We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful James Elems III. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with James below.
Alright, James thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. Looking back, do you think you started your business at the right time? Do you wish you had started sooner or later?
If I could go back in time I would definitely start my business sooner. I started my business in the summer of 2018. I was working for an investment firm and also going to IT school. Life seemed to primarily revolve around work, but I still found time to plan out my own blueprint to becoming a full time entrepreneur. I had always wanted to go into clothing but I didn’t know the process of entering the industry. I started creating ideas and researching the clothing industry back in 2015 when I graduated from college. If I had taken the leap of faith in 2015 many things would be different. Starting sooner would have allowed me to have more years of experiences, and finances documented which I would need to build my business credit. I would be much further in my journey to being a full time entrepreneur because my living expenses were not as much as my current living expenses which means I would have more capital to invest in my business. Looking back I would’ve established my LLC a lot earlier, as well as just taking that leap and getting my business started. I was waiting for the perfect time to start and waiting for the perfect time is just another form of procrastination. The perfect time does not exist. I was standing in my own way of launching my business so the day I embraced all thoughts of failure or success I was able to take that first step. I haven’t looked back since.
James , before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
So I’m a serial entrepreneur. My very first business I started was Red Crown Clothing. I currently run Red Crown Clothing as an online clothing store with the hopes of one day having a physical storefront. Red Crown gets its meaning from the Blood of Jesus and the Crown of Thorns he wore on the cross when he was crucified. I first entered the industry through a drop shipping model. It was low overhead expenses, and I could still make a small profit from my clothing sales while I continue to learn & grow in the business. I purchased many learning courses, talked to many people in the industry, gathered surveys, and just conducted deep research to be able to sustain in this business. Red Crown Clothing not only produces clothing and accessories , but we give back to the community through events that help children and low income families.
I think what sets me aside from others is my willingness to make sure every customer is satisfied. I try to make sure all orders make it to my clients as soon as possible , but I also keep up communication with the client if things take longer than normal. If the client is not happy with what they received I usually find a solution to make things right.
The thing I am most proud about is the fact that my clients genuinely like the clothing being produced. My brand is not currently popular but it’s growing. I’ve been blessed to have products bought in the places I’ve never traveled to. I think it’s important to let my clients know that this was a brand built for the average person to have quality clothing for decent prices.
Can you talk to us about how you funded your business?
Funding my business was the biggest struggle starting out. I was running solely on funds from my full time job. I didn’t have a lot to invest but I found a way to cut corners. The drop shipping model was definitely a huge help since operating expenses stayed low and I didn’t have to pay for inventory. After I had been in business for almost 2 years I learned about business credit. Business credit is so fundamental when building a business and a lot of first time entrepreneurs have no knowledge about it. The accounts, lines of credit, and credit cards definitely put me in a position where I could scale my business slowly without having to exhaust all of my personal income.
Do you sell on your site, or do you use a platform like Amazon, Etsy, Cratejoy, etc?
My clothing store is on an E-Commerce platform named Shopify. I love this platform because it allows me to integrate other apps and platforms into my online store. It is not hard to navigate, and when the store is almost fully automated I can run it from my phone. I’ve literally had days where I’m working or in a meeting when sales come into the site. All I have to do is accept the payment and everything else is taken care of from there. It saves me time as well as giving me back time to pursue other ventures.
- Website: www.krownklub.com
- Instagram: @imjustred
- Facebook: James Elems
- Linkedin: James Elems
- Twitter: @redcrown_llc