YHP Interviews Jimmy Pemberton, founder of JPEMB Clothing
Hello, how are you today?
I’m doing great ! Started today off with some lucky charms cereal.
When did you start JPEMB clothing?
I started JPEMB clothing in August of 2008.
The name JPEMB, Who named it?
The name is derived from the first letter of my first name and the first four letters of my last name. I had a bunch of names for the company but decided to go with JPEMB because since it was basically a made up word, I could define what it meant to people through the brand.
Can you give us a bit more information about you? And what you do?
Sure.. I’m a 24 year old professional musician/ owner of a clothing line. I truly try to enjoy what I’m doing while I’m doing it. Everyday I’m playing drums or working on something for JPEMB clothing.
What made you go into business?
I went into business basically by accident. One of my best friends would always comment girls on their footwear. So I made him a shirt that said “ I Like Girls in” and had a stiletto heel to finish the statement. I went out with my friend wearing the shirt and girls were storming him just to talk to him about his shirt and show him the heels they had on. Then of course once other guys saw the girls flocking to him they were asking him where he got the attention getting T shirt. JPEMB clothing was born!
Do you feel your age restricts you from certain things in business?
So far I would say no. I find if you present yourself as a professional you will always be treated as one.
How many employees do you have in your business? and how important is it to manage employees effectively?
At the moment I’m still doing it all on my own. But it is almost to the point where I’m going to looking for employees.
How have you coped in this competitive industry, especially during this time of economy downfall?
I’ve been lucky, people seem to really grab onto what I’m putting out there. I also take the best care of my customers possible. I always make sure they are 100% happy with the way their purchase fits.
What are your thoughts about the amount of clothing line coming out? Are you threatened?
I think it’s great that there are tons of lines coming out. I don’t feel threatened at all. I feel everyone does their own thing and it’s really cool to see what others do with the idea of a clothing line. One thing I will say it is a sad thing how much you see the bigger brands rip off some the smaller brands.
Or scared by these events?
The thought of a giant brand stealing a design is sort of scary but that’s why it is important to protect yourself legally with things such as trade marks.
What would you say to young entrepreneurs doubting their belief about starting a business?
I would say give it shot anyway see you how you like it. Worse case you can always get back to the spot you are already in.
What do you think is the most important thing to do before starting a business?
I think the most important thing you can do before you start a business is to do plenty of research along with reach out to people in the field your trying to start a business in for advice.
Who are your role model/influences?
My Friends are by far my biggest influence on JPEMB clothing. They inspire the hell out of me. All the phrases you see on shirts are in some way based on a friend or a group of friends of mine.
What influences you to continue what you’re doing?
My family and friends are very supportive so that definitely helps keep the fire going. Beyond that the idea of being my own boss and not working for someone else is very motivating.
Have you encountered any setbacks so far? How have you coped with it?
I’ve been lucky. The only set back I’ve encountered has been with not having enough money to grow JPEMB clothing as fast as I want to. I coped with it by just telling myself it was ok to grow JPEMB clothing slowly.
Do you do anything else apart from running JPEMB Clothing?
Aside from running JPEMB clothing I’m also a professional drummer/Drum instructor. Drumming has always been my first true passion and I know how lucky I am to be able to keep doing it. For info on my drum career- www.myspace.com/JIMMYPEMBERTON
What do you do in your spare time to relax?
I just like to go hang out. The most relaxing thing to me is just going out to eat with friends.
What’s next for you and the business?
The 2nd half of 2009 is truly going to be an exciting time for JPEMB clothing. Soon I will be launching 3 new designs along with a new website JPEMBCLOTHING.COM. To celebrate there will be two launch parties one in Boston and the other in New York City. I’m just going to keep having fun and see what happens!