By Danielle Haynes
The Tonawanda News
KENMORE — There’s nothing quite like the feel of luxury, high-end fabrics, quality stitching and just the right cut to flatter your unique frame.
Jason Blood knows that when it comes to men’s suits, bespoke is better, which is why, with the backing of businessmen Adam March and Dan Valentine — Kenmore East graduates — he started Bloodline Handmade.
The custom menswear line had half a dozen or so orders already completed even before its June 6 launch date, said Blood, who is originally from New York City, but moved to Buffalo to tackle this business venture.
Blood’s background is in finance and real estate, but he said years of being a customer of fine menswear has given him an eye for the business.
“This is something I’d always wanted to do. I’ve been dabbling in this kind of stuff ... for multiple years so I know the product and what people expect,” he said. “Our price point is probably about a third of what you (will pay) in New York City and London. We have something that is relatively affordable and that gives a great value.”
Blood first started working with March about a decade ago while March was living in Miami. The Tonawanda native said he always went to Blood for advice on fashion and luxury.
“He was always a very stylish guy,” March said of Blood. “He’s got a little flare with his conservativism and he was always my go-to guy for style.”
“He was saying how much he’d like to get into (the custom-made suit) field,” March said. “I think he adds a lot of value in the consultation ... it seems that Buffalo is ready for him.”
So Blood made the move to Western New York in April and right away got started with the help of March and Valentine, who own a slew of businesses from a debt collection agency, Valmar Funding, Construction and Development, the Lux Nightclub and the soon-to-be opened The Lodge restaurant on Chippewa Street.
“We stay busy,” Valentine said with a laugh.
“We have a network of 700 employees who work directly for us or through outsourced efforts,” March added. “We put together a respected, solid debt buying company and that’s allowed us to fund other things.”
The two Kenmore East graduates — March graduated in 1999, Valentine in 2001 — said they make an effort to help local startup companies as well as fund the growth of already-established businesses.
“Overall, we’re Buffalo guys,” March said of their interest in investing in local businesses. “I love this town. I think it’s on its way up and we’re seeing a boom in Buffalo right now. There’s a huge amount of investment going on in the city and your suburbs provide interesting opportunities.
“It’s a place that’s small enough to try smaller things and get a lot of attention and a chance to succeed,” he said, adding that if they were to open a place like Bloodline Handmade in New York City, they would be just one of many such businesses.
“In Buffalo, you do something interesting ... and it actually turns into something,” March said. “It’s nice to be in a town that appreciates hard work and innovation.”
Bloodline Handmade offers in-home consultations with Blood and will soon be offering appointments at J. Norman & Co Men’s Shop in the Tony Walker plaza in Williamsville. The price point for a custom-made suit starts at $1,200 and can go upwards of $1,800 for suits that include specialty imported fabrics or notions.
For more information, visit www.bloodlinehandmade.com.
Contact Sunday Lifestyle editor Danielle Haynes at 693-1000, ext. 4116 or follow her on Twitter at @DanielleHaynes1.
MORE INFORMATION • WHAT: Bloodline Handmade • WHERE: They will come to you, or, in the future, you can visit them at Tony Walker men's shop at 5110 Main St., Williamsville • FOR APPOINTMENTS: Visit www.bloodlinehandmade.com, or call 222-0190.