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Here's How Jessica Simpson Used Her Home as Collateral to Buy Back and Revive Her Sinking Brand

Despite the brand's popularity, Sequential Brands faced significant financial challenges by 2019, teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.
Cover Image Source: GettyImages/Rob Kim
Cover Image Source: GettyImages/Rob Kim

Jessica Simpson, the renowned singer and entrepreneur, recently shared her journey of reclaiming ownership of her namesake fashion brand. In a bold move, she used her house as collateral to repurchase the company after it faced financial instability due to the impending bankruptcy of the majority shareholder. Alongside her mother, Tina Simpson, Jessica now leads the billion-dollar enterprise independently, per Fox Business, and she's a blazing example of self-reliance and determination.

At the height of her fame in 2005, Jessica Simpson launched the Jessica Simpson Collection in collaboration with the Camuto Group. What initially began as a shoe line quickly expanded into various fashion segments, including clothing, perfume, accessories, and luggage. With 22 licenses under its name, the brand garnered substantial success, solidifying Jessica's position as a prominent figure in the fashion industry.

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In 2015, Sequential Brands acquired the Jessica Simpson Collection, with the Simpsons retaining a 37% stake in the company. Despite the brand's popularity, Sequential Brands faced significant financial challenges by 2019, teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. It was during this tumultuous period that Jessica decided to take matters into her own hands and regain control of her brand.

Unyielding in her commitment to the Jessica Simpson Collection, Jessica made the daring decision to use her home as collateral to buy back the company. Recognizing the potential consequences, she declared, "We either sink with the ship, or we jump and hope to find a lifesaver. And really that lifesaver was ourselves." Her unbreakable bond with her namesake brand and refusal to detach herself from it fueled her determination to pursue this risky endeavor.

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Reflecting on her time under the ownership of Sequential Brands, Jessica expressed her disappointment with the conglomerate's handling of the brand. Sequential Brands underwent frequent leadership changes, cycling through five CEOs and failing to fulfill promises such as global expansion. Furthermore, Jessica found the company's intentions to furlough the majority of their staff during the COVID-19 pandemic disrespectful, cementing her conviction to reclaim her brand's autonomy.

Reacquiring ownership of her fashion empire was not a straightforward path for Jessica. She faced internal battles and confronted her then-business manager, accusing them of lacking faith in her abilities. Eventually, they went their separate ways. To finance the buyback, Jessica liquidated her stock portfolio and even turned to her mother for financial assistance. This turn of events led to a somewhat humorous incident where Jessica found herself waiting for spending authorization from her mother while shopping at Louis Vuitton.

Image Source: GettyImages/Amy Sussman
Image Source: Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Tina Simpson, Jessica's mother, played a pivotal role in her daughter's journey and helped her buy back the remainder of the brand for $54 million in the summer of 2021 as Simpson put her home up for collateral, per Yahoo!Finance. While Tina willingly extended a loan to her daughter, she also emphasized the need for responsible spending. She encouraged Jessica to tighten her belt and reduce extravagance, focusing on paying off the loan to regain complete ownership of the brand. Tina's support and guidance further strengthened the mother-daughter bond and demonstrated their resilience and commitment to success.

With ownership fully restored, Jessica and Tina are ready to chart a new course for the Jessica Simpson Collection. The company secured a $67.5 million loan from Second Avenue Capital Partners in 2022, per New York Post, which will be utilized to launch a haircare line in 2024. This expansion allows them to explore new avenues within the beauty industry and diversify their product offerings. "It’s a real joy and also challenging to work alongside your daughter," revealed Tina while Jessica said, "I know the sky is the limit when my mom, our incredible team and I lock into our customers completely," per People