A Boston area startup, Jegman, hopes to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States using crowdfunding. Jason Eli Glover — the founder whose initials are the basis for the company name — wants to raise $20,000 in 35 days.
“I had to put my money where my mouth is. How can one support the
revitalization of American manufacturing, but yet still continue to produce overseas? It’s hypocrisy,” Glover said.
Using novelty neckwear the Jegman brand encourages people to distinguish themselves from the mundane world of mens business attire.
“I’m just trying to get guys to mix it up,” Glover said. “These guys just look like the Matrix, a bunch of guys in black suits walking around.”
Glover originally planned to manufacture his first collection in the U.S. but the cost was too prohibitive at $15 to $20 extra per unit, he said. Working with the New York based Harry Bachrach, Glover settled for a location outside of Shanghai.
For its second collection of neckwear, Jegman plans to distinguish itself further by raising $20,000 on Kickstarter to bring production to Robert Stewart Inc. in Belleville, NJ, and add that “Made in USA” flag to the back of their products.
“The emotional rush of Kickstarter is something that I didn’t expect. I’m waking up, like, refresh, refresh, refresh,” said Glover. “I’m not gonna lie it’s eating at me right now.”
His campaign has 23 days left and has raised over $3,500 so far. If the campaign misses its $20,000 target, Glover gets none of the funding.
The Somerville resident is getting his product out there using his knowledge about the buying side of menswear from his work at big name stores in New York City like Macy’s, Bloomingdales, and Barney’s.
So far he’s moved more than 3,000 units. Most of that play comes online from the Jegman website, Amazon, design retailer Fab.com, and tie subscription programs Fresh Neck and Tie Society. But Jegman also appears at custom tailoring companies Blank Label and 9Taylors in Boston and Somerville, respectively.
For his part, Glover immediately distinguishes himself as well. “Black dude w/ tie,” reads the text message before our interview. When he shows up for the interview, he’s wearing the “DNA” tie, a 2.5 inch thick, blue and red knit piece in the pattern of a deoxyribonucleic acid readout. But DNA stands instead for “Do Not Assimilate”.
“Although [I’ve got] corporate beginnings, I’m kind of like a corporate anarchist if you will,” Glover said.
The native Texan started Jegman after earning his MBA from Babson College and striking out in the job market. The goal is to continue to manufacture in the U.S. and expand to pocket squares and bow ties (though he’s not sure he’s a fan of bow ties, yet), Glover said.
A perhaps loftier goal is to gain the endorsement of his favorite filmmaker, Wes Andersen, and design a collection based on details from the quirky films.
Glover has tried contacting Anderson a couple of times. He’s still perfecting the letter style used by the 12-year-old Ned Plimpton, Owen Wilson’s character in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
So far, no luck.