Entrepeneur at 17: John Lermi


Just by looking at him, you may think senior John Lermi is a jerk, with an RBF that could stare you down and instantly know your every thought (that’s his description of himself, by the way).

However, he is practically the opposite.

A witty and relaxed senior in high school, John spends his time with his girlfriend, watching YouTube videos, and reading self-help books. More recently, he has become the prideful founder of a clothing company, dubbed Pinakl.

He recently had his first launch of clothing, which was a success, enabling him to plan a second launch. His goal is to go to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and become fully immersed in the fashion industry.

         Inspiration for his own company was sparked from working at his dad’s clothing company.

         John’s father is from Turkey, moving his family to the United States when John was only four years old. They first settled in Bayonne, then Staten Island, and finally Verona. While adjusting to changes as drastic as these may be a major struggle for some, John recalls not worrying too much. His nonchalant demeanor about the past gives insight as to how he lives his life now. 

         His father set out to make a living and has since then risen to have his own clothing company. Inspired by his dad’s classic nothing-to-something story, John hopes to continue Pinakl, and eventually take over his dad’s company. 

         Despite the challenges that come from owning your own business, John is ready to tackle the hard times without any support. 

“I’m kind of money crazy, so I’ll probably be by myself,” he replies with a wide grin when asked if he plans on expanding his business to lessen the workload. 

         While some view success as happiness or wealth from family and friends, success for John will be when he has made millions from his clothing line and is involved in the celebrity scene. He aspires to be the person that “goes to parties, invited everywhere, but no one knows who they are.” 

John also has an affinity for cars, excitedly explaining how he would love to have a supercar in the future. However, for now, he will settle for his “flashy blue” sport model Honda Civic, a car he believes is the perfect starting point.

Much like his father, his story emanates hard work and success meant to be enjoyed.