Freeman Plat Owner Jeremy Sallee and LTHR Supply Owner Jeremy Szechenyi are two gentlemen on the road to building financial freedom and a more stylish Boston by offering timeless accessories, footwear and apparel. Both have done so by creating high-quality lifestyle brands in their Boston homes.
“I don’t want to depend on someone else for my survival. The only way to do that is to create your own business,” said Sallee who took a leap of faith three years ago and started his Boston based footwear and apparel company Freeman Plat.
Sallee, an Indianapolis native is juggling his corporate daytime job at a major footwear and apparel company while tirelessly running Freeman Plat.
“I go to work because it pays the bills. I come home and have dinner with my wife and my dog, and sit at my desk that’s in front of the tv next to my wife, so if we have to talk about something we can talk about it,” said Sallee whose company’s mantra is “Fuck the man. I’m the man.”
Freeman Plat seems to be more than just another fashion brand. It is a lifestyle that celebrates hard work, according to Sallee. His brand’s story derives from the next generation of entrepreneurs and executives who pride themselves in turning their dreams into a reality at the beat of their own drum.
As Sallee conceptualizes fashion forward designs while he watches his younger brother play college basketball on television at 9:30 pm, he also surrounds himself around other talented designers, such as the owner of LTHR Supply Jeremy Szechenyi who happens to be his close friend.
Like Sallee, Szechenyi has his own lifestyle brand, but he deals strictly with leather. LTHR Supply products are designed to help urban explorers navigate their lives effortlessly through the city. After purchasing a watch for his father with a terrible strap, Szechenyi decided to customize a leather strap, which turned out well and later influenced him to start crafting leather goods.
“When you do leather goods right they look so simple to do, but in reality they’re so hard and so complex. It’s one of those traits and crafts where you continuously learn how to do it better,” said Szechenyi.
In a studio connected to Szechenyi’s home, he creates handmade tote bags for women, leather men wallets, Rucksack bags, and of course, watches. LTHR Supply is also inspired by the rugged, enduring spirit of New England.
“Knowing that you’re building your brand based on your hard work and your efforts makes it more rewarding and makes you feel a little bit better when you’re going through hard times and you come out on the other side alive. You feel a bit more successful,” said Szechenyi.
As Freeman Plat and LTHR expand their brands and pursue retail opportunities in local boutiques and clothing stores in Boston, they advise local fashion start-ups to follow five simple steps before launching a luxury brand independently.
- Identify an unique brand
- Understand the basics of the business
- Create a solid marketing strategy
- Understand your target audience
- Live and breathe your business
“Stay in the game from start to finish. If you don’t live and breath it, people are not going to be able to buy into it,” said Szechenyi.