Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

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
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.

Latest

This Entrepreneur Maxed Out His Credit Cards to Build a Business That Helps Companies Protect their Data

The president and CEO of Data443 shares how his company secures and manages organizational data wherever it exists.

How This Doctor-Turned-Entrepreneur is Trying to Change the World Through Play

The CEO of In KidZ shares how she's trying to make inclusion a daily part of family life with her culture-focused company.

How to Lead Calmly and Effectively While Your Business Experiences Growth

The co-founder and CEO of Komodor discusses his company's journey and his advice for entrepreneurs who find themselves in the spotlight overnight.

This Meta Leader Has Interviewed More Than 300 Job Candidates. Here are Her Pro Tips to Help You Nail Your Next Job Interview.

Meta's head of Global Environmental, Social, and Governance Business shares her dos and don'ts when it comes to the phases of a job interview.

This No-Code Platform Just Closed a $55.5 Million Round B

The co-founder and CEO of EasySend shares how his company creates digital customer journeys and his advice for entrepreneurs looking to break through the noise.

This SaaS Founder Sold His Business to Oracle for $9.3 Billion

In November 2016, NetSuite was acquired for $9.3 billion. Founder Evan Goldberg explains how it happened.

These Founders Started Their Company With a $300 Investment. They've Now Done $1 Million in Profits.

Watch this exciting episode of 'Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch' to learn about Canadian legging company Rose Buddha and see which hopefuls are able to land investor capital.

This Digital Campaign Celebrates the Fast-Growing Workforce of Web Creators

Elementor's VP of Marketing discusses the company's digital campaign and how web creators fit into the larger creator economy.

Watch the 60-Second Pitch That Landed a $500,000 Investment

Find out which companies impress our investors on another exciting episode of 'Elevator Pitch.'

Why This CEO Believes Entrepreneurship Is as Important to Learn as Geometry

Ayele Shakur shares her bold plan to make entrepreneurship education a requirement for high-school students and explains why business leaders should get on board.

How this Healthcare Entrepreneur is Disrupting the Fertility Space

The Founder and CEO of Inception Fertility shares how his family's road to parenthood inspired a brand that's making fertility treatment more accessible and the patient experience at the heart of what they do.

Discover Entrepreneur Series

Whether you need advice on how to get your business off the ground or you’re just looking for inspiration, our video series have something for everyone. Browse our library below to find a series that speaks to you and your interests.

  • An original series streaming weekly where you can Click-to-Invest while you watch. THEIR JOURNEY. Your decision.
  • Your favorite pitch show is back with new entrepreneurs pitching Entrepreneur's investors.
  • Host Nicole Walters interviews small business founders to discuss their unique challenges and experiences running and growing a business. 
  • Jessica Abo covers the causes people care about, the powerful work they do and how they got to where they are in the first place.
  • Bestselling author, Ben Angel, takes his audience on a journey into the entrepreneurial mind to uncover why we do what we do through his powerful short films and educational videos so you can unleash your ideas and potential.
  • Watch our staff interview top entrepreneurs and report on location in these Entrepreneur.com exclusive videos.