Jason Ross, Founder of JackThreads
Jason Ross has always been the person his friends would turn to for the latest on cool things. And thanks to his Mom, Ross was always a discount shopper. His business, JackThreads.com, "is about everything I'm about, which is cool, cutting edge brands, and products at 40 to 80 percent off retail," says Ross.
JackThreads.com is a flash-sale members-only site that sells streetwear and contemporary clothing for men. "I wrote the business plan and spent two and a half years just working out of my house to get it started," says Ross.
JackThreads.com was not Ross' first business. After graduating from Ohio State University in 2003, he started a sports marketing company with one of his friends. After two years he realized he wasn't passionate about the business and that, "we never wrote a business plan so we didn't understand anything about the market" says Ross.
Ross knew that in his next business, he'd do things differently. He promised himself he'd find an idea he was passionate about, research the market thoroughly, and write a business plan. "I forced myself to write that plan and I think it helped out a ton," says Ross. "Because the more research I did, the more it was so apparent there was a huge opportunity."
Although there are several flash sites now, at the time Ross launched his business, there wasn't one catering to men. Today, JackThreads.com is still serving a very niche audience. Other flash sites, "aren't speaking to the same customer we are speaking too," explains Ross. Customers are 18-to-35-year-old men; the majority are in their mid-20s.
The site launched July 31, 2008 with six brands. Ross named the business JackThreads because Jack is his grandfather's name, and a name that signifies all guys. Threads is slang for clothing and that term fit with the edgier streetwear and contemporary fashion that the business sells. Today the site has more than 450 brands, almost 1 million members, and is on track to post $25 million in revenue this year.
In May of 2010, Thrillist acquired JackThreads.com and Ross says the partnership "gives us a leg up in terms of the audience we have access to on a daily basis."
A mobile application and mobile store will launch on September 1, just in time for back-to-school shopping and the kickoff of the holiday season. "I think the next year is going to be one our biggest growth years just because we are in a good position," says Ross. "We have the team in place to handle significant growth. And we are going for it."