Most of us are familiar with the global clothing brand, Forever 21. With its enormous rise in markets all throughout the world, one may think that the chain of stores was started by a well-off family or group of businessmen. Well, it turns out that that is not the case.
Forever 21 did not start off as Forever 21, but instead, Fashion 21. Founded by South Korea husband and wife team – Do Won Chang and Jin Sook, Fashion 21 was launched in Los Angeles in 1984.
Back in that year, the two were married when they were only 21 years old and soon went to a foreign country in order to live their “American dream”.
As the couple were not able to save up enough cash to sustain living in the US, Do Won Chang started to work jobs like washing plates and even being a gasoline boy.
While he was working in the gasoline station, he noticed that most of the people with nice cars are involved in the fashion business. This gave him the idea that maybe being involved in fashion pays a lot of money.
So together with his wife, they put together all their savings and was able to put up their very first store which they called Fashion 21. Amazingly, the store produced approximately $700,000 during its first year and still remains in the same location to this day.
Since then, Forever 21 has expanded to an international brand, with 480 stores world wide that generates around $3 billion in sales every year. Now, the family manages their stores together with their two lovely daughters.
Surely, success does not come easy but with determination, nothing is truly impossible.
Watch the video of Do Won Chang’s story here: