Jake Kuczeruk has found a solid footing in a unique business field. As Chief Marketing Officer for Tie Society, offers men a Netflix-style rental service for neckties and menswear accessories. As the largest and number one business in the field, the tie rental service continues full steam ahead. With the emergence of online rental services, the niche of menswear had an opening to be filled.
Born and raised in the Midwest, Jake graduated from Indiana University, and then headed West to San Francisco for the startup gold rush. His major accomplishments include helping in the advancement of Tie Society, graduating with honors, and gaining a better understanding of what he valued most in life.
Taking time out of his schedule, Jake answered a few questions for Hearprenuer about what being inside a startup is truly like and advice for those trying to enter the entrepreneurial ring.
Could you tell the story of your business?
Back in 2011, longtime friends Zac Gittens and Otis Collins were working jobs in Washington DC that required them to wear a suit and tie each day. While guys can pretty much alternate the same two or three suits all week, the tie is what people notice first and what really differentiates an outfit. Zac and Otis started meeting on Sundays over beers and football, and eventually had the genius idea to start swapping their tie collections. For example, Zac would give Otis all of his Brooks Brothers ties in exchange for Otis’s J.Crews. Their other friends wanted in on the action, and before long they decided to take things online.
What is the mission and vision?
To give great style to aspirational men at a price they can afford. Ties are just the beginning; soon we’ll be able to help members complete their entire outfits. The old saying is “dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” We agree with this completely.
How is it unique?
We’re not only the largest and #1 service, but offer a more diverse product line than any of our competitors. While we stock all the big names (Burberry, Armani, Hermes), we also support the little guy. Tie Society works closely with smaller, handmade American labels to provide them with a distribution channel and increase their exposure. Since we launched before our competitors, we have a better understanding of what it takes to succeed. A lot of lessons we had to learn the hard way, but our service is all the better for it.
What tip(s) would you give to help entrepreneurs manage their ventures?
Hire a full time developer that you trust and can make changes on the fly.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs?
Always be communicating with your users about what they’d like to see or have changed. Sometimes you can get so set in your own ideas, that you completely overlook the obvious.