Outliers Apparel sells stand-out clothing on Ridge Road

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Outliers Apparel is located at 3432 Ridge Road in downtown Lansing. (Photo: Karen Abbott-Trimuel)
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By Karen Abbott-Trimuel

LANSING, Ill. (July 22, 2022) – Reginald Jones always wanted to become an entrepreneur and own his own business. So much so that he once wrote an affirmation card for himself that read: “I will have a storefront in 2021.”

That dream came true for Jones after he signed the lease for 3432 Ridge Road, which has become the home of his clothing line Outliers Apparel. Located in the heart of downtown Lansing, the small store offers branded streetwear clothing including T-shirts, hats, pants, ski masks, and jogging suits. The store also has an online presence at otlrapparel.com.

“I’m very spontaneous and always wanted to work for myself,” said Jones, who opened Outliers in November of 2021.

Reginald Jones opened his storefront on Ridge Road in November of 2021. (Photo: Karen Abbott-Trimuel)
Outliers Apparel
T-shirts, hoodies, ski masks, and other items are available at Outliers Apparel on Ridge Road. (Photo: Karen Abbott-Trimuel)

Jones is 31 years old and the father of an 11-year-old son. He graduated from Chicago Vocational High School and went to trade school at Coyne College in Chicago. From there, Jones worked in factories as an electrician and often found himself the youngest employee doing the trade work. This realization fueled his desire to become an entrepreneur as he didn’t want to work at a factory for the next 30 years.

Why “Outliers?”

The currently available jogging suit is shown on a mannequin in front of the definition of “Outlier.” (Photo: Karen Abbott-Trimuel)

In 2016, Jones read the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

“The book was about research Malcolm Gladwell did to discover the common denominator with all successful people in the world, the people who we consider to be GOATs (Greatest of All Time). The conclusion he shared is that it would take 10,000 hours to put in towards your craft for you to be considered an Outlier. After I read the book, I decided the name Outlier would make a pretty cool clothing line, and that next year I got my LLC to start the process,” Jones explained.

Urban streetwear in Lansing

Jones said that he first learned about the Ridge Road location when attending a pop-up shop for another clothing business, and the process of opening Outliers at 3432 Ridge was easy.

Jogging suits, sweatpants, and other items are on display inside 3432 Ridge Road, the home of Outliers Apparel. (Photo: Karen Abbott-Trimuel)

“The Village of Lansing made opening my business stress-free, and it happened very quickly, so everything lined up for me at the right time. Lansing doesn’t have a lot of urban streetwear clothing stores, so I can now be that option for people looking for quality garments,” Jones said.

Outliers’ customers are primarily high school students or people ranging from the ages of 18-35. However, many of its older customers come in to purchase jogging suits. The prices vary from $35 for T-shirts to $160 for jogging suits.

Balancing time and advice for other entrepreneurs

Now that Jones not only has his own clothing line, but also a brick-and-mortar location, he says he’s careful to balance his time well.

“Nowadays making time to enjoy more life is more intentional for me because it’s easy to get locked in on business and forget to live. I love to travel, visit my best friend in Dallas, and take trips out of the country. Business should never take over your life completely,” Jones said.

Jones believes that aspiring entrepreneurs should have a three-to-five-year mindset and not procrastinate.

“It’s different from working a job and collecting a check. With that comes consistency. … If you’re chasing money while building your business, it’s not coming from a genuine place, and it will be like a false sense of urgency. You’ll be trying to live off that, and for most businesses, you can’t live off the profits when you’re just starting. Plus, it’s better to put the money back into the company early in the years,” he said.

Outliers is located at 3432 Ridge Road in Lansing, and can be found at otlrapparel.com.

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Karen Abbott-Trimuel is a playwright, author, motivational speaker, and freelance journalist who has lived in Lansing for 17 years. She has always been passionate about writing and storytelling and enjoys meeting and inspiring people. She has established a reputation for writing quality entertainment through her stage plays, authored two books, "Ladies Night Unmasked" and "Check Your Assets and Know Your Value – A Woman's Guide to Becoming Her Authentic Self," and written an article "Are You Happy?" for the online writer's platform Writer UnBoxed. Karen is excited by writing great stories that uplift, inspire, and strengthen the Lansing community.