#4: The Sale of Phat Farm
At first, no one believed that Russell Simmons’ Phat Farm clothing line would succeed, not even his own partners, who begged Russell to sell the company or buy them out. Simmons would continue to pump his own money into Phat Farm throughout the ’90s, through his manufacturer’s bankruptcy, late shipments, and rejections by department store chain buyers.
Finally, in the ’00s, Simmons got his financial house in order, and Phat Farm started to make money. The department stores opened their doors. The crown jewel of the clothing company was, ironically not Phat Farm itself, but a sales mark originally designated for an infant clothing offshoot called Baby Phat, that Simmons’ wife, Kimora Lee, transformed into a young women’s line. With the combined success of Phat Farm and Baby Phat, Simmons was able to sell his company to Kellwood in 2004 for $140 million.