Tell us about yourself! What do you do every day, and what are you passionate about?
Hi! I’m Jonathon and I like when opposites get mixed together. Remixes, mashups, and almond butter on my hamburger. Professionally, I work in marketing for a consumer goods company but have always liked apparel and fashion. I really like the era of three-piece suits, speakeasies, and pocket squares. Oh, and I love tequila.
How did the idea for the Corporate Raider Hooded Blazer come about?
I first started tossing the idea around for a hooded blazer in 2009 after seeing the popularity of the hoodie-under-the-jacket. I liked the look, but it involved far too many layers for me. So I started drawing up some sketches of the hoodie attached to the jacket. However, the real challenge was the jacket itself — particularly getting the collar to look just right. Ultimately, with the help of the Betabrand design team, we sorted it all out.
How did you feel when we developed your design into a prototype?
The Betabrand team revealed the prototype to me via a Google Hangout then sent it overnight for a photo shoot. It’s an incredible feeling to see your idea come to life but actually putting it on for the first time is indescribable. I’ve never had children, but I imagine it’s a similar feeling.
What do you think made your product a success?
Going into the process with a well-fleshed out idea, solid design sketches with plenty of detail, and a willingness to be flexible with some aspects of the design. All of these helped, in my opinion, with the success on the operations side. The blazer was a polarizing item; you either love it or hate it. That really helped with its shareability on social. Both sides were quick to talk about the item, give opinions, and spread it around. No such thing as a bad social media share, right?
How did you promote your blazer?
I tried to take advantage of Betabrand’s community as much as possible. I’d tag Betabrand on Facebook and Twitter, making it easy for them to share my posts with their audience. Getting as many votes in the initial Think Tank round as you can is vital. Everyone that signs up on the site and votes for your item will get update emails from Betabrand. I’d imagine the crowdfunding conversions from these emails are quite good. Beyond that, it’s about using your network, start with friends and get them to share. Use the Betabrand imposed deadlines to your advantage by creating urgency within your network.
What about the process with Betabrand sticks out as most positive?
The enthusiasm from the Betabrand team. I honestly felt that everyone on the team cared about making this item as big of a success as it could be. This includes personal emails about my product from the companies co-founders
Would you recommend the Betabrand ThinkTank to other aspiring designers?
Absolutely. Take a chance and put your design out there, you could be very surprised how well received it is. The Betabrand community has been overwhelmingly positive throughout the process. Stop waiting, submit that design!
What’s next for you and the Betabrand Think Tank?
“What’s Next…?” Ohhh, yes! Betabrand and I have something awesome in the works… I think you’ll like it. I learned a lot from the Hooded Blazer process and am putting those lessons into this item. Keep your eyes peeled for it’s debut.
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