KSAT Blog: Star of ABC's 'Shark Tank' makes splash in SA

Author: Joanna Benavidez, News Producer, KSAT Blogger, jbenavidez@ksat.com
Published On: Feb 14 2014 04:09:53 AM CST   Updated On: Feb 14 2014 07:50:57 AM CST

Navigating the tricky waters of being one of the nation's most revered entrepreneurs is no easy feat, but for one shark it just comes naturally.

On any given day Daymond John could either be on the set of ABC's hit show "Shark Tank," overseeing his fashion empire or inspiring young entrepreneurs to live their dreams.

I had the chance to meet one-on-one with Daymond while he was in town to speak to students at St. Philip's College on Thursday.

Now, let me tell you this shark doesn't bite, at least not journalists. His warm personality and wide knowledge of the business world makes it easy to see why he was selected to be part of the ABC show. 

The fashion icon made a name for himself appealing to urban culture in the heart of the hip-hop nation, launching the apparel brand FUBU, "For Us By Us," in Queens, New York.

In the early 90's he convinced his childhood friend, LL Cool J to wear a FUBU t-shirt on a promotional campaign. Years later, the company has racked in billions of dollars. But despite being worth an estimated $250 million, Daymond has never forgotten his humble background.

"I credit my upbringing obviously to my mother; my mother is a wonderful woman that instilled a lot of great qualities in me," said Daymond.

It wasn't until long after the turn of the new century, 2009, that Daymond decided to take a leap of faith, signing on as one of five sharks in a new hunting ground -- television. 

"What drew me to Shark Tank is that Mark Burnett, Sony and ABC were visionary in regards to wanting to highlight what they felt was smart programming, a smart show that empowered people as well as gave people education," Daymond recalled.

Clip of video shown at Daymond John presentation

Each week Daymond must decide whether or not to invest in start-up businesses for a stake in that company. Many of those projects have paid off in a big way.

The first was Talbott Teas, which was later sold to Jamba Juice, just months after the owners appeared on "Shark Tank." Another big hit for Daymond was his investment in Mission Belts, belts with no holes. He was wearing the product during his visit, and with a little encouragement from the crowd, did not shy away from showing off the product.

But despite these success stories he stressed that nothing comes easy, "every overnight success has taken 15 years."

I didn't want to ripple any waters, but I wanted to get his take on fellow cast member Mark Cuban. After all many San Antonians aren't big fans of the Dallas Mavericks owner, much of that having to do with his attack on our beloved River Walk.

If you recall Cuban called the river an "'ugly, muddy-watered thing." Although Daymond didn't exactly jump to defend his fellow shark, he did share his thoughts on the matter.

"When you have a certain amount of money and or success in life or you get to a certain age, I don't think you should hold your tongue. I think that if Mark thinks that's what it is, then maybe that's it. And maybe when he said that a couple of politicians may say, hey, maybe we need to clean up the walk."

Want to catch Daymond and all the sharks in action? You can see it right here on KSAT 12 each Friday at 8 p.m.

Images: 'Shark Tank' star visits SA college

Published On: Feb 14 2014 03:58:51 AM CST

Daymond John of ABC's hit show "Shark Tank" visited San Antonio to speak to students at St. Philips College.

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