Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

San Francisco Alumni Club Monthly Spotlight: Taylor Stitch

The San Francisco Alumni Club’s monthly spotlight on alumni businesses continues. Check back and read about more Babson startups! The following post is from Christa Ferguson M’15 of Parrot Foods.

Mike Armenta(29) ’08 (Art Institute of Boston) | Mike Maher (30) ’07  | Barrett Purdum (30) ’07

Mike Armenta(29) ’08 (Art Institute of Boston) | Mike Maher (30) ’07 | Barrett Purdum (30) ’07

Taylor Stitch

Taylor Stitch

Title of each founder: We are all co-founders

Industry: Clothing Design & Retail

What do you sell: Tailored casual men’s and women’s clothing and accessories

What is your value proposition?  We design and produce classic staples with updated fits that are built to last.

Company Headquarters: San Francisco, California

Where did your company name come from?: Partly from our first year living on Taylor Street in San Francisco and partly because it was a play on tailoring.  The Stitch came because it’s the backbone of every garment; the piece of the puzzle that holds everything together.

2014 Revenue: $3MM

Number of Employees: 13

Year Founded: 2009

Figure 1 - Valencia Street Store

Figure 1 – Valencia Street Store

Where did you meet your partners and tell us the story of how and when you decided to work together? I met Barrett on the first day of college at Babson.  We realized we were both there to play lacrosse and have been friends ever since.  We played lacrosse with the other Mike’s brother Tim (class of ’04) and were close with his brother Will (class of ’06) as well.  Mike would always come to hang out at Babson and come to the lacrosse games so we became friends and when he wanted to move out to San Francisco we offered up our couch as a landing pad.  Turns out we needed some help with branding and design so he joined us on this wild adventure.

What was your first job: I always ran a landscaping company with my buddies growing up.  We did that straight through high school.
Source of startup capital: Barrett and I each threw a nominal amount of money into the business to start and we bootstrapped our growth up until last year.

Figure 2 - Denim Deconstructed

Figure 2 – Denim Deconstructed

Why did you start this business: Barrett’s father always brought back custom tailored shirts from Hong Kong while he was on business trips and Barrett would steal them and bring them up to college. We realized that the custom shirting experience was very unapproachable for most people and we fell in love with the idea of crafting a perfectly tailored shirt.

Exit Strategy: We will always entertain an exit but we believe the best way to prep for it is to continue to acquire as many customers as possible and foster their happiness.  More happy customers means more top line revenue and if we combine that with continuing to manage the bottom line we figure we will be setting ourselves up for acquisition when the time is right.

If you are hiring, what skills are you seeking and where should Babson Students/Alums Apply: We always look for self motivated problem solvers because that’s what we are. People that can take a bit of direction and run with it have always proved to make the best employees. We are always in search of people and believe that the right person can make a big difference. We tell people to shoot us a note to and tell us a little about themselves and what they want to do.

Toughest part about being an entrepreneur: Going to sleep at night. Your mind is always racing with ideas and there is never enough time in the day to get them all done.

Figure 3 - Indigo Cotton Linen Hyde Shirt

Figure 3 – Indigo Cotton Linen Hyde Shirt

Key Business goals yet to achieve: We are excited to open a totally new retail concept that we have been working on. We are reimagining the way men buy clothes and are excited to get one or two of these launched by the end of the year.

5-year plan: Build the company to a point where we can find a growth equity partner who can help us take the company to the next level.
Whom do you most admire and why: My father. He’s never cared what anybody thinks of him and always did what he wanted to. He’s taught me a lot of what I know about entrepreneurship.

Company you most admire and why: Apple. Nobody has created a more passionate fan base than them and it’s also pure marketing genius on so many different levels. They make you feel like you need all of their products better than anyone else.

Figure 4 - Chestnut Street Store

Figure 4 – Chestnut Street Store

What do you do for fun: Ride mountain bikes, ski and fly fishing, see live music.

Favorite place to eat: Our close friend Matt owns a restaurant in San Francisco called Heirloom Cafe is my favorite spot. Matt just so happened to also write an essay about my other favorite restaurant in San Francisco called NOPA. Both places are focused on purveying the best meats and produce they can get their hands

What is the last book you read: Season of the Witch

Most influential person at Babson: Len Green

Favorite Babson Memory: Causing an ever so slight amount of trouble with all my buds on the lacrosse team.