Nothing is forever except Heaven, as the owners of Forever 21 are discovering.
After trail-blazing fast fashion for three decades, Do Won and Jin Chang’s clothing stores made them billionaires but are now in the throes of bankruptcy.
The couple is strong in faith and their brand proudly prints “John 3:16” on the bottom of every bag as a witness for Christ. But now the chain is struggling for its economic existence.
Do Won, or simply “Don,” immigrated to America in 1981 because opportunities in South Korea were limited. Ambitious and willing to work hard, Chang immediately got three jobs in Los Angeles: dish washer at a coffee shop, janitor at office buildings and attendant at a gas station.
While pumping gas, BMWs and Mercedes Benzes caught his eye. “I noticed the people who drove the nicest cars were all in the garment business,” Don told the Los Angeles Times.
He and his wife, Jin Sook, opened their first store in 1984 in a Highland Park neighborhood of LA with the strategy of piling high and selling cheap.
Making it in the fashion industry is about as tough as succeeding as an artist or a movie star, but the Changs perfected the technique of making the latest red carpet outfits show up instantly on their shelves, and their business exploded to 800 stores in 50 countries with $4 billion in annual sales.
“I came here with almost nothing and I’ll always have a grateful heart toward America for the opportunities that it’s provided me,” he said in Forbes.
While they succeeded wildly and moved into Beverly Hills, the couple — with their two daughters — remained steadfast in their Christian convictions. They prayed everyday at 5:00 a.m. at their church and went on mission trips to Afghanistan, India and Pakistan. Read the rest Christian Forever 21.
Posted in Christian, christian business, Christian family, Christian living, Christian ministry, Christian service, Christianity, Christianity in action, fashion, Financial Talk, Jesus, korea, koreans, south korean
Tagged bankruptcy, business, business for Jesus, Do Won Chang, fast fashion, Forever 21, Jin Sook, Linda Chang
You have to believe you’ll fly if you’re going to leap out into the open space at height.
Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. — Isaiah 40:31 NIV.
Only the brave meet success. For fear of falling (failing), some become chickens, turkeys and penguins.
Don’t be ground-bound. Try to fly.
On dirt fields, he taught me. He was patient, hard-working, demanding, tireless. He almost always won, often coming from behind.
Like he fought on the field, so in the church. Mario always invited youths to know God.
No matter how many goals he goes down, Mario Ajcip never despairs. The Guatemalan patiently works to improve his team and to remount the score and win. Sometimes he yells at his teammates, demanding output.
Since learning to play from him some 10 years ago, I now know that his is an extraordinary characteristic. I have played, coached and watched teams that become despondent and give up. If they go down two goals, they anguish and pray for the final whistle to hurry so they can scurry off the field of humiliation. Soccer is low scoring, so when you’re down a few, commentators say it’s over.
Well, I learned from Mario. It’s never over!
I don’t care what troubles your facing now (economical, marital, prodigal), it ain’t over till you’re dead. SOOOOO, keep fighting. Keep kicking that ball, connect passes, set up goals, defend staunchly. Don’t just retreat into your half and try to limit goals against, run the counter-attack! And yell at yourself for having a give-up attitude.
The title of the blog, of course, comes from Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who inspired Britain to stand alone against the monolithic Axis Powers in World War II, when France and all other resistance had been crushed. We have need to remember his motto today. Keep believing, keep working, keep praying.
Posted in Financial Talk
Tagged axis powers, business, Christianity, Faith, God, Jesus, never give up, persevere, persistence, pray, sports, stick-to-itiveness, winning attitude, Winston Churchill, World War II
It’s easier to get freed from slavery than to free your mind from slavery. Just look at the 23 kajillion times the Israelite former slaves complained about being freed from slavery and wanted to go back to slavery in Egypt.
When you see that, you realize how extraordinary was the life of Booker T. Washington. He was born in slavery, but his mind soared far away from his oppressed beginnings to the launching of the black higher institution of learning Tuskegee Institute. He literally built it out of bricks of clay made by the first students.
Freed by the end of Civil War, Washington moved to West Virginia where he worked in salt furnaces and coal mines to cost his education. An indefatigable leader, he took the reins of the fledgling Tuskegee and drove it relentlessly into prominence. Thousands of blacks, who were refused admittance at “white” institutions, graduated from Tuskegee.
A dynamic orator, resourceful, a master deal-maker, Washington wheedled and cajoled finances and genius for his institution. The stand-out scientist George Washington Carver was persuaded to join Tuskegee and, when Thomas Edison would entice him away, to stay.
To overcome insurmountable odds, to triumph through wit, wisdom and work, to line up allies and disarm enemies all in the service of a greater cause, this is the remarkable legacy of the man who remains an inspiration for generations. To live only for self is such a waste when you could do so much good.
Posted in inspiration
Tagged black history, Booker T Washington, business, Christianity, Christmas, Faith, George Washington Carver, God, Jesus, life, lifestyle, motivation, National, Slavery, success, Thomas Edison, Tuskegee University, West Virginia