Peter Jean-Marie is a testament to the importance of relentless determination in the quest to realize a dream.
For three years, the 25-year-old, Collier County based fashion designer kept hitting brick walls trying to find an investor to launch the men’s and women’s clothing lines he hopes to sell to a major retailer. He pitched his business in local and national funding competitions for budding entrepreneurs, doing well, but never capturing the ultimate prize. He’s also endured the disappointment of declined requests for financing and promises of investment that went unfulfilled.
Frustration even led him to consider generating notoriety through the press for his cause by walking from Florida to New York City earlier this year. The goal would be to capture the attention and gain the support of the one and only Oprah Winfrey.
Today, Jean-Marie no longer has to literally or figuratively knock on doors or ponder drastic action to secure funding. He has finally found a backer, someone who has gifted him the $ 100,000 needed to get his business off the ground, rather than an interest-bearing loan or an investment in exchange for a percentage of the company. Now he can manufacture the sample garments and accessories prospective retailers want to see before agreeing to carry his creations.
Perspective has been gained in surmounting the challenge.
“I can honestly say I feel like a real witness, watching how God has been so very gracious and moved in my life,” said Jean-Marie. “I learned that not every investment is a good investment. If I hadn’t been turned down and ghosted by the previous investors, I would never have secured this investment, where I don’t have to give anything in return. ”
A 2015 graduate of St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples, Jean-Marie received a diploma in fashion design from Miami International University of Art and Design in 2018. The former model began developing his clothing brand while in college.
He started with designing blazers, before moving onto ties, bowties and women’s wear and by January of 2019, the line was complete. That same year, Jean-Marie made it to the second round of tryouts for the popular TV show “Shark Tank.” He was one of 30,000 business owners, nationwide, vying for a spot on the show.
2019 is also when he began his quest for funding. During that process, Jean-Marie was assisted by his financial advisor, who was investigating potential funding sources for small businesses.
“While he was doing that, another person who’s been watching me from the beginning, literally since I was in design school, reached out to me and I let him know about everything that had been going on in my journey to find investors. This person was very, very gracious and said, ‘You know, I’m just going to give you the 100K myself,’ “said Jean-Marie. “Literally, the next day, I received the funds. I did not have to give up a percentage or sign a contract or anything. ”
Jean-Marie said his benefactor wants to remain anonymous.
Thus far, his designs have only been pictures on paper. But the major retailers he’s approached want to see the garments worn by models before rendering a decision. The money is going toward preparing the necessary samples as well as to purchase a car so he can stop using his mother’s automobile.
“The people, so far as major retailers who have seen my designs, they’re really pleased,” Jean-Marie added. Preparing the samples should only take a month or two. ”
For more information about Peter Jean-Marie and to view his creations, visit peterjeanmarie.store or write to email@example.com.