Joseph Timbo’s business is introducing a new line of clothing to America. It’s soft, comfortable and well fitting. And it’s made of bamboo.
“Usually I get the response, ‘Wow, what is that made of? Bamboo? You mean those green stalks?’ Joseph said.
Joseph’s clothing company Lfficial, established in 2009, offers attire ranging from signature bamboo T-shirts to athletic clothing. The company is the result of Joseph’s seven years of retail experience and a concept for a unique clothing company. The business plan sprung up one night while he was watching TV.
“My brother and I were watching Entourage, and the character Eric was wearing a T-shirt that simply said ‘eight ounces, Los Angeles,’’’ Joseph said. “We decided that we wanted to start a business and come up with an alternative material or fabric to be a selling point.”
After the idea was conceived, Joseph told his brother – also his business partner – to find the alternative material. Three months later he came back with the idea of bamboo.
“Our huge competitive advantage is that people don’t know about bamboo technology, so it’s our job to educate them,” Joseph said.
Joseph uses bamboo not only because of its ample supply, but because it’s antimicrobial, antifungal, hypoallergenic and three times more water absorbent than cotton. Most people aren’t aware of the benefits of the unique fabric.
“You associate bamboo with being very hard; it’s a very sturdy material,” Joseph said. “But when people feel this material they say, ‘Hey, this is very, very, soft.’”
After establishing the name Lfficial (standing for live, laugh, love, learn – each L representing one of the four founders) Joseph’s father invested $1,300 into the venture, which allowed Joseph to purchase 100 T-shirts. He said the business has sold more than 1,000 shirts to date, with products currently at stores in Doylestown and Ambler, Pa.
Lfficial specializes in high-scale and classy clothing with an urban flare, and its target demographic is the young entrepreneur – someone like Joseph.
“A proactive, go-for-your dreams mentality is what we try to portray,” Joseph said. “A photographer that makes his passion into a career, or a musician who does the same.”
The concept has already propelled the business to notable levels in the industry.
Al Payne, a former Ralph Lauren technical designer, has become part owner and affiliate. This October, Joseph plans to go to China to meet with a manufacturer who makes clothes for Tommy Hilfiger and Brooks Brothers, among others.
In the near future, Joseph has plans of opening a boutique in Philadelphia, and eventually expanding the brand across the country.
“The business is my number one priority,” Joseph said. “And it’s finally starting to come to fruition.”
– Matt Finn
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