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Perseverance Took Rails From a Pipe Dream to a Global Fashion Phenomenon Founder Jeff Abrams pushed past major setbacks to bring his vision to the world.

By Kristen Aldridge

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Jeff Abrams still remembers the moment his clothing company, Rails, had its first big win. After working for nearly three months on an order of 2,000 shirts for a major retailer, the boxes (which Abrams had hand-labeled) were finally packed, and the trucks were on their way.

Abrams' celebrations were cut short, however, when he received a call informing him that the trucks had been robbed and his clothes were nowhere to be found.

"That was something that I think could've put a lot of people out of business, but I regrouped," Abrams says. "I scrapped my way through it and figured out how to keep moving forward."

Abrams started Rails in 2008 with no technical background in fashion and only a single black hat. After pitching his piece to countless stores around Los Angeles, he finally convinced a friend working at Fred Segal to display it on a trial basis.

As sales started flooding in, Abrams realized he needed to capitalize on the hat's success and quickly launched more California-casual pieces. His signature touch is an innovative fabric blend that has made him a favorite with stars like Matthew McConaughey, Giselle Bündchen and Beyoncé.

More than a decade and many hard-learned lessons later, Rails is a ready-to-wear global phenomenon with sales exceeding $350 million and a presence in 50 countries and 1,500 stores. This spring, the brand will launch its first retail store in New York City.

"I think the journey is the exciting part about this business," says Abrams. "There is no end goal."

In this episode of How Brands Are Born, see how Abrams designed a new future in the fashion industry.

How Brands Are Born is presented by Cardone Ventures, in partnership with Original Stories Media. Learn how Grant Cardone and Brandon Dawson can help your business transform and scale to 10X levels HERE.

Kristen Aldridge

Founder of Original Stories Media, Journalist, Producer and Storyteller

Emmy-winning journalist and brand storytelling expert Kristen Aldridge is founder and CEO of Original Stories Media, a production company that specializes in capturing the origin stories behind the world’s most impactful brands. With over two decades of experience in the media industry, she has created content garnering millions of views for hugely successful platforms including Entrepreneur, ESPN, ABC, CBS, Yahoo!, and SHAPE.

Passionate about all things entrepreneurship, Aldridge created the original digital series How Brands Are Born to shine a light on all the remarkable people changing the world one big, bold dream at a time. Her mission is to help leaders reveal their most authentic selves so they can more effectively unleash their vision, inspire their culture, and bring deep value to the marketplace.

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