By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, MSJ
Daymond John, the For Us By Us (FUBU) ground-breaking clothing line founder and Shark Tank mogul, took time out from his family’s visit to Walt Disney World in Orlando last week to meet with members of the Black Press to share tips and offer advice on becoming a great entrepreneur. John was in town to try out Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, the groundbreaking new attraction inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which opened to the public on December 5.
One of the most ambitious, technologically advanced and immersive experiences in Disney history, the attraction uses multiple ride systems working together to create a seamless story on a cinematic scale. The journey begins aboard a full-size transport shuttle and continues on a nearby Star Destroyer during a thrilling adventure that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. Guests join the Resistance in a climactic battle with the First Order, including a faceoff with Kylo Ren.
A successful investor, John shared his delight with the ride and the Disney property itself, after which he talked about being successful in business within his 80 companies and what he looks for in pitches during ABC’s Shark Tank program.
He said that the worst pitch is from someone who comes with questions and only problems. “You want to do deals with problem solvers,” John said. “You want to see how they are during a crisis and how they deal with that, because you know when times are good, they can only get better.”
When I asked about the young man behind “Mo’s Bows,” Moziah Bridges, John recalled his 2013 pitch to the tank, along with Bridges’ mother. “He reminded me of my mother and myself, but I thought that it was too early to give away any of his company.” The 17-year-old bow tie designer started his company with his grandmother, and he now has international acclaim, is a motivational speaker and has partnered with the NBA to create exclusive bow ties for the basketball teams.
Bridges’ career has taken off full speed, and John has mentored him a bit along the way. However, he confided that business ownership is not an easy task. “An entrepreneur has to get up before everyone, work long hours and never tell anyone if they are having problems,” John said. He shared with the group just who he thinks makes the best entrepreneurs. “Mothers will figure it out. If you are a mother, you have already done the job.”
And any mom or dad who has done the job well and wants to treat themselves or their families to a great, well-planned vacation, there is none better than Walt Disney World.
The new Star Wars attractions bring an experience that is much like being in a Star Wars film (the first one premiered in 1977). Guests can race through the halls of a Star Destroyer or blast across the stars inside the Millennium Falcon in Smugglers Run.
There is a shop where guests can build their own light saber, themed restaurants, musical entertainment by DJ R-3X, Savi’s Workshop, and a spot where guests can even build their own droid. I’ll report more on Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World in an upcoming column. For more information, visit WDWNews.com.
Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., is the Entertainment Editor for the Chicago Crusader newspaper. She is also the author of “Old School Adventures from Englewood–South Side of Chicago.” For book info, [email protected].