Meet CEO Eric Jones Owner OF LFLS Shoes, Where Luxury Meets Vintage w/ A Twist
Growing up in West Helena, Arkansas life wasn’t always easy for 22 year old Eric Jones and most people don’t know “I had a pretty hard background and a lifestyle people wouldn’t want, from living with rats, roaches, holes in the wall and having to open up an oven to warm [your] house in the winter time when it gets cold.” It just wasn’t a life most people wouldn’t want or imagine that Mr. Jones had. Eric also had to mature very fast and endured a great loss in the process. He helped his mother take care of his grandmother from the end of his elementary days up until 2010 when she passed away. Then three years later after first arriving at the University of Arkansas his father passed away in 2013, forcing Mr. Jones to have to go back home and take care of things with his family for awhile. Being the determined soul that he is, Eric didn’t let this stop him he shortly after returned back to school and decided to major in Apparel Merchandising. It wasn’t until junior year that Eric found a passion for entrepreneurship after a conversation with
his stepfather that really stuck to him. His Stepfather told him ” Nothing comes to you, you have to go out and work for whatever you want” and that’s exactly what Eric did with starting his shoe company ,LFLS ( Like Father Like Son) Shoes, but words of wisdom wasn’t the only inspiration he got from his stepfather, he also inspired his love for fashion.
“Fashion came to me because my stepdad was a pastor and my mom was the first lady so, they kept me dressed in suits and nice clothes and I believe that shoes are the staple of the outfit that brings it all together. That is why I chose shoes over anything else; they’re unique and rare.”
By this time it was 2015 when Eric got more serious with his company, he started sketching more and really getting in touch with it, then just a few weeks before before graduation his mother passed in 2016, “it made me feel like I lost everything but it also showed me that life is short and even though she didn’t get to see the results of the work it pushed me to work even harder.”
About 6 months ago Eric started selling through an agent as most shoe designers do, making very difficult for him because he wasn’t making any income and his shoes weren’t arriving as planned. “People were pushing me to get a job and I was still dealing with the loss of my mom” Fortunately, Eric finally received his shoes and fell out with the agent resulting in direct contact with the factory that was producing his shoes, allowing Eric to get into business with them instead of going through an agent. “This was big for me to be working directly with the factory and not through an agent at such an early stage in my business, they made better quality shoes that I had been getting and I even got free samples.”
So, Whats up next for Mr. Eric Jones? Glad you asked. In January Eric plans on having a Black Men’s Fashion Week in Dallas Texas, as well as doing philanthropy work and giving back in his hometown West Helena Arkansas as well as Fayetteville, Arkansas through scholarship opportunities, motivational speaking, and just inspiring others to live their dreams. In October, Eric will be releasing his second collection and hosting the “LFLS Soiree” which is a local red carpet event in Arkansas to help uplift other small businesses.
Here’s 10 Question with Campus Lately:
Interviewer: How do you wanna see your business grow, do you plan on branching out?
Eric Jones : Next year I plan on being on red carpets all around the world. I wanna reach that Louis Vuitton and Allen Edmonds clout. I want to appeal to the luxurious upscale customer as well as the vintage classy customer, so I want to have many versatile options for my customers.
As far as branching out goes, I want to offer ready to order blazers and accessories. A lot of women ask me to do women shoes so, that might be the next thing I’ll branch out to. I wanna secure my brand in shoes first before I branch out, but of course to grow you have to learn a lot and to learn you have to make a lot of mistakes, but the power of social media is real and especially since the support for black business is so high you gotta be ready for anything.
Interviewer: If you were a new addition to crayon box what would your color be and why?
Eric Jones : (laughs) Melanininininin with all the in’s because its whats been big lately and every black person that pick up that crayon would use it
Interviewer: Whats your favorite book?
Eric Jones: Most people think you have to read to learn or to be successful, but I feel like I should be out actually talking and networking with people, because I’m better at learning hands-on , but ultimately it just depends on the person.
Interviewer : What’s the most interesting thing about you we wouldn’t learn from your resume?
Eric Jones: That I’m the most immature mature mature person you’ll ever meet. Just an all around down to earth cool ass dude.
Interviewer: When you were a kid what did you wanna be when you grew up?
Eric Jones: I had no idea what was gonna happen after high school. I questioned my future because I wasn’t the smartest in the class so, I wasn’t sure what I could do. I was just gonna go to college and see what would happen.
Interviewer: What was your favorite college class?
Eric Jones: I didn’t have a favorite class, I like school as a whole but I had professors and mentors I really admired like, Leslie Yuenling and Stephanie Hubert to name a few.
Interviewer: What is your inspiration and process when you design a new shoe?
Eric Jones: I look at brands like Aldo, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Allen Edmonds, but I don’t have a specific brand or icon that I look up to, I look at what’s in the market and try to add a modern twist to it. For instance, The monk strap is popular and I added kilty detail to it. My taste is “vintage with a twist” I love the vintage throwback style in ebony. I want that to be cool again. I want guys to be walking around in the street in suits.
Interviewer: If you could be an animal what would you be and why?
Eric Jones: An eagle so I could fly above all the bullshit and haters.
Interviewer: What did you admire most about your parents?
Eric Jones : My mother’s drive, motivation, and resilience. I don’t know how she made a lot of things happen but she did.
Interviewer: Whats your motto ?
Eric Jones : Don’t look like what you’ve been through or what you’re going through.
Rachel Williams48 Posts
Rachel is a 21 year old Management Major at Prairie View A&M University and aspires to one day own her own event planning company. Rachel has a passion for community involvement and uses blogging as an outlet to voice her opinions and inform the public about topics pertaining to religion, relationships, health, beauty, fitness, music, and other "trending topics" from an open and relatable perspective. She just recently started her own website called "Don't Forget The A", a blog and a brand that encourages individuality, confidence and healthy living as well as focusing on the importance of living to make a difference through giving back and leaving a legacy. She plans to earn her Masters in Public Administration to help her advance her career in community engagement and event planning.