At this point, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs is probably better-known for how rich he is than for his music. Unlike many of his peers, he not only has had a successful music career, but many of his business ventures have also been successful as well.
In fact, his well-known partnership with Ciroc vodka has made him so rich that other celebrities call it “making Diddy bread” when a celebrity partners up with an alcohol brand. But, like many other businessmen, Diddy has won some, and he’s also lost some. Here’s a look at the time that Diddy made his own auto parts company, which, unfortunately, failed almost immediately.
Diddy’s SJC Wheels company
In 2005, according to NBC News, Diddy, who was still known as P. Diddy at the time, decided that the best business move for him was to get into the auto parts world. This made a lot of sense as the hip hop world and the car world go really well together.
Indeed, at the time, one of the fads that was sweeping the hip hop world was for cool-looking rims. Diddy probably wanted to cash in on his fame and that fad, and so, he signed a deal with a Kansas City company called Weld Wheel Industries to make his own, custom line of aluminum rims.
This was a 50/50 partnership between Diddy and Weld Wheel Industries, and the two created SJC Wheels to handle and sell these custom rims. Of course, SJC stood for Sean John Combs, which is Diddy’s real name, and it sold Sean John Wheels, the official name for his line of rims.
Here’s what Diddy tried to sell to people
The rims that he was selling were not meant for the average American. Instead, he said that wheels were a fashion statement, and he wanted his wheels to be one, too.
According to NBC News, Diddy said,
“We see an opportunity to bring excitement to the wheel category by delivering the Sean John sophisticated design with the best quality production.”
These Sean John Wheels were aimed at the people who were shopping in the luxury car market. NBC News reported that the custom Diddy wheels cost between $700 to $3,000 each.
While that might seem like a lot of money, it’s even more money considering that those were prices from 15 years ago. When they’re adjusted for inflation, Diddy was trying to sell wheels that cost between $900 and almost $4,000 each.
Diddy’s business partner, Greg Weld, thought that this was a great business opportunity. Weld said that partnering up with Diddy was, “like Nike getting together with Michael Jordan.” Unfortunately for Weld though, it wasn’t like that at all.
It went bankrupt but it didn’t matter
Weld’s company went bankrupt a year later in 2006, according to Tire Review. Weld wanted to partner with Diddy because, according to NBC News, he’d help Weld sell wheels to a new market. That didn’t really happen, though.
In the first six months of 2006, Tire Review said that Weld Wheel Industries had lost over $1 million and was forced to file for bankruptcy. Weld sold the company to American Racing Equipment and that was that.
For the Puff Daddy himself though, things got better really quickly. A year after his deal to make luxury rims turned south, he signed onto another 50/50 partnership, this time with Ciroc vodka. And, as his bank account would show us, it’s been the best business choice that he’s made so far. Now, with so much money to his name, he’s free to try again at new ventures, if he wanted to.