Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Jonathan Cruz, a medical researcher by day and clothing brand owner by night from the Bronx, New York.
Jonathan Cruz is the owner of the clothing brand, TeachPeaceNyc. At 29 years old, he has turned his job salary into a clothing line representing peace, positivity, and unity. Jonathan has come from humble beginnings; losing his mother at an early age forced him to live in his grandmother's living room couch for many years. After receiving an opportunity in the medical research field in one of the best hospitals in New York City, he has never looked back. Turning that opportunity into two promotions, he has made the best out of his circumstances and now created this clothing line in which he hopes to reach all demographics to push these positive messages.
He believes his brand is deeper than fashion. The brand was founded in 2017. He wanted to utilize the influence New York City has on the fashion culture to create a brand that is both stylish and meaningful. Teach Peace NYC has come a long way from doing local drop-offs in his native city of The Bronx to serving customers worldwide with international shipping.
Jonathan Cruz believed that he can translate his messages into a powerful clothing brand that creates timeless pieces for people of all ages, ethnicities, religious beliefs, etc. Jonathan is very excited to see where the future lies for himself and his brand. We believe Jonathan has the potential to make TeachPeaceNYC into a billion-dollar brand.
Please tell us about what it is that you do.
I hope to establish a worldwide brand of quality garments that have messages of peace, love, unity, and positivity.
I utilize my day job to finance my business and dreams. My typical day starts at three am where I clock in my day job to not leave until twelve hours later. The remainder of my time is dedicated to family and my business/dreams. On a mission, your biggest enemy is idle time. Myself and my partners Nector and David are in constant communication or in route to creating, approving samples, coordinating commercials and photoshoots, or just sticking to our routes in delivering to our customers locally. I hope to release my first book this year, and I have set aside time to learn the craft of being an author.
Like the great Nipsey Hussle once said,
“I'm about seeing long-term, seeing a vision, understanding nothing really worthwhile happens overnight, and just sticking to your script long enough to make something real happen.”
Please tell us more about your journey.
I come from a background of struggle where my mother was a single mother, and she raised us on little to no money. The family was all we had, and I promised her one day we will become better than the situation we were in. At eighteen years old, she was tragically taken from us due to gastric cancer, and this shook my world upside down. Had to raise my younger siblings and figure out a way out. I have accomplished this by working multiple jobs and motivating them to do the same. Our mother was our everything, our heart, our leader and now all we want to do is make her proud.
Please tell us about your company, TeachPeaceNyc.
This brand was created in 2017 by myself. I was formerly a part of a brand called Everythingcash, which was owned by one of my great friends Jesse. He allowed me to learn the ins and outs of maintaining a quality streetwear brand in which I utilized this knowledge down the line for my own brand. Teach Peace NYC has reached unimaginable heights, and I only hope to keep exceeding my own self-expectations. My brand's highlight was when Reggie Bullock of the New York Knicks wore a sweatsuit of the brand prior to a game and was photographed in the Madison Square Garden tunnel. This photo was both posted by the NY Knicks and Reggie Bullock himself. To have someone you watch everyday on TV support your brand was just another sentiment that I must keep going.
The above hoodie will be releasing in April 2021. This hoodie focuses on nature's true beauty and utilizes our appreciation for it to create this artistic garment.
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
One strategy that helped build my brand was being transparent with my customers. I am learning throughout the entire process as well. At times I have worked with manufacturers that work of lesser quality, and this may ruin trust with your customers. Still, you have to make sure you always raise the bar for every order. You also must make time for the customer to get to know them, especially when you first build. Since I like to find out why they chose to support this message and why this message may mean a lot to them. When you support Teach Peace NYC, you support a young entrepreneur of good principles who wishes to shine a positive light on the world with fashion.
Fantastic! So tell us, how can people find out more about you?
Thank you so much for giving us your precious time! We wish you the best for your journey ahead!