Earlier this year, Emma Grede made history.
In November, it was reported that the Good American co-founder and CEO joined the cap table of investors on the hit ABC show Shark Tank. The London, England native shared she was especially proud of the feat since she comes from a nontraditional business background.
“I didn’t know anyone growing up who had their own business,” Grede said in an interview with CNBC Make It. “So I really didn’t know what I was getting into.”
At just 26, Grede, now 40, built a entertainment marketing agency, ITB Worldwide and years later worked alongside Kim and Khloe Kardashians to catapult their respective apparel brands to success.
Grede is the daughter of Jenny-Lee Findlay, an English mother who worked for Morgan Stanley and a Jamaican/Trinidadian father. “I was born in East London in England. I was raised by a single mom with very little means — one of four girls,” she stated in a guest profile for Shark Tank. “My mom went out to work every single day, so I played a really big role in raising my sisters.”
“I watched my mom work incredibly hard, and she really taught me that I could do anything so long as you were willing to work really hard for it,” she continued. Gerde’s historic Shark Tank appearance is long overdue.
Despite the show’s over-a-decade run, they have never before featured a Black female investor. Barbara Corcoran, Daymond John and Mark Cuban have served as the lead investors since the show’s premiere in 2009.