Time management, networking fuel alum’s business

By: Moira Bonadonna – Staff Writer

Recent University of Dayton graduate Jake Ferrato, started his own design company, and has been working his way up since 2008. His business, JBF Customs, includes high end shoes and hats that even Michael Jordan’s son find appealing.

Ferrato said his time in the business school at UD positively influenced the growth of JBF Customs.

“More than anything, classes taught me time management,” he said. “I was doing this full time for most of college, so at times it was difficult to keep clients and professors happy.”

Phillip Marshall, a fifth year communication major and close friend of Ferrato, said the price of his products may have influenced business while in school.

“He was already selling things at a pretty high price by the time he got out of school, so no college kids could really buy his stuff,” Marshall said. “So he learned how to market here, because he can’t sell to a myriad of his friends.”

UD’s emphasis on networking resonated with Ferrato as his business grew.

“Networking is everything,” Ferrato said. “It’s how you get clients and suppliers. It’s how you make any progress, and a way for you to get your name out there.”

After graduating last year with a business degree, Ferrato said that while JBF Customs has not “transformed,” it has “progressed.”

“There is more and better work being put out now, which drives more sales,” he said.

Using the slogan “Incomparable,” Ferrato said his designs are intended to draw in men ages 23 to 45.

“It gives people something to latch onto, which I think is important,” he said.

Passionate about his work, Ferrato never stopped working on his designs, even when he was spending time with friends at home, Marshall said.

“He looked at his free time from school as business hours, and you can tell he enjoys it,” Marshall said. “He’ll make things for other people, and he’s really proud of his work. His work ethic is just incredible. I don’t know anyone who works as hard as he does. The entire time I’ve known him he’ll have a shoe in his lap working on it. He’s modest about it. He doesn’t tell anyone about himself, but people come to him.”

Ferrato said he doesn’t advertise his designs anywhere other than on his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as his website. He said he has almost 4,000 followers on Facebook, more than 4,000 on Twitter and nearly 80,000 on Instagram.

“Everything is done perfectly,” Marshall said. “He has every single stitch perfectly in the right spot. They’re always flawless.”

While Ferrato is the sole designer of JBF Customs, he said he is hoping to collaborate with bigger brands to sell his products. His plans for the future are to keep putting out good work, keep networking and to travel as much as possible.

For more information, visit his website at www.jbfcustoms.com, or follow the company on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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