Who Is Jack Suits
While brainstorming ideas for our first blog post, it came to our attention that many of our customers probably know close to nothing about the history Jack Suits. Though short, it is a wild tale filled with nachos, bad company names, vanity, potentially cuban cigars, and risk taking – all things you expect in a great business venture. We as a team sat down over dinner and hashed out this totally legit and very professional sounding interview-style blog post for your entertainment. We present to you:
Who Is Jack Suits?
(A very literal interview of the history of us)
Introduce yourselves: Who are you? What’s your role with Jack Suits? What do you like to do in your freetime?
Joey: My “free-time”… good one. I’m Joey Plaskett; owner of Jack Suits, master tailor… I basically run the business and I push things forward. I’ve got about 15 years of experience under my belt and back when I actually had free-time, I would rock climb, cook, and camp with my dog.
Dave: My name is Dave Cline and I am the co-founder of Jack Suits. I write books, play music, and hang with the fam. In terms of Jack Suits, I run the backside of the business. I manage the website and the accounting – basically the things Joey does not want to do so it’s a perfect fit.
How did this whole business start?
Dave: Back in the the springtime of 2015, I was getting married and I always wanted to have a fitted suit for my wedding. I went out to Men’s Warehouse and told them I wanted a suit build for my bod- which, by the way, was a good bod…at the time at least. I remember after we priced it all out, it was around 2000 dollars and as a poor, yet ambitious, college child with goals, I couldn’t afford a 2k suit to get married in. So Joey and I got a plate of nachos from Lone Star and I said, “Joey, there is a need in this industry for quality yet affordable suits”. And Joey, who has a decade plus worth of vanity and experience decided we could just do it ourselves. We knew there had to be a way to make custom suits at an affordable price that even poor college kids can buy. Half an hour later, after reading a book called One Thing, we set our goals for starting the company and we each had our one thing… what was our one thing?
Joey: I don’t remember… but we did that one thing, clearly.
What were the first steps in starting Jack Suits?
Joey: Honestly, I think Dave figured out how to make the website before anything else. And this was before Dave knew how to code. My first thing of business was figuring out where to get my materials and actually secure a distributor.
Was finding a distributor hard?
Joey: So hard. It took me a year before I finalized and secured anything. Dave had already made a website before I ever even finished contracting fabric. We were making suits – just nothing was finalized. In fact: Dave was married in our first ever Jack Suits suit!
Dave: And Joey was my best man in our second ever Jack Suits suit. Trivia for you!
Do either of you have a background in business?
Joey: Nope. I have a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology.
Dave: I have an associates in business but it’s pretty worthless…
What was the most challenging thing about starting a business?
Dave: I don’t think this was as much challenging as it was frustrating but we really struggled with momentum. We wanted to start it quickly but there were a lot of moving pieces to figure out.
Joey: We had a ridiculous goal for the end of the year – large aspirations for sure. There were so many moving pieces that were just totally outside of our control and it just took time. The other limiting factor was that we were doing this with literally zero budget. Our initial investment at the beginning was like…
Dave: …100 bucks? I had to pay for the domain which – side track, was originally called Suits by Fortís (pronounced: for-teese)… It’s latin for like manliness or something.
Joey: Strong. Dapper. Elegant… a lot of things that when you think about a suit it really embodies it well but it’s such an unknown word and everyone thought it was pronounced “fortus”. That was terrible.
Dave: Those were dark days… whose fortus?
So how did you settle on the name Jack Suits?
Joey: We didn’t settle on the name.
Dave: Joey made an executive decision.
Joey: I was driving home one day and I thought to myself. “Wow, I hate that name.” And then I thought Jack Suits would be better because it’s like suits for the everyday Jack! So I called Dave and I told him that I just changed the name of our business to Jack Suits and that was it.
Dave: He was absolutely right on changing it but it was a pain in the butt because we had the domain name and the website build for suitsbyfortis.com and the company was registered under that so we had to redo everything. Our website looked horrible though so it wasn’t a loss.
Joey: We both suck at content.
Dave: It was a great decision to change it.
When did you officially launch Jack Suits?
Joey: We officially launched the business in the fall of 2016 and it was probably an entire month premature. I had been networking previous to the launch but I had a lady contact me and offer me a spot at a bridal show because someone had dropped out. It was money out of our own pockets and it was a big risk but they have paid off in the long run. Bridal shows are a great thing for us.
What was the most exciting thing about launching your business?
Dave: The prospect of solving a need for ourselves as well as for a ton of other people out there that have that exact same need. That for me was really exciting.
Joey: Okay maybe that was Dave’s… I honestly don’t think I was really even excited about it until we started selling suits. And it wasn’t necessarily selling the suit but it was when I delivered them. That first suit – the dude tried it on and he looked so good! That for me was when everything lit up in my brain and I could see that we weren’t just two weird guys trying to start a business. It was a “this is going to work” moment for me. The fittings still remain my favorite part.
What makes Jack Suits unique from other businesses?
Joey: We actually go to our customers. I am not familiar with many other business that go to their customers and create that personal, face-to-face experience that we pride ourselves in.
Dave: Besides the price, people get really excited when they find out that Joey is actually the guy making the suits. The majority of companies out there just mass-produce now so that just adds that much more to the experience because they are meeting the man who is making their suit.
If you could describe Jack Suits in 3 words:
Dave: Modern. Custom. Affordable. It’s the tagline on our website and I believe it is hands down the perfect summary for our business and what we do.
Joey: I legit picked those three words for a reason!
What do you see in the future for Jack Suits?
Dave: Picture this: we just took a taxi from Havana, Cuba to this beach – private beach – and we got two cubans cigars-
Joey: Stop. You’re going to smoke a cuban?
Dave: If I was in Cuba, yeah!
Dave, please. What do you think Joey? What do you see for the future of Jack Suits?
Joey: When people want a suit, I want Jack Suits to be one of those names that people pull up in their minds immediately.
Dave: Name recognition for sure! Everyone who discusses the possibilities for buying a suit would list us up there with the big names.
Joey: I see Jack Suits as a dependable, go-to business for anyone who needs a suit for anything. Everyone wants to look good and knowing that it’s made for you makes you feel good. We would eventually love to grow the company and make it so we can provide suits across the country. But for now, we are just going to make Utah look real good!