Wedding Season means something different to everyone. This time of year could mean adding extra cardio to slim down for the gown or agonizing over the perfect hashtag to say it’s your big day. To Drew and Ryan Leahy, and their friends/fellow groomsmen, it meant shelling out thousands each spring on countless suit rentals they only got to wear once.
Year after year post-college, the Leahy brothers felt their wallets depleting and nothing to show for it in their closets. They wondered if adult popularity was worth the hefty cost. But instead of ghosting their engaged friends, the two created SnapSuits, an entirely digital way to buy high-quality custom tailored suits that you can keep starting at $250 (the same price of a rental at Men’s Warehouse).
SnapSuits is no ordinary online fashion retailer – How it works:
Affordability is not SnapSuits’s only selling point. While most eCommerce clothing websites offer pre-set sizing—small, medium, large; 2, 4, 6; 28, 29, 30—SnapSuits does not. Instead, they use 3D body measuring for more than 85% sizing accuracy.
With this technology, suit shoppers can forget about the invasive tailor taking their measurements and the tape measurer altogether! Customers need only answer eight to ten questions about their body fit, and they can get a customized suit while sitting on their couch.
Watch this video featuring cofounder & CTO, Drew Leahy for more on how SnapSuits works:
Meet the Founders – Drew & Ryan Leahy
From the beginning, Drew and Ryan have bootstrapped SnapSuits along with a couple of others who felt the initial investment was a small price to pay for affordable style.
“We are the most affordable custom suit company. Being 100% digital, SnapSuits stripped out a lot of the margins because we don't have brick and mortar stores—and, we don't have a traditional, high retail markup on our product.“
Drew and Ryan didn't grow up dreaming of owning a multinational corporation, but they were cut from an entrepreneurial cloth.
Before starting SnapSuits, Ryan found a love of running and growing companies—specifically finding areas where initial investments in operational areas can pay off the most. While getting his master’s degree in business education and leadership, he took an organization of about 15 people and a $20,000 budget, to 35 people and a $150,000 annual budget in two years. He went on to run a craft beer bottle shop and turn it into a franchise with four locations. Naturally, Ryan leads the operational and logistical components at SnapSuits as CEO and has big plans to help them scale.
A natural marketer, Drew has been working with small to medium-sized startups for the last ten years. SnapSuits is the third company and second tech company Drew has cofounded. He leads the marketing and creative direction to bring the vision life through branding and technology.
“We both have different strengths that are complementary to one another. So from the start, it became very clear that this was something we should do together.”
Working with inDinero
When it came to the company’s finances, Ryan and a part-time CFO handled some of the heavy lifting. Ultimately, Ryan felt that the accounting classes he took as a part of the business-emphasis in his education degree did not fully prepare him to handle the accounting duties. “I [Ryan] spent way too much time struggling to do the accounting improperly, but we knew that it was something that we needed... From a reporting standpoint, we had to fulfill stakeholder needs, and we wanted to use our financials to direct what we do in terms of sales and revenue.”
With inDinero, both Ryan and Drew enjoy having their financials together and ready to go to for key takeaways to meet expectations and guide critical business decisions:
“It's great to have the data in real time. For the first two years, anytime we wanted to report I had to collect data, move things around, and build charts manually. From a finance perspective, it's so quick and painless now that I have all that data ready to go. I like that.” - Ryan on how his operational role has shifted to a more strategic mindset now that inDinero handles the books.
“I'm not a finance person, so I really love the SaaS platform. I don't have to read through some Excel sheet or wait for a CFO to publish their monthly report. If I'm curious about something, I can just go and find it out right away. It’s important as I think about decisions for my team.”
- Drew on how easy access to straightforward financials helps him strategize in real-time using inDinero.
As they embark on what’s next for the company, they see inDinero playing a major role in their growth...
What it takes to expand exponentially when you’re disrupting an industry
Since 2014 the SnapSuits team has not received a dime of outside investment. Because they are bringing tech to fashion—a sector that has been slow to adapt to the high-tech revolution—they didn't immediately jump right into outside investments or on the incubator/accelerator track. The founders felt that having a proven product, market fit, and business model were essential steps to take before bringing something this disruptive on the scene. Today, they feel prepared to bring on investors who will help take their success to an exponential level.
Refining Their Product to Support More Sales:
Over the last two years, the team has spent the majority of their time getting their eCommerce website and production to a high-quality level. One of their key partners in this has been Fashion Metric, a 3D body measurement company. Fashion Metric has traditionally worked with many big box retailers to help with their small, medium, large, etc. sizing charts, but they also have a virtual tailor API. This allows them to work with custom shirt companies as well as SnapSuits, the only custom suit company that uses their API to create personalized measurements.
From there, SnapSuits uses their own algorithm that leverages statistical analysis to boost their ability to detect human error. This error detection allows SnapSuits to execute faster turnarounds (14 days) which are essential for events like weddings—their biggest source of revenue—and job interviews. As they get more customers, their system continues to learn and get better so they can take on even more orders.
“This year we did 200 weddings, but next year the goal is to make suits for 2000 weddings. We have to have all of our systems optimized so we can catch people putting in substantially wrong numbers ahead of time. If we can’t filter those mistakes, it becomes a huge time suck for both us and our customers. So to catch those things on the front end means they can correct it and we can make it as soon as possible for their key date.” - Ryan
Recruiting a Bigger Customer Acquisition Team:
Reaching ten times as many customers also requires more manpower. While the original team has been able to generate an initial customer base on their own, they are now ready to scale their reach.
“Weddings are our primary business. So for now, we really focus on acquiring multiple customers at a time by talking to a groom and bride and doing the custom suits for their weddings. So we average about eight suits per order.” - Drew
With a goal of hiring 15 full-time salespeople who can elevate lead generation, SnapSuits is hitting the exciting fundraising road for their first outside investment.
Interested in using SnapSuits for a wedding? Get a free swatch pack of suit material:
Maybe you have your own nuptials coming up or your a groomsman in your buddy's wedding this year. No matter the occasion, you want to look sharp. Sign up at the SnapSuits Groom Shop and receive a free sample swatch pack.