We had the good fortune of connecting with Jon-Michael Narvaez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jon-Michael, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
You can’t do it all. As your business starts to scale up, you will need help; there is no way around it. Some artists are business savvy and know how to “play the game,” as my mentor says. You have to let go of your pride and know that although you can doesn’t mean you should.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business journey has been anything but easy; I’ve failed more times than I can count and embarrassed myself in front of some important people. As a freelancer, I’ve learned to remove my emotions from business and put my pride aside. I believe this thought process alone has helped me and my businesses scale personally and professionally. SALA Investment Co. is comprised of two separate entities, Style by JM Footwear (@sbjmfootwear) and The Royal Guard – Style Agency (@theroyalguardco). SBJM, is my personal brand of luxury leather goods. We design our products in San Antonio, Texas, and have them handmade in Almansa, Spain. The Royal Guard is an invitation-only style agency. We work with men to help build wardrobes that last a lifetime and add the element of style to give each of our clients their own unique look and feel. When COVID lockdowns took place in Texas we had to step back and evaluate how we can still be efficient and effective in today’s new market. I’m proud to say that in 2021 both businesses will have their own web & mobile application that I’ve developed myself. We will still be able to service our local customers and members across the US but now have the ability to reach rest of the world and show them what we’re all about.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Well, pre-COVID, he would be visiting me here in San Antonio, so I’d set him up in the coolest hotel in downtown SA, Hotel Havanna. Most days, we would be eating. SA is a big foodie city! Depending on how we felt, we would either stop at some of my favorite places, Indy Coffee Club, Pete’s Tacos for breakfast, or Squeezers Juice Bar for something on the lighter side post-workout. We would stop somewhere on the St. Mary’s strip during the lunch hour, like Singhs Vietnamese, Box Street Social, or Smothered for some feel-good food. I personally prefer a nice dining experience for dinner, so we’d either be at Supper at Hotel Emma, Battalion SA, or Scorpion if we can get a reservation. My friends and I aren’t big on the party scene, but SA has a great bar culture. If you’re a cocktail connoisseur or want a good beer and great music we have it.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My financiers, Frank Robinson of the Los Angeles-based LayerCake group, the Fossey family in Dallas, Texas, the Espinola family in San Antonio, Texas; Diego & Ivonne of Whitespace Strategy & Design. A few others who donated knowledge & their talents to my business, James Lewis of the San Antonio, Texas-based J12 Designs for a logo that’s defined who I am and helped me more than I think he really knows. Rahul Patel of FSM for helping me take my business to a new level and introducing me to my investors, Randy Smith for listening to me vent about the daily stresses of business and never steering me away from my lofty ambitions and my fashion mentor New York-based Antonio “Tony” Harris. Most importantly, my beautiful and loving wife who’s continued to support me through the highs and lows and never question the direction of my businesses or purpose in life. I love you, babea.
Style by JM Identity: @j12designs The Royal Guard Identity: @bywhitespace Image Credits: @porterhousela @jonmichaelnarvaez