It’s always good to catch up with old friends, especially when they’ve got some exciting news to share. That’s certainly the case with our former columnist David Hathiramani. Not only has he recently become a father for the first time but his bespoke tailoring company A Suit That Fits has just launched its first ever crowdfunding campaign, looking to kick its UK expansion into gear before setting its sights Stateside.
The crowdfunding campaign, which has been launched on Crowdcube, is looking to raise £500,000 for 5% equity and follows the launch of the company’s brand new Fit Expert Marketplace. First trialled in Ireland, the new concept will give customers access to their own personal local tailor while offering fashion fanatics the opportunity to build their own business with the ongoing support of A Suit That Fits. Hathiramani is hoping to grow the network to 300 ‘Fit Experts’ in the next five years – at a rate of ten new recruits a month – so that everyone in the UK can pick and choose the fashion expert that best suits their tastes. While the marketplace will focus on bespoke suits and formal shirts in the initial stages, it will eventually expand to include casual shirts, jeans and “anything else that’s stitched and sewn.”
And just in case anyone needed an additional incentive to invest in A Suit That Fits, it’s offering anyone who invests through Crowdcube up to 50% of their investment back in suit and shirt credit, as well as the ability to claim up to 30% back in tax relief via the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). If all goes to plan, the company expects to reach a valuation of £90m within the next five years, meaning investors can expect a targeted nine times return on their investment.
“In order to delight a customer with tailoring, it requires a personal service so what we’re trying to do now is to really get that personal service local,” said Hathiramani. “We’re hoping to create the option for anyone in the UK to have something made bespoke for them. And at the same time we are offering an avenue for starting up a business in the fashion industry – which is incredibly tough – to people who want to do it. It’s just a win-win for everyone concerned.”
He continued: “Once we get the model working in the UK, we can then start to broaden our horizons and say, ‘How can we roll this out in the US?’ We already have a studio in New York but the States is very much phase two because the UK is such a big market.”
Commenting on the crowdfunding campaign, Hathiramani added: “We have an opportunity to disrupt the fashion industry so we want everyone to be part of that journey. We’ve not done crowdfunding before and it’s a huge learning experience but we are planning some pretty fun events over the next month or so.”
What are you waiting for? To join Hathiramani on his journey – and get yourself a fancy new suit – make sure you pay a visit to the Crowdcube page before the campaign comes to a close.