Glenn Schlossberg is an entrepreneur, a business mogul, and an inventor who constantly reinvents both his product as well as his methods of efficiency to achieve ultimate financial success in a fickle industry. Clothing designer and producer, Schlossberg’s humble beginnings came from spending hours in his father’s dress factory learning the trade from the ground up.
As he became familiar with each step of creating and constructing a garment, he believed he could do better. Without formal education, Glenn Schlossberg launched Jump, a brand dedicated to providing young women with formal wear for homecoming or prom. Thirty years later, and with the addition of ten more labels, Schlossberg has proven time and again that his ingenuity, his ability to read and predict trends, and his insight into an evolving industry maintain his success when other brands have long fallen away.
“When I was 26 years old, I was able to land my first major account with a little store called Montgomery Ward. It was a million dollar account. I remember thinking, when I got the check, Wow. I’m going to make it,” says Glenn Schlossberg when asked about catching his first big break.
Glenn Schlossberg and His Need for Speed
Schlossberg credits much of his success to his need for speed.
“I wanted the speed to shelf. I saw the need to be on-trend in the market, to be able to test our products, and as they sold well to take re-orders quickly–two, three, four re-orders during a single season,” he explains. When my competitors were making product abroad, and they sold out here, they couldn’t get back onto the shelves in time. We have developed a 21-day turnaround, from concept to shelf. I believe we’re one of the fastest in the industry.”
His passion for speed isn’t limited of course to his design, his product turnaround, or even his business. He goes beyond the factory floor and out into some of the most elite driving and motocross facilities to find that passion for going as fast as he can. A collector of all things motocross, motorcycle, and MacClerans, Schlossberg pushes himself on private race tracks all over the world to beat his own time.
When it comes to both his racing and his business, his need for speed cannot be satisfied, and he’s always looking for ways to improve his brand, to capitalize on moving trends within the industry, and how to streamline the process of design to the consumer.
“After manufacturing more than 100 Million garments in my career, I have a good sense of what sells and what doesn’t sell and what women want and what women wear,” Schlossberg explains.
“And then I’m also probably the ultimate sales manager. The combination of my merchandising abilities and my sales abilities have given me continued success over the years.
How Time and Experience Influenced Schlossberg’s Choices
Glenn Schlossberg has a cunning eye for detail and fabric as well as for spotting trends long before they make their ways to a consumer’s wish list. This passion for fashion takes him all over the world, particularly to China and Korea to explore unique fabrics, design, and source inspiration for clothing for his designs.
Nearly 30 years ago he began Jump with a focus on cotton Lycra fabrics because of the stretchy quality (which also inspired him to name the company Jump). Within a few months, cotton Lycra was firmly off trend and Schlossberg used his instincts and research to uncover that Junior Dresses had strong sales. He quickly learned how to make these dresses and scratched everything Jump related to focus solely on a Junior dress division.
This pattern of spotting trends and striking while the iron was hot would continue as he explored a plus size division, “A customer told me he wanted my evening dresses in larger sizes. Since 50% of American women are a size 14 and up I recognized that we had a need that was going unfulfilled. I moved fast into making Junior-plus evening wear. We named the line Onyx Nite so it could stand alone within the juniors department.”
This process of recognizing an unfulfilled need that also had the potential for exponential growth is Schlossberg’s superpower. He’d later go on to create casual daytime dress line Tiana B which continues to prove his most widely produced and sold day time dresses.
Recently Schlossberg’s company acquired Cathy Daniels Apparel, a 40-year-old sportswear company that will likely benefit from Schlossberg’s particular insight and pension for reinvention.
Location, Location, Location
With a factory, production, sales, and distribution located in Midtown Manhattan in the fashion district, Schlossberg can attribute some of his success to keeping most of his production local to New York or a factory in Secaucus, New Jersey.
This doesn’t mean that all of their sales are limited to the United States, however. More than 20% of Schlossberg’s apparel lines are sold all over the world including nine countries in Europe, as well as to South America, South Africa, Mexico, Australia, and Canada.
A recipient of the “Export Achievement Award” from the U.S. Department of Commerce as well as having received multiple awards from the Small Business Trade Association for International Growth and Achievement. In 2010, Schlossberg and his company were named by New York City’s Chamber of Commerce’s as the Fashion Industry Exporter of the Year.
Trending Toward the Future
Glenn Schlossberg contributes to a variety of nonprofit charities ranging from cancer research fundraising to the American Ballet and even spending years working with under-resourced youth in the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. His continued attention and mentorship to young entrepreneurs are where he truly makes an impact on the future of the ever-evolving fashion industry.
He’s met with young entrepreneurs at New York University’s Fashion Institute of Technology as well as offering personal tours to budding designers and producer. His biggest advice is for young entrepreneurs not to wait too long to start. That when they’re young, there’s less to lose.
“When I was younger I was able to take more financial risks because I didn’t have the heavy overhead of mortgages and cars and kids. So I had less to lose,” he says. “I strongly advise kids all the time, if they’re going to be an entrepreneur, don’t wait that long. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to break out.”
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