Semper Vincit: Always Conquer-
One of the things I enjoy most about writing this blog is the unique opportunity to meet interesting and talented Michigan based entrepreneurs who are passionate about what they’re doing. This past fall, at The Fashion Speaks event in Detroit, I had the pleasure of meeting Jonathan Martone, who along with his brother James, founded The Versatile Warrior apparel company. Jonathan and James, who are both lawyers by day, founded The Versatile Warrior in 2009 after having difficulty find the perfect polo shirt.
James & Jonathan Martone, the founders of Versatile Warrior.
We recently sat down for an interview to talk about entreprenuership, how to succeed in the apparel industry and goals for The Versatile Warrior. I was so inspired by the passion Jon has for the brand that I left our meeting feeling incredibly optimistic about being a new business owner myself. His enthusiasm was definitely contagious!
Jon is a true Michigander with an incredible work ethic and fierce determination. He is also kindly offering one lucky reader the chance to enter a giveaway to win a Versatile Warrior Signature Polo Shirt in red in a large along with a Classic Logo Hat. In order to enter to win, all you have to do is like both The Ladies McCann and The Versatile Warrior on Facebook. Extra entries can be earned by sharing on Facebook. The contest ends on January 21 at 11:59 p.m. . I’ll notify the winner on Thursday. Good luck!
C: What inspired you to start The Versatile Warrior?
J: I saw a void in finding a perfect polo shirt. My brother and I were both looking for a performance shirt that was also dressy and we just couldn’t find it. We had also admired the Vineyard Vines apparel line and were inspired by their success. Overall though, the major inspiration behind The Versatile Warrior is the modern day champion who is working hard everyday.
C: Have you always had an interest in fashion?
J: My interest in fashion really comes from our dad. While we were growing up, our dad was a debonnaire individual. I also worked at Abercrombie and Banana Republic for summer jobs.
C: There are a lot of golf shirts on the market. What sets The Versatile Warrior apart and makes your shirts unique?
J: For us, it’s that the shirts have a dual purpose. Unlike other polo shirts on the market, ours are dressy enough to wear on the golf course and at work. They’re designed to be worn under a blazer and have dressier details like mother of pearl buttons.
C: I love the name Versatile Warrior. How did you come up with that?
J: Our inspiration behind the name was to give people the feeling that they’re going to go out and conquer the world as modern day ‘warriors’. Our company slogan ‘Semper Vincit’ means ‘Always conquer’ and that’s what we want our customers to do. Consumers have been really excited by the ‘warrior’ mantra.
C: What do you love most about owning your own business?
J: The freedom to pursue things that are really important to you. The goal is to create a brand that people will want to look up to and get excited about. I also love having the opportunity to work with my brother.
C: What advice would you give to someone starting a business in the apparel industry?
J: Don’t give up. It’s frustrating and daunting at times but try not to get discouraged. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to people in the industry who have more experience than you. They’re often willing to give helpful advice.
C: What are your goals for The Versatile Warrior?
J: We hope to expand our product offerings in the future and want to stay focused on making great golf shirts.