Ankit Jain worked in his father's retail business in India before moving to the U.S. at age 17. After earning two degrees in computer science, a continuing struggle to find a perfect pair of headphones inspired Jain to design his own.
For the first few years, Jain designed personal tech accessories on his own. "I had thrown out the couches and the TV," he says in an interview with the Sun Sentinel, and worked on a borrowed table. Today, Ankit is a fashion house designing more than 20 different categories of home decor and personal technology products.
"We started with $20,000," Jain says of the year he quit his job to launch his company. "We met Herb Douglas, and revenues jumped to 500,000, and the year after that jumped to a million dollars."
Jain now manages a team of six, and his company's products are sold in more than 10,000 stores worldwide, including Anthropologie, Nasty Gal and Nordstrom. In 2014, the company expanded to offer additional home decor products, including throw pillows manufactured at a Miami-area factory.
Jain was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014 by the South Palm Beach chapter of SCORE, where Jain works with mentor Herb Douglas.
"You don't know enough to do it by yourself," Jain advises aspiring entrepreneurs. "Team up with a great mentor at SCORE. They have an amazing staff and they will help you achieve your dream."