Columbus Chamber cbuzz: Jason Ross of JackThreads

It has been a whirlwind of nearly a decade for men’s lifestyle and apparel brand and e-commerce site JackThreads. The retailer has grown from three sales on the day they launched to $80 million in annual sales. And it all started with Columbus entrepreneur Jason Ross.

The fashion and the entrepreneurship thing didn’t really hit Ross until his days at OSU. Seeing the gents around him starting to dress better, he decided he should probably up his game as well. It didn’t take long before Ross went from sort of into it to the guy for fashion. While he had always been on the independent side, the entrepreneurial influence came from an Inc. magazine filled with success stories of young, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and a flyer for an entrepreneurship event at OSU.

During the podcast, Ross shares his journey from devising the business plan for JackThreads in 2006 to taking two-and-a-half years to flip the switch in 2008. Hustling, bootstrapping and an SBA loan, as well as an opportunity at just the right time from a mentor to be a consultant at his business, all played pivotal parts in JackThread’s exponential success.

“He said to me, ‘We’ll bring you on as a consultant, just guarantee me two things,'” Ross says. “‘Guarentee that you will always work at least 20 hours a week’…and he said, ‘Promise me that you will never stop pursuing this business.'”

Ross also shares his experience being part of the newly emerging flash sale industry, and how the space’s eventual heavy-hitters influenced JackThreads. He would receive five offers for the business, eventually going with a little site called Thrillist as a partner.

Listen to the full cast below to hear what’s next for Ross, and don’t miss the entertaining story of JackThread’s first customers.

The Columbus Chamber and CD102.5 have partnered to bring the first business-themed podcast to Columbus. During cbuzz, host and local comedian Dan Swartwout will speak with local business owners and entrepreneurs and allow them to tell their story and highlight their organization, while further inspiring the entrepreneurial spirit that is buzzing in the city.

Want to hear more? Visit columbus.org/resources/podcasts for new podcasts every other week.

To subscribe to cbuzz on iTunes, click here.

To subscribe to cbuzz on Sound Cloud, click here.