Suits are full of joy. They’re the sartorial equivalent of a baby’s smile
When celebrations, functions, parties or any other occasions come knocking at our doors, we are obliged to dress up for the occasion in a custom made suit, sherwani or ethnic wear for the occasion. But the entire process is a lengthy one with multiple choices to be made, and includes other roadblocks along the way that make the entire process stressful and time consuming.108 Bespoke aims to change that.
108 Bespoke started on August 10th 2013 with two tailors, one machine and one designer in their garage. They had a makeshift office in the top storey of their house. They worked there for three months and then moved to 1st Main Road, Sheshadripuram, Bangalore. Now they have grown to eight tailors, 10 machines and three designers. Their studio is also opening shortly at the same venue.
108 Bespoke does not have salesmen. Their fashion consultants give unique and one-on-one fashion advice and suggestions to each individual customer as per their need and taste. Their service involves ‘at the doorstep’ model where they go to the customer for fabric selection and measurement, for trial and then for delivery. Thus making it a very convenient and a special service.
People today do not have the time for customized clothing and end up buying clothes which do not cater to their individual taste and style. Wedding customers have a difficult time deciding what outfits will go well with the different wedding functions. The fashion consultants solve all the above hassles and pain points.
Taking the plunge and starting up
Brothers Bharath and Moolesh Co-founded 108 Bespoke. Bharath Jain did his MS in Electrical Engineering (2006-2007) at University of Southern California, Los Angeles. After which he worked at Intel Corp from 2007 to 2013. He then moved to Intel Bangalore in August of 2010 as he wanted to start something on his own and stay close to his family.
Belonging to a business family it was probably in their genes to venture into one. Bharath liked what he did at Intel but always felt that he wanted to contribute towards expanding his family business. His family has been in the garment industry for the last 40 years and thus starting 108 Bespoke felt like a perfect enhancement to their business. Their established garment business gave him the confidence to switch careers and make this risky and bold move.
Moolesh Jain did his BCom from SBMJC (Jain College). Moolesh was always interested in joining the family business and once he finished his Bachelors in 2003, he dived right in. He has been an integral part of family business ever since. It was Moolesh’s idea to start 108 Bespoke and he discussed it with Bharath and they started the business.
Bharath quit Intel in February 2013 to start working on the 108 Bespoke concept which was Moolesh's idea. Since he had been in the garment industry for over 10 years, he was able to identify some drawbacks with the current process of getting customized clothes. It is a time consuming and cumbersome process involving multiple vendors which starts with choosing and buying fabric, going to tailors, revisiting for a trial and then getting the final product after weeks of hassle and going back and forth. They came up with a solution to have a one-stop shop which would make this process simpler and seamless with the added advantage of providing clients with the finished product at their doorstep. “Being an engineer I believe that having expertise in the field is the first step towards success. So Bharath pitched the idea of adding fashion designers to their team,” says Moolesh.
Men – Office Wear, Ethinc Wear, Smart Casuals
Women – Western Formals, Smart Casuals, Dresses
The Founders estimate that the market opportunity is huge. Everybody who wants to make a statement with their clothes is a potential customer. They make clothes for each person with their individuality in it. In short, outfits are made specially for them and thus would involve all the uniqueness required including fit, style, logo, initials etc. They are targeting Corporates, Businesswomen, Businessmen, Grooms and Expats at present. For this they are looking into tie ups with Wedding Planners, Companies, Image Consultants, Service Apartments etc.
The only barrier is that people get apprehensive of the term "fashion designers and consultants" because until now their services were availed only by the rich. 108 Bespoke gives this service as a part of their brand. It takes some time to get this point through to some of their potential customers but eventually they understand and love 108 Bespoke and the concept even more.
How 108Bespoke works?
108 Bespoke is totally committed to provide a hassle free service in just 5 steps.
Step 1: Get a “at doorstep” service where a fashion consultant and master tailor comes to your door, home or office, at a time convenient to you. They provide a choice of more than thousand fabrics from all reputed local brands and several high quality international brands.
Step 2: Choose the Fabric with the help of their fashion consultant who will help the customer style their outfits and choose from the high range of quality samples.
Step 3: Get measured by 108 Bespoke's Master tailor.
Step 4: Once the fabric is chosen and measurements are taken, they would get back to the customer’s doorstep with a trial of the outfits within 10 days.
Step 5: Thereafter they would deliver taking less than 2 weeks for the whole process.
The above steps also can be carried at their studio located in Sheshadripuram.
108 Bespoke works off fabric swatches and thus make it easy to carry fabrics to the doorstep of customers. Having a long family history into fabric business makes it easy to have tie ups. Their tie ups range from wholesalers, retailers to dealers. This gives a range of fabric that go are in thousands. They basically spoil their customers for choice.
Being from a corporate world helped Bharath understand, that if a business has to last, they need to run 108 Bespoke as a company. Thus all people associated are on a payroll and are treated as employees. They do not work on per piece work with tailors like other businesses, they give them salaries instead, which gives them a sense of security and solves their labour problem.
They have had around 300 unique customers and at least half of them are repeat customers. They have made clothes for around 50 wedding clients.
Marketing at present has been through word of mouth, business networking groups like BNI, tie ups with experts like wedding planners, friends and family. They are also trying to set up a one day stall at MNC companies which can help them get exposure with their employees. They are also evaluating our budgets to start spending on Social Media marketing.
Some basic challenges were
1. Getting Customers - As theirs was a brand based product it takes time and hard work to get customers hooked to them. They knew that from word "Go". So they were patient and let their diligence and concept do the work.
2. Making people get used to the concept of fashion designers - Usually the term fashion designers/consultants scares people as they are associated with the famous, rich and ramps. They have fashion designers to enhance the outlook of the client. They make it easier for the clients to choose fabrics and get styled according to their body type, colour, persona etc. Fashion designers are to clothing what architects are to building.
3. Getting a Company Structure with a wide variety of Employees especially tailors who usually work on per piece basis.
4. Current challenges, Expansion - They plan to start small studios in other parts of the city while keeping the office and production at one place. They still have a long way to go to establish studios all over the city.
5. Embracing Technology : Having an engineering perspective on the team, helps as they were technologically very sound which helped them in cutting down a lot of repetitive tasks like moving measurements of customers from tailor to designer to admin etc. They now use an app for these purposes while initially taking measurements so that all the details go to a central database even before the team gets back to the office. This eliminates delays and mistakes and keeps the entire team on the same page for smooth operation of the business.
108 Bespoke's interaction with Robert Kiyosaki, Author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad
On the evening of 20th Sept, Sat, Moolesh got a call from Mac Srinivasan who is the Executive Director at BNI asking if they could make a blazer for Mr. Robert Kiyosaki. Robert wanted to wear a Jacquard Blazer for his National Achievers Conference Finale event on Sunday the 21st Sept. They could not believe their ears and they obviously had to say "YES".
From then on, They went to the Hotel where Robert was staying, got his measurements in the first visit. Gave him a trial that night and got his outfits delivered by noon on Sunday. Robert was very happy with the service and invited Moolesh to the NAC event in the evening as his guest.
What happened next just shows the humbleness of a great guy and easily made it one of the best days of their company. Robert called Moolesh on stage in front of thousands of people, holding the 108 Bespoke bag, and said "I used to buy all my clothes from Italy, but after I met Moolesh, I will get all my clothes from India" . That summarised the whole episode and they were glad to have made that difference.
You can check out a short video of the incident here.
Robert's feedback: Robert loved the Outfit and wore it for his Bangalore Finale Event. He was so pleased with the outfit and the service that he ordered 7 more Shirts which were to be shipped to USA.
Other Success Stories include:
108 Bespoke got Suits done for Indian Team Hockey Players Raghunath VR and Sunil SV for their Commonwealth Silver Medal Felicitation by the Chief Minister.
108 Bespoke’s Service and Craftsmanship has Actor Dhyaan (Sammir Dattani) get his outfits done in Bangalore while he resides in Mumbai.
They have also successfully designed Wedding wardrobes for 10 Grooms and their family.
So if you are planning to get a Suit, Sherwani or a classy Outfit tailored to meet your specific needs and tastes, give 108 Bespoke a try and do let us know your feedback.
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- Fashion design
- Embracing Technology
- fashion consultant
- Robert Kiyosaki
- Mac Srinivasan
- Barney Stinson
- Moolesh Jain
- Fabric Partners
- 108 BeSpoke