Jonathan Baldwin’s line of apparel, JoNerZ, features charming portraits from his original art. Here’s how he is building his business.
ABI: How would you describe your brand?
JB: Good question and one I have had to think a lot about because my style incorporates surf art, street art, illustration, and pop surrealism. Tattoo artists would describe me as a new school artist. So to make this easier to understand, I guess I would have to call my brand JoNerZ (childhood nickname) as “The Wonderful Wide Eyed World of JoNerZ”. And the actual art as New School Pop Surrealism.
ABI: What plans do you have to grow your wholesale business?
JB: The first order of business for me is to individually set up appointments with the owners or buyers for the shops I wish to work with here locally. Ones that are easy for me to meet with personally to show them my line. One or two shops a week. At home I will be working on my online wholesale list for not only reorder locally but also for targeting shops throughout the state.
I want multiple photos for each item as these ones won’t be able to see them in person until my next trip to the other islands. I’ll reach these by phone and want a stellar looking online store to show them. I have one through Etsy, but it needs work so that also is my immediate plan to have it fully stocked and looking awesome before the holiday crunch is upon me. I do plan on taking my reach to shops beyond the state as well through next years Made in Hawaii Fair on Oahu and my online store.
ABI: Are you considering developing any new products?
JB: Yes, absolutely. My style of art translates very well to products. I am in the process of getting the needed resources together to do market/shopping/beach bags, phone/tablet cases and a line of awesome little girly toiletry/pill boxes for women’s purses. Also some limited runs of pendants for necklaces and bracelets. Figurines are in the back of my mind as well. That’ll be a while off though.
ABI: What have you discovered about your target customer?
JB: Actually one of the best discoveries I have made is the age of those who are buying my apparel and prints. You would think they would be very young, but actually my biggest fans are between the age of 20 and 40.
Of course I have younger fans but it’s their mom or dad who buys it for them. Also surprisingly my original art is actually collected by those over 40. I think they can relate to the youthful colorful whimsy of my art and it makes them feel good. At least I hope it does!