Hello everyone, I’m Jean-Baptiste George, founder of Nürmanstone.
First of all, thank you for your interest in our brand and its history.
Passionate since my childhood about cars and motorcycles, I do not come from the fashion world.
Knowing this, many people ask me why I created a clothing brand.
I will try to give you an answer here but let me first introduce myself in a few lines.
I’ll be 40 in few days (God, that goes by fast). I am originally from the North of France.
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always loved cars and motorcycles (it happened a little later).
I can’t say where this virus comes from because there is no trace of it in my family.
It must have been there…
Between the toys, Majorettes and Hotwheels, the 1/18 Bburago cars, or even those famous collectible cards (picture) I started to acquire a certain immoderate fondness for the automobile in a time when it was still “glorious”.
I can’t say that I was a super fan of motorsport races, but as soon as one of them was on TV, I would watch it if I could.
In the car, family members had to put up with my exclamations every time I saw a vehicle I liked.
As a child, I would have liked to think of myself as an “engineer at Ferrari”.
When I was 12 or 13 years old, I collected a pile of magazines in a dumpster: custom motorcycle magazines…I fell in love with some Harley Davidson and I quickly painted one on the freshly papered wall of my bedroom (I never owned a Harley).
The rest is obvious. 14 years old: moppet Peugeot 101 then 103.
My mother always says that I probably pushed them more than I rode them. Ideal to learn and forge experience (good or bad).
Motorcycle license at 19 and a good part of my life spent on a saddle.
In short, you will have understood it, all this is well ingrained in me.
I followed a classic schooling that led me to engage in sales studies that I stopped despite excellent results (I did not like the somewhat reductive vision of sales that I learned there).
I’m 20 years old at the time and I tell myself that this was the time to take advantage of life to satisfy my passion.
I want to be a motorcycle mechanic……in competition if possible.
As I have a general baccalaureate, I find a school in Paris where I can take the professional baccalaureate in one year.
Sold !!! I sign.
After one year of daily trip Lille-Paris by TGV (I don’t talk about the timetables (up/down) but it was cheaper than taking an apartment in Paris), I get my bac pro car maintenance option motorcycle with mention.
I then apply for a training in motorcycle competition in Le Mans with the hope of being taken there against applicants with a 6-year course of study and therefore a much greater experience.
Unfortunately, I will not be retained. So I will go back to college… for barely a month.
That’s right, because one Sunday in late September or early October 2000, I receive a call from the Lycée Le Mans Sud.
- Hello! –
- Yes, hello??????!!!!
- Good evening, this is Mr. Saulnier from Le Mans South High School.
- You applied for the Junior Team LMS?
- Yes…. but… I didn’t get in…?????…?????
- Indeed, only 10 students were selected and you were the 11th…I was???
- … the 10th withdrew. Could you come to Le Mans tomorrow?
- Uhhhhh, yes…
That’s (more or less) how I find myself in one of the years that will remain engraved in my memory: the year 2001 in the Suzuki Junior Team LMS
Oh I wasn’t the best element, obviously, I lacked experience in a field where I was going to have to learn excellence.
The Team Manager (and teacher) will even tell me one day that he saw me more as a salesman than a mechanic: a visionary!!!!
In the meantime, this year, shared between courses, competitions in the French Superbike Championship (the top in national motorcycle competition) and in the World Endurance Championship (and its mythical Le Mans 24 hours and Bol D’Or) has brought me a lot both technically and humanly.
After this year, I went from small jobs as a mechanic in a dealership to a mechanic in competition (volunteer or not) and then made a recruitment that would change the game.
It was a question of joining the official team of a major Japanese brand in World Supersport (at the time, some would have paid to be there) as a mechanic. Even as I was leaving the team owner’s office with an oral promise of employment, one of the guys from the team came to see me to talk and in a few words quickly dissuaded me from going any further.
Between the impossible family life and the arrival of various engineers on the teams, the mechanic was becoming a tire and fairing fitter.
In the end, we didn’t touch too much of the exciting stuff anymore: engine, suspension, injection.
I had also recently met the woman who still shares my life today.
Add to that the derisory salaries, and I realised that it was better to keep it as a hobby rather than a job.
Here I am looking for a sales position with a half BTS (french high school diploma) and a Professional Baccalaureate… not easy.
My first job as a salesman consisted in selling security solutions against theft to motorcycle professionals (anti-theft locks, alarms…).
How did I get the job?
When the manager told me during the interview “But you have no commercial experience”, I answered him:
It’s true!!!! In the meantime, if nobody gives me a chance, I will never have any experience. Moreover, if I may say so, who better than the person who installed your alarms would know how to sell them?????
Bingo !!! the beginning of a career in B to B (business to business) where I quickly became a sales “executive” for an oil french company to end up with a Japanese motorcycle manufacturer for whom I was “District sales manager”, understand, network animator. Jobs in which I often wore shirts … we’ll come back to that.
As for passion, it’s always dictated my life, so… .
I like to “tinker” a lot like with this quad that I built myself with a sportbike engine (GSXR) and that reached (I only dared once) 200km/h (120 mph).
I own or have owned various classic cars.
I started riding motorcycles on track (I stopped with the arrival of the children), then cars with my own car, prepared by me (sold reluctantly since).
At the same time, I was also largely involved in a discipline of motorsport (Drifting where I was judge) until last year, when I was over 15 years old.
Passionate about photography, I also kept a blog for a few years which was interested in the garages of enthusiasts (ArrêtSurGarage).
Needless to say that as soon as I can go to a circuit or an event related to my passion, I don’t have to sell it to myself for a long time.
So, without telling you too much, I think you can already better imagine who is the creator of Nürmanstone.
If you want to know a little more about it, here is an interview I did to present the project (subtitles availables)
Thank you again for your interest, more in a few days.
See you soon.