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Inspiring Conversations with Anthony White of JON BLANCO

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anthony White.

Hi Anthony, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started JON BLANCO in 2018 out of a necessity to have a creative outlet in my life. I had just moved to St. Louis and started my first full-time job after college and realized I needed something to do outside of work to keep me busy. I tried various hobbies and one day it kind of hit me, “why don’t I start making my own clothes?” I often found it difficult to find my style of clothing: minimally designed & with a deeper purpose. I like clothing that has a balance of boldness and simplicity and a brand that stands for something. On evenings and weekends, I started to build the foundation that led to JON BLANCO. From the brand name and motto to brand values and all of the other fun behind the scenes work (website, sourcing t-shirts, design, etc.), I officially launched JON BLANCO to the public at the beginning of 2019.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There have been plenty of struggles along the way. The hardest thing about starting a clothing brand is building the name ID, or the community’s awareness of your brand. The best way to do this is in-person. The best way to do this is in-person. As a result, our biggest challenge so far has been COVID 19. We began to build our brand in 2019 around meeting potential customers in-person at farmer’s markets and pop-up shops. In-person events allow us to connect with customers to spread our brand message of bringing people who may seem different together. Additionally, in-person events allow potential customers to interact with the clothing itself (to feel the quality, to try on, to see the designs up close). 2020 completely shut down our in-person events and took a toll on the brand and my motivation to continue. However, I used 2020 as a year to reassess the business and to come out even stronger in 2021. In some ways, we have had to start over. Nonetheless, the brand foundation was strong and has allowed us to grow this year.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
JON BLANCO aspires to create high-quality minimally designed apparel. Our apparel is for those expect quality, sustainable practices and a deeper purpose. Our inspiration is the world around us, which is why our motto is: inspired by the world.

The deeper purpose behind JON BLANCO is related to our motto, “inspired by the world.” This comes down to 2 elements for us: People & Planet. People are our inspiration and ultimately, we hope to bridge the gap between people. We believe it is incredibly important to get to learn about people, places and things that may seem unfamiliar. We are a human-focused brand that believes that (1) people have a lot more in common than they realize and (2) a common understanding between people can make the world a better place. Planet is the way we do business. We have integrated several sustainable practices into a brand and support a 501(c)3 nonprofit called, One Tree Planted. We believe sustainability shouldn’t necessarily be a differentiating factor for a brand, rather it should be expected and the way business is done everywhere.

I am most proud of what our brand stands for & the incredible connections we have made with our customers. So many people believe in our mission. The hardest part is breaking through all the noise to let people know we are here.

Readers of VoyageSTL Magazine can find us at one of many farmer’s markets or pop-up events in the St. Louis area. We keep our schedule up-to-date on our website. Our clothes are also carried in a store called The Stockton here in St. Louis. The store is an incredible place to find local St. Louis clothing designers.

What matters most to you?
What matters most to me is staying true to the brand mission and purpose. The brand name, JON BLANCO, is a derivative of my own name. This is important because it serves as the foundation for the brand’s identity. JON BLANCO is an extension of who I am and what I am passionate about. The style is based on what I like to wear. The deeper purpose of the brand aligns to my personal purpose in life.

I want JON BLANCO to be an example of a brand that knows exactly what it stands for. With social media nowadays, it is so easy to compare yourself with others, however, it is important to remember that every brand is following its own path (and that is okay!!). We are uniquely JON BLANCO. We have a unique apparel design aesthetic and a unique mission. This is what must continue to motivate us as a brand as we move forward.

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