Q: In case you’re not familiar with our series, we always like to begin by having our “spotlight” share something about themselves. What’s a fun fact we should know about you?
A: I used to play guitar and sing in a band in Boston in the early 2000s and played a little around Orlando a few years back. You never heard of it… so I won’t mention it 😉
Q: I’ve known you for several years now, but have no idea if you’re a native Central Floridian, or like so many other residents, a transplant. Which is it?
A: I’m originally from south Fla, lived in Boston for a few years… then made my way to Orlando in 2006 and have been here since.
Q: Your newest venture, Cloak & Dapper, is one of the main reasons I wanted to feature you on our site. An online general store for gentlemen, from what I can initially tell it is a labor of love. How did the concept come about?
A: Well, I knew about a year ago that I wanted to created something orginal and with “taste…” And one day it just clicked… like a hindsight is 20/20 moment for me. I thought… if I were to go out and create a company what in the world would it be? And I thought to myself what am I even qualified to do… Based on the experience I had in my wheelhouse (retail, hospitality, finance and marketing) I realized it had to be a store – which was great news because that’s also what I WANTED to do. So I knew it would be a men’s store and that I wanted to offer a simplified shopping alternative for men… the type of place where the browsing was done for you already and a man could just show up and grab the items he wanted in that moment.. abnd not actually have to “shop” for them. Once this idea came about… I realized it was like a revitalizing of the ole one-stop-shop mentality…. Or GENERAL STORE. On top of all that I wanted to be as true to the conceptual elements as possible.. and carrying exclusively only MADE IN USA goods was the next no-brainer right step. Once this big idea was solidified.. then the true laboring of love took place. And still does. Everyday ☺
Q: One of the things I really like about this site, and the product, is everything is produced in the United States. Why did you feel that’s an important angle and service to provide customers?
A: It’s something that appeals to the modern red-blooded gentleman male… knowing that the item I’m wearing or purchasing was handcrafted by top artisans in their industry… right here in the USA… It’s a badge of honor in not only supporting manufacturing on our side of the pond.. but also knowing the quality of the product… it was made with care, in limited runs, it will be a unique item that not every other man will be wearing. You ever go out one night and run in to a few other guys wearing the same cologne or jeans or shirt or shoes as you? It happens a lot for men because there are less buying options for us. Men all go to/shop at the mall, the Gap or Jcrew, etc.. and even though they have great looks sometimes.. they’re mass-produced and its obvious from the look and feel of the pieces. Sure, eventually there will be more Cloak & Dapper customers and similar items will be worn out on the town… but I imagine when that happens it will be more of a mutual respect… or high five moment.. than an embarrassing one.