The phrase “For Us By Us” worked its way into the black entrepreneur lexicon when legendary hip-hop artist, LL COOL J filmed a GAP commercial and stated the phrase while sporting a baseball cap that said “FUBU.” Without the large popular clothing company realizing that the essence of free marketing and advertising was done under their nose just set the tone for the success of the fledging company started by four men from Queens. This took place in 1992 and more than 30 years later, the company is still in business and one of the founders, J. Alexander Martin is willing to give you the keys by telling you “The Strength of “For Us By Us.”
The fashion extraordinaire has just released his third book, titled, “The Strength of For Us By Us “The Secret to The Success” in hopes of leading many others down their path to successful entrepreneurship. I got the chance to speak to Martin to discuss the merits of the latest tome and why you should purchase the book to assist in becoming successful.
He expresses the time was right for the book to come out with all the political and racial strife taking place and it’s time for us, as a people to come together.
“I think in these times, politically with the right and the left and you know, race relations and things, are just fueling, you know us as a people, I think it’s time for us to just really just kind of reflect on each other and come together. In this book, I found a lot of examples of people who harness the power of togetherness, the power of respecting each other and coming together for a common goal. Again with FUBU and how we have grown from selling a hat to over 6 billion in sales and countless awards and museums and being in the museums and history books. It’s like, who got us here? The people got us. The culture that is here, us coming together or people supporting each other and us supporting each other, all you guys got us here and that’s really what the book’s about.”
Martin also explains that a community or even a brotherhood can help “us” succeed when we are all working together for a common cause.
“You being a black man, I being a black man, I reach out to you and say I have something new. The first thing you do is call me. Listen, when do you want to do a quick interview? Now you have the power. I have the book, but we’re coming together. That’s the secret. A lot of people don’t understand that. That’s what that is. It’s our secret. How have we been successful for so many years? Right. We don’t know. We just think it’s not us. We think it’s, you know it’s an individual thing. No, it’s the power of us coming together, and helping each other. And help and not look down or bring the crabs in the barrel situation.”
Although the fashion brand has been around for almost 32 years, the importance of brand extension is not lost on the four individuals who started the company. You can check out Daymond John’s “Shark Tank” at any given time on cable, while Keith C. Perrin is running FUBU Radio and Carlton Brown is ramping up the FUBU Hotel business. Martin? He’s building on the streaming network, For Us By Us which has been in existence since 2015 (As well as a recent partnership, a record label, and a publishing deal with BMG).
Martin is the quintessential entrepreneur that we all can and should learn from. Although he didn’t go into detail, he did allow me to be privy to bigger things on the horizon for him and FUBU, including a major studio being done as you read. Reading the book can place you ahead of those who don’t and the valuable lessons learned is coming from an accomplished expert.
J. Alexander Martin Wants To Give You The Secret To Success