MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Clarence Jones is one of the leading tailors in Memphis, making suits for athletes and entertainers across the country.
“Every suit and shirt I make is all handmade. Nothing machine. All by hand,” Jones told WREG’s, Shay Simon.
Originally from Chicago, Jones played basketball and graduated from Lemoyne Owen College and considers Memphis home. So, working with Memphis Grizzlies’ Kennedy Chandler for the 2022 NBA draft was priceless.
Jones has had a suit in nearly every NFL and NBA draft for the past few decades.
“The power of prayer really works. There are a lot of days where I do cry. I look back and say, ‘God has brought me a long way, and I’m just thankful,” said Jones.
His talents all tie back to his roots, as his mother dressed him in suits as early as elementary school. His love for clothes, combined with his network from basketball, allowed him to create CJ Custom Clothiers.
“All the guys I grew up with in Chicago became coaches, then all my friends started buying from me, and that’s how I got in the [business],” he said. As word spread about his work and customer service, his list of clients kept growing.
“Steve Harvey bought some shirts, his bodyguard. It began to spread. Then I got Cedric the Entertainer, then I got his manager. It just spread like wildfire,” Jones said.
Now, the clothier uses his gift to encourage the next generation. “You don’t have to be an athlete. You don’t have to be a rapper. You can be successful in anything you do if you put your mind to it.”
Jones says he wants to be remembered for helping others and giving back.
When he’s not creating, Jones continues to mentor up-and-coming entrepreneurs and talk to students, making sure he leaves the door open for the next Black custom clothier that comes knocking.
“I didn’t become CJ by myself. God put a lot of people in my way for me to be successful,” he said.
For more information about CJ Custom Clothiers, visit his website here.