“My house was our office and warehouse over the first year until semi-trucks started showing up on my cul-de-sac. At that point, I realized that we had outgrown my house,” said Jason Ross, founder and CEO of Jackthreads.com, an online retailer of discounted streetwear and contemporary brands.
When you launch a company, your hard work seems endless until all of a sudden you strike gold. When you hit your initial peak in business, you often wonder where the growth, revenue and customers had been hiding all along. You soon realize the late nights and setbacks were all worth it.
Running a startup presents many challenges that soon evolve into opportunities. Learn how Ross became a thriving online retailer with no experience or industry connections and why passion is the key ingredient for success.
Founder: Jason Ross, 29
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Startup Year: 2008
Startup Costs: $50,000 – $100,000
How I Got Started:
I’ve always been into having cool things. I realized there was no outlet for the types of brands I was interested in to sell their close-out merchandise. The private shopping club model was taking off in Europe, so I set out to bring it to the United States. My goal was to apply the same business model to a niche demographic of 18 – 35-year-old males looking for better streetwear and contemporary brands at discounted prices.
I launched Jackthreads in the master bedroom of my house in Columbus, OH. The house was our office and warehouse over the first year until semi-trucks started showing up on my cul-de-sac. At that point, I realized that we had outgrown my house, so we moved the warehouse to a friend’s space about 20 minutes away and kept the office at the house. Eventually, we found a large enough space to house our office and warehouse under one roof, so we could focus on growth.
Best Success Story:
One of my proudest moments was the day Jackthreads went live. The website was a mess and wasn’t accepting credit card payments, but I decided to launch anyway because I had been working on this for 2 ½ years and wanted to get the business going.
On day one, we hosted sales with 6 brands, and managed to acquire several hundred members, and sold 3 items. About three months after the launch we started to really gain traction, and I felt like we were onto something big.
Biggest Startup Challenge:
The greatest startup challenge I faced was during Jackthreads’ infancy. We were in our first 2 ½ years and I was trying to break into the fashion and e-commerce industry without prior experience and zero connections. Simultaneously I was trying to build a website and find ways to drive traffic to Jackthreads.
Every day was a struggle, but I made myself a promise that no matter what barriers or roadblocks we faced I would find a way around them. Overcoming those three things was key to our success.
#1 Tip for New Entrepreneurs:
My number one tip for the entrepreneurs of tomorrow is to create something you’re passionate about. It is hard to start a company, let alone a company where you don’t truly love what you’re doing. You have to love what you do every day, and you have to be passionate about it.
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