Drew Jones credits a decision he made after meeting his wife Sarah with putting him on the path to launching his custom-made-suit company, D.Jones Tailored Collection. “I got my first custom suit made to wear when I took her on a date to ask her to be my girlfriend,” he says. Jones, who grew up in DeSoto and graduated from Texas A&M University with a finance degree in 2006, met his future wife while working in China. He was struck by the way he looked and felt in the custom suit made by a Beijing tailor, and that experience gave him the idea for the new enterprise.

It opened in January 2008 in Dallas with one part-time employee in China. Today the company has five full-time wardrobe consultants on its Texas team, plus four full-time employees in China. Sales have steadily increased since its launch, with 69 percent growth in 2012 compared to the previous year.

Title:
Founder and CEO

Age:
29

Early reaction to your career choice:
My parents knew that I would be an entrepreneur—even though my mom thought I was crazy to start something like this from scratch, with very little capital. I studied fi nance and was very interested in real estate and wealth management. Needless to say, men’s fashion was certainly a surprise for them.

Pivotal moment in your career:
In November 2009, I placed second in a national new entrepreneur of the year competition that was co-sponsored by Inc. Magazine. We received a great amount of publicity from this competition, which changed the trajectory of my company for the better.

What’s the best part of your job?
Helping our clients realize a new level of confidence.

Management style:
Lead by example. I feel that if I work hard in the trenches with my team, they will return day after day with the same work ethic and commitment to their position.

Strengths:
Attention to detail, problem solving, and creating processes.

Weaknesses:
According to personality tests I’m off -the-charts impatient. I also have high expectations of others.

Biggest pet peeve:
Excuses.

Biggest challenge:
Finding employees who share the same motivation for customer service and quality that I do.

Misconceptions about your business:
Many people don’t realize that the quality of what we do is almost extinct in the United States and much of the rest of the world. As machinery and technology continue cannibalizing hand-made goods, the art of custom bench-made menswear fades away. We off er the highest quality possible and have hired remarkable tailors in China that take pride in the art of tailoring. Also, most consumers don’t realize that custom clothing can be comparable in price or lower in price than clothing from high-end department stores.

Future growth plans:
We have spent the last two and a half years building a custom iPad ordering system and a patented measuring process allowing us to work efficiently and with economies of scale. This year we are focused on expanding our team and meeting our business plan.

Family:
My lovely wife, Sarah, and I have one daughter, Holland, who was born on January 29. We also have one son—no name chosen yet—who we are adopting from Ethiopia.

Best advice:
In the midst of adversity lies opportunity.