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From Rags to Riches: A Real-life Fashion Story

From Rags to Riches: A Real-life Fashion Story

The dream is real, but the hustle is sold separately! And this is exactly the case for the husband-and-wife duo, Jin Sook and Do Won Chang, the founders of Forever 21. From pumping gas to a billion dollar empire.

Owners of Forever 21
Founders of Forever 21

Forever 21 is considered one of the most preferred and familiar retailers for the frugal fashionista. But did you know that this fashion retailer earns at least $6 billion in sales from over 600 stores? Can you say “cha-ching”? But the road to success for this fashion empire wasn’t always a success, literally a rags to riches situation.

The Chang’s, left South Korea and headed to Los Angeles, with no money, no degrees, and speaking very little English language, but were hard-working and determined to be successful.  While being a gas attendant, Don realized that all the folks who worked in the retail industry drove nice cars, and all worked in the Los Angeles Fashion District, and he wanted a piece of American Dream. So from doing his research and saving his coins, Forever 21 was started in a 900 square foot space and the rest is history. The first year of operation, Forever 21 raked in $700,000 in sales – which is quite outstanding.

Forever 21 main office in Los Angeles

By economically pricing their fashion friendly designs, Forever 21 has been able to attract and sustain steady clientele for approximately 33 years by selling apparel for girls, women, men and even also branching out with accessories and beauty products too.

To this day, Forever 21 is still a family affair and operated by Jin and Do which compliments them perfectly; Mrs. Chang approves the designs and Mr. Chang focuses on continuing to have the fastest fashion chain in the apparel industry. Also, their two daughters, joined the family business and handles the marketing.

forever 21 display

So, with passion and challenging oneself, no matter where are you from, any dream can become a reality.

Shop www.forever21.com to find a local store near you.


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