Former D1 Championship player Justin Drummond who Led Loyola to the 2012 NCAA Tournament now is the CEO of SparkC Innovation.
SparkC is an innovative global cybersecurity consulting firm headquartered in Washington D.C which specializes in governance, risk, and compliance consulting services, providing clients with strategic guidance, technical solutions, and business advice to best serve their individual needs.
He is also the founder of Execz Suit Company which just showed its commercial at the “Sinner Wanted” premiere.
Justin Drummond is the Youngest African American suit owner at the age of 26. Execz Suit Company is a black-owned suit and lifestyle company that is reinventing the prices of high-quality professional attire.
Execz Suit Company serves the next generation of professionals with high-quality, precision tailored, and affordable suits. Selling over 150 suits in the first year, the progression of this journey is just beginning.
As a successful business owner Justin pays it forward by mentoring millennial entrepreneurs.
Tammy Reese: What has the journey been so far as the Youngest African American Suit Owner in the
Justin Drummond: The journey has been a rollercoaster ride but I have enjoyed every step of the process. From traveling across the world and making business connections at age 22 with people that did not even speak that same language.
As I look back on that alone, it gives me more confidence that I can continue to grow this company. A four-year journey launched in May 2019 – and we exploded on the scene obtaining 20 orders on the first day.
Changing the narrative around african-american’s ability to own and source within the business suit industry (not really fashion) is huge.
Some people have doubts when they see a black person owns it, and I embrace it and aim to change that by providing excellent service and high-quality products.
This doesn’t directly help me but it will help the next young black male that wants to be taken seriously in the suit industry.
Tammy Reese: How did Execz Suit Company come about?
Justin Drummond: The idea came about seeing a niche in the market for high-quality tailored low cost suits for millennials and provide our overall community with a comfortable price point to increase access.
My goal was to make sure our community had the access to best quality fabrics, suit styles, and mens formal wear to provide a better self-image for our young people.
Upon realizing the niche and positive impact it could have, I chose to embark on making this a reality in 2015.
It took about 4 years to build, ranging to testing fabrics, learning how to extract measurements, business processes, and much more.
It was important that we did not cut corners because it would show and we could potentially lose our credibility.
Tammy Reese: What sets your business apart from others that are in the professional attire industry?
Justin Drummond: The niche that sets us apart is our high-quality fabrics and unlimited collection. Our collection is much bigger than your average professional attire store.
Our collection runs deep and our prices do not drastically increase which leads me into our 2nd niche, PRICING. Customers are left buying overpriced tailored suits.
Mainly the African-American falls victim to this price point, and I want to change that.
I am playing the long game with our pricing model because I want my community to have access to the nicest things to make our African-American men and women stand out in the workplace and beyond.
Tammy Reese: What’s your favorite color suit and why?
Justin Drummond: My favorite suit is our Gray Original Houndstooth suit. I love the color blue and the fabric itself is amazing.
When I am going to business meetings with SparkC (an additional company), I always wear that suit when it is time to close the deal.
The fabric stands out and really makes you look sharp in the eyes of clients.
Tammy Reese: What was your experience like as a division 1 basketball player?
Justin Drummond: It was amazing, inspiring, and allowed to realize how much I needed to be an entrepreneur..lol.
It was non-stop work with no negotiations. On the positive side, playing in front of 9,000 plus fans every 3 days for 7 months out of the year, there’s no better life.
I put in a lot of work to reach that level of D1 college basketball, ranging from conference championships (MAAC), all-conference awards (MAC, MAAC) NCAA & NIT appearances.
Traveling across the country and receiving some much fan love was a great experience for 4 years, and I received a lot of momentum starting my business while being a star player.
The work ethic that I built through basketball has translated to entrepreneurship, and it has helped me get through the tough times in business.
The greatest experience of my life, I would do it all over again if I could.
Tammy Reese: What have been some other memorable moments in your career so far?
Justin Drummond: One of the most memorable moments was my 2012 year at Loyola University Maryland when I won the 2012 MAAC (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) Championship, 6th man of the Year in the conference, only bench player to make an all-conference team, and MAAC all-tournament team.
The second most memorable moment is when I transferred to University of Toledo, and we started out
the season 12-0, after everybody told me I went to the wrong school.
We shocked the mid-major arena that year, and we ended 27-6 and made it the NIT.
Throughout my whole career, I have experienced winning through hard work, dedication, and being accountable to my teammates.
Tammy Reese: What are you looking forward to in 2021?
Justin Drummond: I am looking forward to growing the Execz Suit Company, as well as my other companies which are SparkC, LLC. (Cyber-Security) and Dreamerz Inspiration, LLC. SparkC is growing and we have hired more employees so we are experiencing some great growth as of late.
Juggling these businesses literally keeps me busy 24/7 but I know that there is light at the end of the tunnel when my infrastructure is built.
Tammy Reese: What feedback have you received in regards to your work with Dreamerz Inspiration?
Justin Drummond:The feedback has been good. I am looking forward to investing in Dreamerz Inspiration as my other businesses continue to grow.
Prior to COVID-19, we would perform inspirational events at various public and private schools to engage and inspire the students outside of the school realm.
In 2021, we are releasing Inspirational Sound projects, merchandise, visual content, and much more. This is a long term dream of mine, and it is slowly taking form as my other businesses grow.
Tammy Reese: Please tell us about SparkC?
Justin Drummond: SparkC is a cyber-security and training technology firm that provides innovative training solutions. I started the business in 2013 while being the star basketball player at University of Toledo so I received a lot of positive attention.
As I was going through my junior summer and senior year, I made money in college from providing security assessments to local businesses.
This really ignited the fire in me to know that I can build this, and not have to rely on basketball because “Ball was never LIFE” for me.
After I graduated, I decided to take the business route and pursue SparkC full time. Starting out I was broke, and for the first 4 years it was always up and down, sometimes paying my employees on overdraft.
Fast forward to today, we are doing great and have a total of 6 employees.
Our main service is providing cyber-security management and training technology solutions to government agencies, private companies, and small businesses.
My long term goal is to increase the opportunities for African-American within the cybersecurity industry as owners and entrepreneurs.
Tammy Reese: What else can we be on the lookout for from you?
Justin Drummond: I am building a couple more ideas that will turn into businesses by 2024. Dreamerz Inspiration will be increasing our output this year, and I will continue to grow SparkC and Execz Suit Company to the best of my ability.
This year will be focused on making the right investments in all of my companies to ensure we are making good profits at the end of the year.
Also this year will be one of the hardest working ones in a long time because I am trying to manage while we grow. I am looking forward to the challenge, no question!
Tammy Reese: What advice would you have for anyone who wants to become an Entrepreneur?
Justin Drummond: The advice that I would give someone that wants to become a SUCCESSFUL entrepreneur, because everyday is an entrepreneur in today’s time.
One of the main factors to stay dedicated and persevere. One phrase I always remind myself of – “You may not have what you want, but you will always have what you need to keep going.
Keep up-to-date with Justin Drummond and his career journey by connecting on Instagram.
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Multimedia Creative and Personality Tammy Reese is an award-winning Writer and Journalist. Writing and Directing short films on social issues to spread awareness through the arts gained Tammy the Makers: Women Who Make America Award honor on International Women's Day 2019. Tammy currently serves on the Communications Committee for New York Women In Film and Television. She is also the Founder and Owner of Visionary Minds Public Relations and Media.