Everyday this week I will be featuring independent designers that contribute to the male fashion movement. Today, get identified with 'John-Clifton Victor's company "John Bolé".
How long has your line of custom jewelry been around and what prompted you to start it?
My line of custom jewelry has been around for purchase since May of this year. But I started making jewelry for myself in February of this year. The idea of John Bolé birthed during a trip to New York with one of my best homies and Design Assistant, Zac McBride. We were doing a little shopping and ran across a really nice bracelet ridiculously over-priced. (I’ve always been a “crafty” person wanting to alter different things or re-making it if possible.) So again, the idea of, “What if I could make that” popped in my head. A few months later I actually decided to give that vision a try. I started making my own bracelets solely just for my own personal use. When I would wear them, my peers, along with people I didn’t know, begin to compliment my bracelets a lot and constantly would ask me where I bought them. After telling them that I made it, almost of them would ask me to make them one. After getting that same repeated response, the idea of turning my craft into a profitable business came to me. I took the necessary steps to put my ideas into action and here we are now.
Why did you choose to go with the name “John Bolé” as the product association for your brand?
John Bolé is a partial version of my first and middle name. I wanted to give my brand a self-titled name simply because the brand represents me in every way.
Male accessories are currently a huge market especially bracelets. You tapped into an area that all styles of men can appreciate. When it comes to your designing process, do you customize styles based off the mindset of what you think your customers will like? Or do you solely base it off your personal style?
I definitely try to tap into my clients’ own personal style, while inducing a touch of my
mine to keep the integrity of the brand.
From following your instagram, one can conclude that you have a GREAT sense of personal style. What advice would you have for a guy interested in your product but doesn’t feel he has a great sense of style and may not know how to wear it?
I would suggest for that guy who doesn’t consider himself to be heavily into fashion and or men’s accessories to start off with what I call, “The Beauplicity Collection.” This collection was added to John Bolé specifically for that guy or girl. It’s not as intricate as the other pieces in my line but it yet has a valor of design to capture attention. In the near future I plan to totally revamp my site to where models will show how to wear my pieces exemplifying all styles.
I’m most impressed with your beading combinations. In viewing the detail of your collection, it seems as if your designing style is more centralized on detail. With most of your arrangements, you keep a simple base of like beads and finalize the look with a small yet impactful dose of more extravagant beads or charms. Why have you chosen this route of design?
It’s interesting that you ask that. I’m a recent graduate of Prairie View A&M University School of Architecture. The “simple chic” approach to things started there, in my design studio class. I’ve always taken a literal approach to design rather than the fantasy approach. I’m all about the “pop of…” effect and what the everyday consumer could actually appreciate.
Who is your target market and why did you chose that demographic?
My target market doesn't have a particular demographic, per say. But my market is targeted to that lady or gentleman that loves to accessorize and look dope doing so.
Your site is very clean, professional and gets straight to the point when showcasing your unique product. What is your advice to other entrepreneurs who may lack a polished, customer friendly website like yourself? Why was that so important to you, because it definitely shows?
I would say put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. I always ask myself, if I saw this presented in this way, would I buy it? That pretty much determines the way I do things, considering my resources. This is very important to me because if you wouldn’t support your own brand, who else would?
Take me through the process of brainstorming when coming up with new ideas for your designs. Do you envision a bracelet and then sought out to find its materials, or do you base your designs off what you find when shopping for beads?
I utilize both methods. Ideas for new designs can come in many different ways. But it normally happens all at once in my head, whether if I’m driving, dreaming, or bead shopping. I normally don’t sit and sketch designs, unless the client requests specific beads.
What inspires you?
All things that are shinny inspire me.
Outside of bracelets you also make necklaces that are also featured on your site. Do you have any aspirations in expanding that venture, adding new materials to your current inventory or introducing new products (i.e rings, earrings, brooches, etc)?
In the future, I plan to expand John Bolé to all humanely possible accessories and pet accessories as well. I also plan to venture into clothing at some point.
Do you make custom orders for customers? If so, how does that process work?
Everything within the John Bolé brand is handcrafted by me/ a design assistant.
Would you say your affordable price points reflect the time that goes into making your product? Would you ever consider an increase on your product?
It’s a give a take process. Some things take a bit longer to construct than others. But I use that issue to drive me to increasing the speed of my craftsman-ship. In the future there probably will be a minor price increase, but it won’t be a bank breaking increase. All pricing will fairly benefit the customer as well as the company alike.
What has been your proudest moment thus far in starting your line and where would you like to see it grow?
My proudest moment has been when a homie of mines visited another city and was stopped by another visiting stranger acknowledging the fact that he knew my homie had on a John Bolé bracelet. I want John Bolé to be known Internationally and the sky is the limit!!!
To check out John Bolé's full collection and to inquire about ordering, he can be reached via these outlets:
For Custom Orders: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Business Inquiries: email@example.com
If you have a product that contributes to male fashion or know someone who does, send a media press kit, press release or any helpful information to TheXStylezBlog@gmail.com.
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