As the CEO of Air Tailor, I often hear the question, “How do you find so many great tailors to work with?” After a long week spent sourcing and onboarding our newest tailor partner, I would like to take a moment to tell you more about Air Tailor’s biggest asset; our network of tailor partners.
First, it’s important that I share this: Air Tailor does not allow just any tailor to join our platform. We’re unlike Seamless/Grubhub where any restaurant can sign their business up. This means that our team actively reviews the 66,000 tailor shops in America and we take pride in only working with the best of the best. But how do we define and find “the best”?
We start by targeting the region that we’re looking to better serve. For example, if there are retail stores in the region that want to work with Air Tailor or if we’re seeing a lot of customers shipping to Air Tailor from a particular region, we start there. We then create a list of 100-200 tailor shops in the area by looking for 4+ star ratings on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. We find that reading written reviews from the local community is an honest first glimpse into gaging what their operation and work quality is like.
We call the tailor shops and tell them about Air Tailor, how we can drive them business, and evaluate their interest. If they want to talk more, we set up a meeting where I fly out to the city and make in-person visits to every shop we’re considering.
My first visit to each shop is the initial screening. When I first walk in, I review how I’m greeted. Since our team communicates a lot with our tailor partners, I check to see if the staff is personable. I then review the cleanliness of the shop. Are there garments all over the service desk? Are there fabric scraps and thread pieces all over the sewing stations and floors? Are they actively tidying up in-between each job? The organization of the shop helps me to see how our customer’s orders will be treated.
Next, I review the equipment that the shop has. Everything from their alteration machinery to the computer system that runs their point of sale system. A tailor shop with a computer or credit card machine in place, while not necessary, indicates to me they should have no problem operating our order management software. Additionally, I want to be sure every tailor partner has the machinery required to complete all of our offered alterations with top quality and efficiency.
I then like to sit down with the shop owner and learn more about their background and their business. I ask how long their shop has been open, where they’re from, how they learned to tailor, how many staff members they employ, what their goals are for their business, and similar questions that give me better insight into how they really work. From there, I decide if I would like to move them to the final stage where we test their work quality.
As a final step, I anonymously have some garments sent to the shop that each require a few services. This is where I evaluate their quality, turnaround time, and communication firsthand. When I receive the orders back, I am checking to be sure there are no loose threads, that the fit is perfect, and most importantly, that the quality of the stitching appears as though the garment was never manipulated.
If everything checks out, I make the final call and offer them the opportunity to join our tailor network. This is my favorite part of the process, and I usually hear a very enthusiastic: Yes!
The final step in adding a new tailor to our network is to take them through a 4-hour set-up and orientation. We supply them with all the necessary Air Tailor materials and equipment and walk them through processing a few test orders in our software.
However, once a new tailor partner is onboard, that doesn’t mean that the evaluation ends. When I leave the city, my team continuously monitors performance through additional tests and customer/store feedback from real orders. This is how we ensure that Air Tailor orders are always completed with the highest level of quality and consistency.
A lot goes into choosing the right tailor partner, but if you take one point away from this blog post, let it be that we do not work with tailors that cut corners and do the “quick & dirty”. We work with experts who do their very best work on every single order. We develop strong business relationships with our tailor partners: they can text our team at all hours of the day, we visit them and their cities often, and we are open and honest with each other because they truly are our partners.
To learn more about our quality standards and our service guarantee, visit this page.