Project description

Business Owner: Matt Allred
Business: J.Bones Clothing
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Meet Matt
Matt Allred is a serial entrepreneur from Salt Lake City, Utah. He’s no stranger to creating a start-up company. At the age of only twenty-six, he is currently on his fourth start-up, J.Bones Clothing, and is finding success.  When I asked him about all his start-ups he responded, “It’s kind of scary each time I spend money on a new business but, it helps better motivate me to get something out of it.”

“I’m not a big fan of working for someone else. It’s not that I can’t work for someone else, I create the most value for those around me and myself when I’m doing my own thing.”

How J. Bones Clothing Got Started
Most people think you need a business loan to start a business. Matt doesn’t believe in waiting for funding. In the past he worked and saved his own money to start a new business idea. He would work full time at a day job and then part-time with his company. In order to give J.Bones Clothing the attention it deserves, he quit his day job to focus on it 100%.

Sit down with Matt for just five minutes and you would feel his passion for his business and genuine interest he has to get to know the people he comes in contact with. Most of the roadblocks he encounters are solved by his connections. For example, when looking for clothing and printing press companies that had the quality he needed (but at a reasonable cost), he was able to get help from a fellow classmate who worked with a clothing and printing company.

When talking with him about J.Bones Clothing, he admits he is frequently asked, “Who (or what) is J.Bones?” No, it’s not one of his nicknames or an alter ego. If you visit the J. Bones Clothing website you’ll notice a tab dedicated to answer this question, stating:

Meet J.Bones, the man behind the brand, the inspiration for everything we do. He is smooth, cool, kind, bona fide, dapper, and just about any other good adjective you could think of. He gets respect, and is loved by all who come across him because he does the same to them. He admires people, and people admire him right back. A true renaissance man that can teach you a thing or two. He is the Rat Pack member that you’ve never hear of. The man, the mystery, the inspiration. 

When I asked if J.Bones is a real person Matt responded, “J.Bones, spelt J-A-Y, is a real person but most of what we know about him is legend. Stories passed down from person-to-person. He is the type of guy that picks up the tab and pays it forward.” The idea of who Jay was is used in the creative process for new clothing articles. Their street wear reflects the modern day style that Jay Bones, the man, would wear—hence the phrase, “J.Bones approved.”

Running J. Bones Clothing
When it comes to being a business owner and running his company, Matt believes in empowering his employees. He stated, “Most people are capable and motivated, but when you rule with an iron fist they can’t creatively approach a problem.” He understands that being the leader doesn’t mean you always have to give the answers—often, by simply asking employees what they think, the answer can lead to creativity and motivation. For the most part, let people be who they are and let them make their own contribution to the business.

Future of J.Bones Clothing
J.Bones Clothing has been around for a little more than a year and has seen great success and response from their consumers. Most of the business comes from setting up at public events where people can see and touch the product. This is because the quality speaks for itself. Matt sees J.Bones Clothing becoming bigger than a table at a concert or promoting products from their website, his goal is to be at several trade shows over the coming year. These trade shows will allow him to get meet, impress, and get purchase orders from retail shops all across the US—taking J. Bones to the next level.

Entrepreneurial Advice
When I asked Matt what advice he would give to entrepreneurs about starting their own business he happily said, “Most people think they need money, resources, or a college diploma. I find you need to do something everyday.—even if it’s only thirty minutes a day. Whatever the amount of time it takes, just get it started.” He added, “You have to be patient, persistent, and you need passion. Some people create a business to sell it, which is fine, but if you don’t have passion you won’t have the grit to finish it out.”

Starting a business is tough. Matt’s done it four times! He is passionate about business—he loves it. Where most people don’t start something because they’re afraid of failure, he is excited about the uncertainty and the possibility of reward that comes from owning your own business. He is a great example of not giving up on the new American dream (doing something you love and getting paid for it).