Meet Josh of JJ Suspenders…
Josh Bluman is an entrepreneur with a broad business and marketing background. He has worked with major brands like Hootsuite and 7-Eleven as well as started several boutique e-commerce companies like JJ Suspenders. Josh’s primary expertise lies in growth marketing for startups and it is this skill set that has provided Josh with exposure to this wide variety of businesses, allowing him to learn what does and doesn’t work. His main takeaway? Build a remarkable product, tell your story and the rest will follow.
1. Can you explain to us how the idea for your business came to you and how the whole process kicked off?
Prior to founding JJ Suspenders, my co-founder Jackson and I were already exploring other business ideas. At the time we had a friend’s wedding coming up and noticed there weren’t many options out there for high-quality suspenders. We began thinking this might be the idea we were looking for. We then did some more research, investigating more stores, looking through their suspender collections, and ordering products online from competitors. We found that there really was a great opportunity to create a better quality product and add a lot of value to what seemed like a fairly dated industry that hasn’t changed much over the years. At that point, we started looking at manufacturing options.
2. What were the biggest challenges you faced when bringing the idea to market?
Manufacturing was a big challenge for us but well worth the effort given we now have our own brand and products that we are proud of. Both of us had no prior fashion experience so creating something from scratch was totally new to us, and there was a lot we needed to learn. Throughout the manufacturing process, we found one hurdle after another but this was beneficial to our learning and development. While in the end, it took us a little longer than expected to create our vision for our products, we think it was well worth it because we truly have something that now stands out against the competition.
3. Where do you think good ideas come from and what inspires you?
I think it’s a combination of sources. The first step is to set your criteria. Are you just trying to make money, or do you want the business to be meaningful for you? By choosing an industry and sector you are passionate about, you ensure your motivation to succeed. Once you have determined your priorities you can create your unique criteria which will give you the context to start evaluating your ideas.
4. What are your company’s values and why are these things important to the business?
Honesty, transparency, and taking ‘the long run’ approach. Honesty and transparency facilitate effective communication and allows our team to have hard, but much-needed discussions. And the ‘long run’ approach because we’re not looking for quick wins. There are so many ways to take shortcuts in business and we’ve always found that taking the time and doing things right pays off in the end. Slow and steady wins the race, really.
5. What is next for your brand?
Getting into the wholesale business has been big for us this past year. Our plan is to continue growing this part of our company and then once we have more customers and stores we will continue to source new product ideas that we find are in demand. Until then, we’ll just keep making the best suspenders we can!
6. What one piece of advice would you have for someone just starting out on their business journey or currently going through a setback?
I’ve started several businesses. Some have failed and some have succeeded. So I think that by going into business you have to accept that your first project (or the one you are working on today) might not succeed, and that’s ok because if you keep at it, you eventually will find one that succeeds.
7. What resources and tools do you use to remain productive or up-to-date on industry trends etc?
Software automation has been vital to the success of our business, especially during the startup phase. We use Klaviyo to streamline the process of email marketing. It’s very affordable and allows you to do things like sending trigger emails to customers when they take a certain action on your website.
G Suite for Business is an inexpensive, yet effective, solution for all your business documents, and emails. It’s intuitive and efficient. This is now becoming a standard for businesses around the world.
Trello has been invaluable to our business as we have a virtual team. This software makes it incredibly easy to project manage and collaborate easily with remote staff. It is intuitive and simple to use.
Awesome bumpf about JJ Suspenders
From the suave businesswear of Don Draper to the flamboyant deco style of Jay Gatsby and the contemporary dapper looks served by Harvey Specter, it is clear that modern men are still enthralled and inspired by classic men’s fashion. Suspenders are an iconic men’s accessory synonymous with confidence, power, and hard work.
Suspenders have recently made a come-back in contemporary fashion for men who like to add flair and style to their formal and casual outfits; and we are here to meet those needs. JJSuspenders offers a range of high-quality styles to suit every taste and occasion. For more information about how to incorporate suspenders into your style, check out our comprehensive style guide.
More info on Josh…
Brand Name: JJSuspenders
LinkedIn handle: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshbluman/
Twitter handle: @jjsuspenders
Facebook handle: @jjsuspenders
Instagram handle: @jjsuspenders