They say experience is a hard teacher, in that you get the test first and lesson afterwards. Greg Selkoe, CEO and founder of mega e-commerce site Karmaloop, is a testament to that. Before the explosive growth of his multi-platform media empire, Greg—who always shared an affinity for fashion, street art and culture—started from the bottom, literally, birthing Karmaloop down in his parents’ basement back in 2000. With no prior business experience, financial struggle weighing on the company and lack of faith from then-potential partners, the Boston native had no choice but to hustle harder—even if it meant playing one-man band.
Through his steadfast commitment to cultivating the culture, business shrewdness and driving leadership, Selkoe has successfully streamlined Karmaloop into the world’s biggest online retailer of streetwear, with an estimated value of almost half a billion dollars. Not bad. Dishing on his tools to the trade, the seasoned entrepreneur speaks to XXL about being persistent, establishing a good rapport with clients and remaining ambitious. This is Respect the Hustle…—Ralph Bristout (@RalphieBlackmon)