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Exploring Life & Business with Jerell McCole of J. McCole and The Relatable Clothing Company

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jerell McCole. 

Hi Jerell, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I was born and raised in St. Louis. I spent majority of my childhood with my grandparents on my dad side of the family. I become a caretaker at a young age because my grandfather was paralyzed from the waist down, my grandmother had a rare form of bone cancer, and the my dad was a struggling alcoholic. By me being my dad’s only kid, and I was the only grandchild living in St. Louis, I learned how to be alone and be more responsible than my peers. I graduated high school in 2016 from Grand Center Arts Academy where I spent every day studying music. I never had any interest in making the arts a part of my career, but tapping into my creativity daily helped with my academics, and helped me be more comfortable with myself. I always knew that college was not the route for me, but after my grandfather passing my JR year, my grandmother made it very clear that not going to college was not an option for me. I did know that working in the business world was going to be my path. I would always say, “you don’t need a degree to start a business.” Following my grandmother’s wishes, I got into my school of choice, Missouri State University. I had interest in studying Business Administration. Sadly, my college career was short-lived. My dad passed away in the middle of my first semester at Missouri State, and then four weeks later my grandmother (his mom) passed away as well. In their death, especially my grandmothers, a part of me died. It took me a very long to get myself together mentally so in the meantime I worked in retail full time after dropping out of school. I had a very successful career as a store manager and during the pandemic is when owning a business really became a major goal of mine. Within the last year, I have started 2 businesses, one being a consultant agency and two an online clothing retailer. In addition to that, I got my foot wet with working with E-commerce brands and decided to leave the traditional workforce to focus on my own business. 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
For the most part, things have been smooth. When you set a plan and stick to it things tend to go smoothly for you. If they don’t go smooth, stick to your plan and it will see you through. I would say that not having starting capital, and already existing customers/clients is the biggest challenge I’ve come across thus far. We all know it takes money to make money, but that’s very difficult when you aren’t the most financially stable. BUT! that’s the risk you take and I am willing to see it through. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
J. McCole LLC is a consultant agency I started almost 6 months ago. I wanted to create a space for new or existing business owners to come and get with starting or running their businesses. We specialize mostly in the E-commerce space designing websites, managing day-to-day operations, and assisting with email and SMS marketing. We are a Shopify partner and are considered experts in the Shopify world. Along services in the e-commerce space, we can help with traditional businesses and organizations with business management, operations, & employee retention and development. I am very proud of this agency because I can see this growing beyond as more and more people start taking their business growth more seriously. We have the ability to be with a business from the beginning all the way to the expansion phase. What set us apart is my 7 years of retail management experience and our organization being a Certified Shopify partner. 

The Relatable Clothing Company is a Unisex clothing brand that sells t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, and a few lifestyle items. This is a very new venture I started but I hope to be known for comfortable apparel that brings everyone together no matter their identity or background. I started this business to create another pillar of my empire, and to challenge the ideas of clothing and gender. We haven’t launched social media pages yet, but the website is fully active and are accepting and fulfilling orders. 

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
I see retail still making the shift towards online rather than in-store. Not to say stores will not be around in the future but things are defiantly going to be majority digital. As of right now, the trend has been super casual and streetwear has dominated fashion. Although I am all for being comfortable, hope within the next 5-10 years things will get back to being dressy, formal, and business casual. I miss seeing hot guys in suits walking around all the time. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Zach Dalin
Alissa Hilderbrand

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