As the saying goes, the bigger they are, the harder they fall. That certainly applies to menswear brands. But just because smaller ones may disappear without registering a thud, that doesn’t mean starting one is any easier. Yet Philadelphia-based Junior’s managed to establish itself as a new independent classic menswear retailer, and did so while launching at the dawn of the pandemic.
Glenn Au, formerly of H. Stockton, started Junior’s in March 2020 just as heads were spinning in fear and the country shut down. But in a lesson from which we can all learn, he didn’t let external circumstances alter his plans, and persisted until he could finally register his first sale in August.
Junior’s announced it’s survival anniversary in March with a press release that includes the following:
Obstacles can often cause a business or individual to change course from what was originally planned, however that wasn’t an option for Junior’s. Instead of shifting to an easier solution, Glenn remained focused and worked with his manufacturers around the world by phone, e-mail, and text to find the products he was looking for. The result is a made-to-measure presentation featuring USA made tailored clothing and shirts. In the Fall of 2020, Junior’s debuted its first ready-to-wear collection featuring Scottish knits, English neckwear and USA made trousers in their web shop.
The Junior’s web shop proved to be more indispensable than Glenn had intended, with the expected bulk of his business originally planned to come from in-person client meetings and made-to-measure clothing orders. One-on-one appointments proved to be the most difficult hurdle as Glenn sought to keep everyone’s health as the first priority. The hesitation to meet in person steered Glenn into finding solutions to talk with clients by setting up Zoom calls, hosting a Pop-Up Shop and by the launch of his made-to-order shirt program in the Junior’s web shop.
“Everyone who starts a business knows that it is not always a smooth ride, but I didn’t expect this out of the gate. With that said, the support over the first year with the pandemic and economic downturn has been truly amazing. That includes more than just purchases. To anyone who has visited the site, followed on Instagram or told a friend; I am grateful and can’t wait to take on year number two.”
Congrats to Glenn, who was a friend and colleague from before this daunting challenge. He’s proven he can captain a ship even through stormy seas.
Junior’s maintains an Instagram account @shopjuniors, and inquiries may be sent to Glenn Au directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.— CC