Alex McCrery, Entrepreneur
Alex started Tilit NYC in November 2012 with two aprons, one pair of pants, one chef shirt, and an idea that chef wear could be both functional and stylish. Now, this award-winning made-in-America fashion line has over 700 custom business clients, including Standard Hotels and Blue Hill, and many thousands of annual direct-to-consumer shoppers, from their own high-volume website. Being made in America has been an important value for Tilit, even though it presented challenges in the beginning. Hear Alex's story in his own words.
"It took us a while to sort out the business side. We could have used advice on the fundamentals--finding the right manufacturer, sourcing materials, and managing the cost of inventory. There were times that we were getting orders that we had trouble fulfilling, but we were lucky to find someone who could advise us on these issues. Having a service like Doer where I could have reach out to a broader range of fellow entrepreneurs for advice would have been a game-changer for us. Scaling from one piece to thousands is hard to figure out by yourself, and so is online marketing if you're figuring it out from scratch."
"I like Doer because it lets me share my story and help young entrepreneurs manufacture locally. There's a misconception that manufacturing in America is too costly to make work. But customers today care about where items are made and having a connection to the brand. We feel a personal connection to our customers and like to show other brands how to cultivate the same relationship with their audience. At Tilit, we learned how to build that from the ground up. Now we know the right pattern makers, how to scale production, where to advertise and market online--from Facebook to SEO--and the ways you can market yourself instead of spending your startup capital on an agency.
I'm lucky to have had great advice along the way, and I like being able to repay the favor. Doer helps me give advice in a way that fits my schedule and priorities--I like giving back, but I also value my time."
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