Written by Codie Sanchez Baker
Cleveland Hustles w/ Heart
TV Star, Angel Investor, Fashion Mogul and Entrepreneur Dishes His Story
If you’ve watched Lebron James, TV show Cleveland Hustles, if you are a fashion or streetwear savant, or if you play in the realm of angel investing then you probably know my friend, Kumar Arora. If you don’t know him I loved this quote from Inside business magazine on him, “Kumar Arora is cool..” They have a point. He hosts parties at hidden gems through his Black Rose Entertainment. He is a co-owner of the popular streetwear brand Ilthy, and also owns Sunglass brand Rogue eyewear which really lives up to it’s name and is doing some pioneering work with stone glasses.
So if you see Kumar today, with companies that have millions in revenue a year, launching new products constantly, on TV and sites like Inc and Inside Biz, you might not realize that he’s had to grind just like all of us. Some of my favorite parts of this interview are him talking about how he (like many of us in 2008) couldn’t find a gig and so his counselor told him to go make one. And he made multiple.
How he analyzes a company in a way I’ve never heard any other investor contemplate, how he sets small goals which snowball into large ones, and how he systematically created his own empire based solely on the things and people he loves. Also pay attention to the part on the question he always asks in meetings, and the best way he’s ever been pitched for anything. If you are looking for seed money, a mentor, or just how to get more of what you want there are some nuggets here.
Get your popcorn ready.. and your notebook and pen out, or get with the 21st century and open your evernote file, because this guy spits some sage wisdom at us.
Some of the questions we dug into:
Your origin story…. What made you the man you are today, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, founder with companies that rev over $8mm annually, in numerous startups tv star on Cleveland hustles?
When did you decide you wanted to build a company as opposed to be a part of a company?
What drive keeps you going when you are burning the candle on both ends flying back and forth from LA to Cleveland, grinding on your businesses and your brand?
I’ve been struggling lately with the balance of promotion vs creation? What do you do to balance the two?
What is the one thing you believe wholeheartedly that almost no one agrees with you on?
What are you most excited about that you are working on currently? (Spoiler alert it's a kickstarter campaign for epic sunglasses!).