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Store Spotlight: Jeffrey George

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{SS} What inspired you to start your company?

{Jeffrey} I have always been very interested in clothing and design, but never really saw it aligning with what I saw as a career. It always seemed like more of a hobby, until I started to learn about business that really set out to do more than just make a profit. My goal as a business is create something that does more than this, and has a positive effect on the world.

I think you will see this more and more through the next few lines as we look to work with all organic fabrics, and discovering ways to work with artisans not just in the United States, but around the world. I really want to highlight everyone involved, and just put an emphasis on creating a sustainable brand.

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As far as what inspires me for the line itself, there are a few things that I always come back to; quality, fit, and classic designs. I am quite the perfectionist, so I really aim to not completely change classic designs, but instead tweak them. It is really important for me to nail down the little details like getting the perfect fit, or collar size and roll. To me, this is what really sets someone apart. It is not wearing something overtly loud, but instead something that really accentuates who you are, not overtaking the wearer completely. I want my items to be staples in your closet for years to come, not something that will be “out of style” in a few months.

200px-MSU_Seal_2010.svg{SS} Tell us about yourself. 

{Jeffrey} I recently graduated from Michigan State in 2013 with a degree in Psychology, and have since lived in Chicago, South Lyon, MI (my hometown), and now Grand Rapids. It has been quite the whirlwind, but every stop has been to get my brand and me here. I ended up in Grand Rapids as that is where my girlfriend is from, and I just really fell in love with the area traveling back and forth with her through college. I am very close to my family, so being within driving distance was very important to me. I would not be where I am without the support of my girlfriend, friends, and family. They have all been crucial in getting Jeffrey George to where you see it today.

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{SS} Favorite part of your job?

{Jeffrey} I love the design part of what I do. I love creating something that I deem “perfect,” and being able to share that with everyone in the store is amazing. As I said before, to me it’s all in the details. I love when a customer notices these, and recognizes the little things that really set my brand apart. Now that I have some of the basics down, I’m especially excited to see the brand grow and push a little bit more from a design aspect.

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{SS} Any new Jeffrey George items that you are loving for SUMMER?

{Jeffrey} I’m really loving the red and navy gingham shirts. They’re lightweight, perfect for the summer heat. I love the gingham because they both have add a little “pop” to your wardrobe, especially the red, while still being very classic. It’s something that you can wear summer after summer, and still get excited to pull out of the closet every Spring.

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{SS} Currently, do you have a favorite style or trend you are wearing?

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{Jeffrey} I’m not usually one to follow any big trend or anything, but right now I am loving the glass beads we just brought in. They’re all handmade in Ghana from recycled glass, and I love throwing these on my wrists while wearing something a little dressier, and adding a pop of color while also bringing a casual element. Mixing styles is something that I am seeing more, and have always been a big fan of. I like mixing something especially “American” like a classic oxford, with these African beads, and bringing in elements both casual and dressy can really come together. A few years ago guys really started to pay attention to what they were wearing and trends, and now I think it’s evolving to guys creating their own style, instead of just copying what they see in a magazine.

 {SS} Who or What inspires your personal style?  Favorite Style Icon?

{Jeffrey} As I said for the previous question, I really enjoy mixing items coming from all different areas. I’m inspired by everything around me, and I think it comes through with a very classic, American prep basis, influenced by urban and European touches. Overall though, I would say my personal style is very simple, and comfortable. Being comfortable in what you’re wearing is key to pulling just about anything off.

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Being a small business owner, and someone very interested in clothing, some of my “style icons” may be strangers to most. Someone who really personifies the mix of American and European influences for me is Sid Mashburn of Sid Mashburn in Atlanta. There’s an overall sense of ease to his style. I also find myself following people from past generations such as Steve McQueen. His style was just so classic, and you could wear the same thing today and look great.

{SS} What is your favorite local restaurant?

{Jeffrey} Marie Catrib’s, they’ve got the best fish tacos I’ve ever had. I could eat here every day and not get sick of it. It’s great because everything is locally sourced so it’s extremely fresh, and you know exactly what you’re eating.

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{SS} Favorite MI summer activity?

{Jeffrey} Just being where us Michiganders call “Up North.” Both sides of my family have been going to the Charleviox/Petoskey area for years and it’s still my favorite place in the world. I love going up there in the summer and doing just about anything. It’s just so peaceful and relaxing, the perfect weekend getaway.

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{SS} Words to live by?

{Jeffrey} YOLO. Completely kidding, I find new quotes everyday and say to myself “this is the best quote ever,” but the one that I’d say I’m really connecting with right now is from Mark Twain, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the and the blind can see.”

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