“My parents always taught me that my day job would never make me rich; it’d be my homework.” Born in Queens, New York in 1969 and raised by his mother and grandfather, Daymond Garfield John showed an incredible determination to succeed at an early age when, in high school, he balanced a full course load and worked a full time job. Refusing to stop there, John’s entrepreneurial spirit continued to develop as he started a commuter van service after graduation. Shortly after, the young entrepreneur noticed a trend in wool hats among his friends and knew he could make a similar product and slash the $20 price tag in half. He immediately started sewing.
Making 90 hats in a single day, John and his next door neighbor sold the hats for $10 outside the New York Coliseum and made $800 their first day. Immediately recognizing the opportunity, John continued working at Red Lobster and spent his free time sewing his new FUBU label on jerseys, hats and t-shirts. Marketing his product as “For Us, By Us,” he then convinced his longtime friend, legendary hip hop artist LL Cool J to wear a FUBU shirt during a performance. The rapper took it one step further by wearing a hat and incorporating “for us, by us” into a rap while filming a 30-second ad for The Gap. Shortly after, the FUBU brand skyrocketed and John was well on his way to becoming a millionaire at only 23 years old.
Still the CEO of what is now a $6 billion company, the 47-year-old John has seen ongoing success as an entrepreneur, investor, author, motivational speaker and television personality. Known for putting his money where his mouth is as one of the executives on Shark Tank, John has been a huge influence on young entrepreneurs hoping to find similar success. As a matter of fact, he’s invested over $7 million in Shark Tank contestants and their business ventures with his own net worth climbing to $300 million.
Admitting that he blew his first $20 to $30 million without thinking, John says he has “squirreled” away about half his assets into safe investments and allows himself the freedom to play with the other half whether that means he’s buying businesses or other assets that he feels are well worth the risk. With most of his fortune coming through FUBU, his Shark Tank salary and royalties from his many books including The Brand Within, John also earns a hefty penny for his speaking engagements and his Launch Academy clinics he hosts for budding entrepreneurs. Of course, when you compare his $300 million net worth and his annual earnings to the $7 million he spent on his home in Southampton, you’ll see the purchase didn’t break the bank, much less even dent it.
The Shark Tank investor’s home sits on a beautiful, tree-dotted spread of acreage in the upscale coastal village of Southampton, which offers a rural feel with the convenience of the city near the eastern end of Long Island. Although the house isn’t perched on the shore, its views of the countryside are absolutely breathtaking from any room in the home. And, because of its central location, it offers John plenty to do to unwind with local recreation options like Cooper’s Beach on the Atlantic, the Southampton Arts Center, a nearby golf course, dozens of great dining and entertainment options as well as specialty shops and boutiques.
Inside the six-bedroom home, the architecture is quite eclectic and ranges from traditional to contemporary with many believing that the house has seen numerous additions over the years. Some rooms, such as the den with its ornate brick wall, wood plank floors and antique fireplace appear to be at least 100 years old. Others, like the glass-enclosed porch with the modern gas fireplace have clearly been added on or at least overhauled to reflect a more modern aesthetic. Regardless, the property finds an incredibly unique balance of young and old that adds warmth and charm to John’s beautiful estate.
Other signs that John’s Southampton home is older are seen in the rustic, wide-plank wood floors and the thick wood molding and trim seen throughout most rooms. Much of the wood has been painted to match the décor of each individual room stretching across both floors whether it’s the bedrooms, the formal dining room and gourmet kitchen, the library and sitting room or the main floor’s large living room.
As for the outside, the home boasts an enormous outdoor swimming pool that, after doing a double take, looks more like a well-kept pond with its stone exterior, steps and landscaping. A luscious lawn surrounds it with both hardwoods and pines to offer shade and privacy. A gorgeous brick patio, perhaps where John enjoys an Ashton or Alec Bradley cigar on star-filled summer evenings, overlooks the pool and offers a panoramic view of the property. The house’s façade appears to be the traditional painted cedar shake siding, a choice that reflects the classic style of the area.
Now that the world has seen a rare glimpse inside the FUBU founder’s home and the surrounding countryside, the million-dollar question remains, “Who does he share it with?” Despite his prominence in business and his life in the spotlight, John values his privacy especially when it comes to his relationship with his longtime girlfriend. For years, sources like the Daily Mail have reported that “the identity of his longtime partner has never been revealed,” not even after the couple welcomed their first child together, daughter Minka Jagger, last year. However, on September 23, 2016, everything changed when John popped the question on the set of Shark Tank.
“I was a little nervous,” John told US Weekly while showing off Heather’s 9.5 carat engagement ring. “I had to create a speech. I knew a lot of people were looking at me. You know, you never know how someone is going to react, of course. She could always say no, and that’s the first time that I’ve been on the carpet pitching somebody! So, a little nerve-racking, of course.”
Now busy planning a wedding, John is certainly ready to spend his happily ever after with Heather, his daughter and his two older children at his luxurious Southampton estate. We just hope the bride won’t be wearing FUBU for her grand walk down the aisle!