Calvin Jarrett, Founder & CEO Bee Manufacturing Inc.
Founder, Calvin Jarrett is the heart and soul of Bee Manufacturing. He has a highly evolved knowledge of the production of creative athletic apparel. His lengthy experience includes training operators, designing apparel and motivating workers. A Chicago native and 1980 graduate of Dunbar High School, he is a tireless worker and inspiration to young people. He maintains personal relationships with industry suppliers and other apparel manufacturers.
A 100% owner of the company, Calvin Jarrett founded Bee on faith, commitment and perseverance in 1990. His love for sewing took hold when he saw a custom suit worn by a student in his cousin's high school yearbook. That suit became his quest.
As he prepared for his 8th grade graduation, his mother struggled and saved so that she could have the suit made in time for the big day. Seeing his mother struggle to get the suit made, Calvin decided to pursue his love and become a tailor himself. He took tailoring classes in high school and elsewhere. At the age of 15, he applied for a sewing machine operator job at Meiozer Raincoat Corp. He didn't get the job but owner Maury Girch hired the determined high school sophomore part-time to clean up the plant floor and assist machine operators with their bundles. Calvin was thrilled. He worked hard and took on extra responsibilities.
Upon graduation, he took a full-time job job with the company. He not only learned to operate the industrial machines, he filled in on the sewing machine whenever the shift was short-handed. Under Maury, Calvin mastered and improved all aspects of the operation -- production, shipping and billing -- and learned everything there is to know about the apparel manufacturing industry.
Calvin became so important to the operation that when the plant was sold, both he and Maury worked in an advisory capacity for the new owners. He opened his own manufacturing company when his softball team wanted to order jackets. A light when off in his head and Calvin asked for the business. Maury helped him acquire the jacket material and Calvin went into production. Even though all didn't go well, he learned a lot in the process which energized and excited him.
He took a leap of faith and started his first business, CJ Sportswear, with no money, no name recognition and no idea of how to run a company. His marketing plan include giving away jackets to radio personalities. This built the company's credibility. He realized that the jacket line had more potential that the suits that he made for his friends. In 1990, Bee Manufacturing was born.
Today, his client list includes coaches, celebrities, and entertainers -- in addition to sports teams, schools and corporations.