Hometown: Batesville, IN
Profession: Owner of Flow for Men (Covington, Ky)
SE: What sparked your interest in the fashion industry and starting a boutique?
Jerod: Travel. Over the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to visit some of the more fashion-forward cities in the U.S. Whether it's New York, Nashville or Chicago, I've found that the men in each city have their own unique style. Before opening the shop, I often asked myself "What is Cincinnati's style?" I could never come up with a definitive answer, so I decided to open a shop that would get the conversation started. My goal is not to help dress every man the same way but to instill confidence in their own style and encourage them to step out of their comfort zone.
SE: What was the first job you started working in fashion?
Jerod: After graduation, I worked as a manager at a hat shop for a short period of time. That was my first and last job in fashion before opening my shop.
SE: How did you come up with the name "Flow" for your shop?
Jerod: The shop is heavily influenced by hip-hop. A man's style and appearance, much like an artist's rhymes, must fit together seamlessly in order to inspire or leave an impression on others. This fit is a gentleman's flow.
|Owner Jerod - third from the left|
SE: Who are your favorite designers?
Jerod: Christopher Bastin (Gant Rugger), Adam Kimmel, Mark McNairy, Tom Ford, and Billy Reid would start for my dream team. I think Frank Muytjens at J. Crew has taken that brand to another level. For more affordable brands, you can't go wrong with Comune, life/after/denim, or Levi's. I know there are probably another dozen I'm leaving out. It's a long list.
SE: What is your go-to outfit?
Jerod: Dark denim, a slim-fitting button down, leather belt, patterned socks, and suede wingtips. Clean and simple.
SE: What has been your favorite part about owning a fashion boutique in Cincinnati?
Jerod: Without a doubt, the people who come by the shop. Many are excited to see something new in the neighborhood and drop in to say hello or wish me good luck. Most of the guys I've talked to are happy to have a place to call their own. There are certainly other advantages to owning your own shop, but I'm not doing this for me.
SE: Cincinnati has a "conservative" reputation when it comes to fashion, do you find that that perception is now changing?
Jerod: It is but slowly. There are certainly pockets within the city where you're more likely to see well-dressed men and women but there are a lot of people in the city who just don't have an interest in fashion and that's okay. I think it's safe to say, however, that Cincinnati is no longer as conservative as it once was and that shift has given people the opportunity to push the envelope in many areas including art, design, and fashion.
SE: Do you have any advice for young, entrepreneurs like yourself who are looking to make an impact in fashion?
Jerod: Although I'd eventually like to make an impact in fashion, I don't think I've done that yet. There are several graduates of DAAP or longtime shop owners in the area who have devoted several years of their lives to the fashion industry. I'm only nine months in at this point. If pressed, I'd tell a young entrepreneur three important things: You learn more by doing; you have to be willing to take chances; and every day is a grind.
SE: What is something you wish you could do more of?
Jerod: Travel, but that will come in time.
SE: What are your goals for your brand, Flow?
Jerod: The goal is to continue to grow the brand and help grow Covington. I have no interest at the moment in opening a second location or moving the shop to a different area. There is a lot to do right here - I'm just getting started.