Chip Wilson has a net worth of $2.9 billion. He is a Canadian who was raised in San Diego and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. In 1979 out of Vancouver, he started his first business, Westbeach Sports, a sportswear company that features surf, skate and snowboarding. Wilson and his parents were sports enthusiasts and he spent his time between Canada and California. He started bring up surf and skate clothing to Canada in the 1970s, where baggy skate and surf fashion was never seen and 70s fashion was still a tighter fit. He got a job working on the Alaska pipeline when he was 19 and made $100k, which paid for his university education, a home and to start up Westbeach Sports.
He ran Westbeach Sports from 1979 until 1997 as a three way partnership, see success in Vancouver and much stronger success in the Japanese market. Starting with surf and skate, Westbeach turned to the rising popularity of snowboarding in the 90s, which contributed to their strong sales in Japan. In 1997, Wilson saw the trends fading that Westbeach thrived on, so he sold his part of the business.
The next year, while thinking of his next entrepreneurial venture, he started taking yoga classes. He was drawn to it for its mental and physical benefits and a great athletic activity for people as they age. He saw the growing popularity of yoga and the fact that there was no specialized clothing for it. He set forth to create a line of clothing and fashion designed for yoga. In 1998, he launched Lululemon Athletica in Kitsilano, a trendy beachside neighbourhood of Vancouver, where yoga was picking up as a popular workout. His first store shared its space with a yoga studio, which helped both grow his brand and the appeal of yoga.
Lululemon clothing is now common for casual wear and other forms or exercise with its form-fitting spandex-like "Luon" or comfortable looser clothing. "Luon" is Lululemon's signature fabric that is made from nylon and Lycra that is presrunk and moisture wicking, with a version with anti micro-bacterial properties.
In 2005, Chip Wilson sold 48% of Lululemon to Advent International, a U.S. private equity firm for $225, with Chip Wilson received $100 million personally from the deal. In May 2007, Lululemon made its initial public offering. Sales, stocks and revenue have grown ever since, with revenues reaching $452 million in 2010. On the Nasdaq stock market, Lululemon's shares were worth $4.50 us in early 2009 and as of July 2011, have grown immensely to $121.70. Lululemon operates 142 stores across Canada, the United States and Australia.