How does a Computing Grad and a Engineering Graduate who studied in Cambridge, start an Multi-Award winning Tailing Company? Don’t tell me skills are not transferable! So, TheEmployable contacted ‘A Suit that Fits’ to find out about the last four years of success from idea, to startup, to ‘established’ Business and find out how they managed to engineer such a rise to notoriety…..(Did I forget to mention, they are the first online Tailoring Company in the World….)
So, check out our interview below with Co-Founder Warren Bennett, who was happy to quickly help so that the interview could go out as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week…
When I emailed through to request this interview, the email response that came back also
contained, underneath the email signature, your accolades to date…Not bad hey! (for our readers benefits you list 20 awards you have either won or been finalists in, in the last four years!) How does it feel to receive recognition that you are obviously doing things right?
We are really thankful for the awards that we have won; we have a very loyal customer base and a talented team who really make the business exceptional.
Can you take us back to before the business was set up, had either of you any experience in setting up a business and how did you find your feet in the early days?
Prior to A Suit That Fits, I graduated from Cambridge with a Distinction in my Aeronautical Engineering Master’s Degree. I then studied at the highly selective CDI MBA course in Paris, and worked in marketing
strategy. At the CDI, I developed a passion for business, starting a small importation business with suppliers originating in India and Nepal. I have travelled extensively, undertaking voluntary work teaching Maths in Uganda, Flight Theory in China and Web Design in Nepal.Whilst in Nepal, I stayed with a family of tailors who made me a fine hand-tailored woollen suit. In 2006,I was wearing my fantastic suit when I met with schoolfriend David Hathiramani. This inspired us to combine two passions- technology and tailoring. A Suit That Fits now has 33 locations nationwide.
David’s experience was different from mine; prior to A Suit That Fits he graduated from Imperial College London, in Computing. He then joined his brother in starting up a recruitment company in Cambridge. He left to pursue his interest in systems and software, working in IT for a leading recruitment company and quickly graduating to becoming IT manager. He then left this position for A Suit That Fits.
How did it feel to get your first paying customer on the site?
Our first paying customer was actually in Hampstead market where we trialed the business – we sold our first two suits within 20 minutes and realised the business idea was viable – it was an incredible feeling.
….& then how quickly did things take off?
We created the first version of aSuitThatFits.com over the course of the first 24 hours in business; it was
black, white, grey and red and was just about able to take payment for a suit. Once the website was up and running it started to attract customers and take orders straight away.
This week is Global Entrepreneurship Week, as two young Entrepreneurs, do you think everyone has it in them to be an Entrepreneur?
If you have a great product that people want and can grow and motivate a brilliant team focused on delivering a great service, I believe you have the basic ingredients of being a successful Entrepreneur.
What would be your top three tips for a budding Entrepreneur just starting their journey?
– Value feedback and treat it as a gift – it is the only way you will progress your ideas well.
– Recruit a team for the business that you want to be – that way you’ll always be one step ahead.
– Networking is a great way to make unexpected links that compliment your business.
What was the biggest mistake you have made with ‘A Suit that Fits’
I wouldn’t say we’ve made any particularly big mistakes but we have certainly learnt many lessons along the way. As an example, we recruited our team for the business at the level it was – and we have since learnt to recruit for the business we want to be.
Whats next for the business? Any exciting plans in place for 2012?
We will be opening more studios to make our offering more local, more personalised and more accessible to
everyone in the UK; and following our 2011 launch of the half-lined jacket and the MP3 tunnel, we’re very excited about some fantastic new suit innovations we have planned for the New Year.
Going back to our first question, with all these awards ceremonies you must attend, there must be some pressure on you to look good! Ever regretted a suit you have worn?!
I love all of the suits I’ve designed with A Suit That Fits…but my business partner David wasn’t keen on the flared trousers I wore with the first suit I ever had tailored!
TheEmployable wish Warren and David all the best for the next few years and thank you Warren for your time to answer our questions.