the Barkers speaking to the LOs Angeles Times about John and his associates, alleging that they had tried to take their business profits.
John’s Rise To Prominence
John reportedly has a net worth of $350 million. His work as an entrepreneur, television personality, and fashion designer has positioned him to be considered an influencer on budding entrepreneurs.
John, a native of New York, got his start in the fashion business when he launched the urban clothing line FUBU when he was 20 years old. Initially, he sold the items locally, but after LL Cool J wore the company’s hat in a commercial for The Gap, the brand exploded and John ultimately landed a deal with Samsung Textiles. At its peak, the brand earned $350 million in revenue annually.
Since then, John has supported other entrepreneurs through his program, Next Level Success, offering a $1500 annual scholarship to two entrepreneurs. He has also inked a deal with Audible and has authored books such as “Display of Power,” “The Brand Within,” and “The Power of Broke.”