It seems incredible. It’s exactly two years since I thought of creating tailored jeans. I did not really like to go to the malls, to try out, try out, try out and then go home empty-handed. On the December 12th, 2015 I started writing the story of tailored jeans.
For the second anniversary I gave myself a few presents. You may have noticed that we have a new website and also a new name, new logo and new graphics in general. A few months ago I opened a new showroom. From next year on, apart from tailored jeans, we will also offer tailored shirts.
But what I am most pleased about is the fact that now when I write articles for my blog, I can say “us, we are, we have”, etc. It’s not that my denim journey so far was a one-man show, no, never that. From the very beginning, there were at least two of us – me and the lady sewer. But since then we have grown, and without my great colleagues, I would not be where I am right now. I mean, where WE are.
But how did it actually all start?
It took more than three months – I was looking for a sewer, picking up fabriques, undoing my old trousers. At the end of March I showed my first pair of tailored jeans to the world, respectively to my friends. Would this be a good idea for business? My friends thought so. Within a couple of days, I asked an acquaintance of mine, who was a photographer, to make some photos of me in my new jeans, I created a new website and printed business cards. And in the middle of April I went to the Glorious conference as a person who made jeans … even though I have not created any yet. But this is the so called testing of demand. There I got my first two customers. And then it became a more interesting period.
How will I make the damn jeans? That’s the question
It all started comically. During the first months of my business, I actually found out how to make jeans. My first exams with customers? They included a decent amount of naivety. I still can not explain where their incredible patience came from. I delivered my first pair of jeans only after 2.5 months. At Prague’s Náplavka. At 10:30 p.m.
And suddenly there were the first interviews. About a boy who makes tailored jeans. Even though he had only made … uh … two pairs so far. July was a really interesting month. The first article about my business came out on the portal Podnikatel.cz. A few days later, Miloš Čermák called me from Hospodářské noviny. Yes, the famous Milos Čermák. And I felt like being in a paradise. I called my father, mom, brother, …
In July, I also decided not to go to Montreal, Canada, to the renowned McGill. I honestly had quite enough of studying already and I wanted to start using theory in practice. And since I’ve been in corporations for years before that, the idea of creating my own business sounded incredibly appealing to me.
Hospodářské noviny? Wow
In mid-September an article about my jeans was published in Ego! – a journal of Hospodářské noviny. I was just enjoying traveling in Switzerland with my friends. When I got to the email after a few hours, I did not believe my own eyes. Dozens of emails. Dozens of requests for tailored jeans. I figured out that I really must have found a hole in the market. But I was not ready for it yet.
It is said that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. This experience undoubtedly made me stronger. But it almost killed me. I’ve really disappointed a lot of people – potential customers. Most startup companies struggle to get their first customers. I was exactly in the opposite situation. I totally could not deliver what my customers wanted – tailored jeans in such quantities.
And then Christmas came
I sold my first gift vouchers and was looking forward to meeting new customers. And then I soon discovered another thing that burned me. And which also determined my direction. Sewing ladies’ tailored jeans is not easy at all, and I really had a lot of trouble trying to do it. I decided that I would not sew jeans for women and I would tell my customers who have already bought their vouchers for Christmas. Perhaps you can imagine: you give your wife, girlfriend or mother a Christmas present for Christmas. And then comes Patrik and takes their joy away. But my grandmother often said that honesty is the best policy. And grandmothers are always right. I opened up and told the truth. Some of my customers I visited in person, the others I called to tell the truth. I was surprised how well they had taken it. The men and their wives. Since then, I only make men’s denim trousers.
From the beginning it was Prague, Brno, Olomouc. In these cities I had my first customers. Gradually, I left Brno and Olomouc and stayed only in Prague, where I made visits to my clients. I took it as a good service for them to save time, and moreover my business was not as stable for me to be able to rent some space and regularly pay rent each month.
In May this year I said to myself that if I want to move the jeans to another level I can not spend so much of my time waiting in the Prague traffic. I had to invest that time elsewhere. And so I started looking for the right space. In a month, I found it at Prague’s Vinohrady and in the middle of July I opened a new showroom and welcomed the first customers. It was a very important milestone for me.
In a few months, another milestone came.
It has occurred to me that if I want to make proper jeans, it must not be a one-man show (that is me and the sewer lady). And so I started looking for a partner. It is said that coincidences do not exist. At the same time, Jana contacted me, saying that she has been watching my Facebook and Instagram profiles from the very beginning. She liked what I was doing and was secretly cheering for me.
No surprise, we have cooperated ever since and it has been already 2.5 months. During that time, we were able to prepare the rebranding, a new website, beautiful gift vouchers a, and lots of little details that will delight our customers. And us as well. I think we’ll be able to hold on to each other for a while. After Jana, our team was joined by an incredibly creative and experienced graphic artist, a nice copywriter, two girls for performance marketing, a designer, and a new web programmer.
And the latest news? Tailor-made Shirts. Customers wanted them, and they fit well with the jeans. Since it’s me, I could not take in anyone else but a specialist to our team. I do not know anything about creating tailored shirts, but I found someone who is a master in the field. Would you like to try the new shirts? Or to give a Christmas gift to someone? Write to me.
12th December, 2017
And today, it has been exactly 2 years after I wrote this article and looking back, I’m smiling. I’ve seen a lot and I think that, damn, it was worth it. Adventures and experiences that nobody will ever take from me.
And now I’m just curious about the next two years will bring … I’m looking forward to it.