Peter Kim of Hudson Jeans | CEOs You Should Know

 

The founder of Hudson Jeans, Peter Kim, joined KFI's Jane Wells to talk about how he went from working for his family's business to building Hudson Jeans into one of the most popular clothing companies in business today.

But Kim says it wasn't an easy path to success.

"I had a lot of trouble with school, and I ended up not doing well in school. I ended up getting into a lot of trouble as a youth," Kim says. "I got written off as you're dumb, you're stupid. I think those things really shaped me to be like 'Well, I just want to be me then.'"

"When I realized I had nothing to lose, it's like, OK, I'll do whatever I want,"

After a year and a half of living in Dallas and going to college at SMU, Kim transferred back to USC where he graduated with a business degree. After finishing school, Kim went to work for his parent's business where he found himself working up to 120 hours a week at the age of 23.

"I'm 23-years-old, I have no idea what I'm doing, and I've been commissioned to fix it," Kim said. "It was one of those defining moments in my life because I was miserable, we were fighting all the time. There was no light at the end of the tunnel. It was like a washing machine that never turned off."

Kim says his epiphany came as he was driving to work one day and got a new perspective on what his parents went through at his age, versus what he had to go through.

"When I started looking at that picture, I was like 'Oh, I'm kinda not feeling so proud of myself right now, at least this isn't so bad,'" Kim says with a chuckle. "Then that shifted into me thinking, 'Well you know what? If I'm going to do this, let's do this and I'll put up the biggest fight anyone has ever seen.'"

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