The idea for The Tailor Network is as simple as it is revolutionary.
Create a network of independent master tailors.
Add seamstresses from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, trained through our charity (Tailor Empowerment).
Pay a fair, sustainable income to all of them.
Offer unique, fully customizable, high quality suits, jackets, and coats for men and for women.
Make them price-competitive, by replacing paid advertising with referrals and corporate partner events.
The idea started to form while I was working on a project in Asia and through the recommendation of a colleague, got my first tailor made suit.
I had always thought about becoming an entrepreneur but didn’t know what the idea would be. I only had a clear idea what kind of company I wanted to create. As a young child, I was lucky to meet some of the grand old captains of the German Wirtschaftswunder, and have been inspired by their approach to running a business. Fully profit oriented but with a strong sense of responsibility for their employees and society. Something I often feel is missing today- I knew this was the approach I wanted to create my own company with some day.
And when I had this experience of getting a suit tailored, it started.
First there was this great customer experience of getting a suit tailor made. I was able to select the fabrics I wanted, determine core design elements, and the fit.... I could not believe the difference! From that minute I was sold, and I knew I could never buy an off-the-rack suit again. Wearing a tailored suit feels totally different: more comfort, better quality, and a totally different body experience.
Then I started wondering why I had to travel to Asia to have this experience at a competitive price. In Europe we have such a strong tailoring culture and history. I remember growing up with every town having its own tailor. So I started looking into the options for tailor made suits in Europe, but I couldn't find anything price competitive that wasn’t made in Asia. (I have seen working conditions in those factories, and it's beyond concerning.)
I saw the opportunity to create something that would allow people to wear unique clothes at a fair price, that would bring work back to local communities, and have real impact. When we started working on the details for The Tailor Network, we soon realized that we could extend our benefit beyond just bringing work back to existing tailors, we could create also opportunities for those who struggle to find meaningful income due to their low education – this is how we came to the idea of Tailor Empowerment.
Today, what makes me really proud of the team I have built is that, not only is our business model built on our values, but that our team also lives these values outside of work: empowerment, everyday improvement, and inclusivity.
Michael Bist, CEO and Founder of The Tailor Network