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IN CONVERSATION WITH MATT BIRD OF THE SHIRT SOCIETY
Written by Menswear Style in Interviews on the 27th October 2020 / In Conversation with Matt Bird of The Shirt Society
The Shirt Society, founded by Matt Bird, brings you the highest quality men's wardrobe essentials, delivered only when you need them. With a subscription service model, they aim to deliver the best shirts, polos and tees every month. Customers can easily skip or cancel at any time. Plus, for a limited time - your first shirt's on them.
In a recent episode of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interviewed The Shirt Society Founder Matt Bird about the brand tagline of 'life without the shopping', and targeting customers who like to look good but hate shopping. It was 2 years ago when Matt spoke to the loyal customers of his previous menswear venture which brought him to the idea for this new concept. He then reached out to his LinkedIn contacts to promote it and to capture early sign ups which helped to fund the first stock purchase. Our host Peter Brooker and Matt also chatted about angel investors, how a clothing subscription model works, the process of designing the garments, and what a typical day is like for a startup founder.
“Our tagline is Life Without Shopping. We're a curated menswear subscription service which delivers premium quality shirts, t-shirts, and polo shirts, on a monthly basis to the guy that likes to look good but hates shopping. Previously to this I had another menswear web business that I ran for seven years. It was focused on casual shirting towards its latest stages. But naturally, a lot of our customers then were young professionals wearing suits and smarter attire on a daily basis. So, we always struggled to get repeat custom. However, those customers gave me great feedback and almost helped me build this concept into a viable business plan. About two years ago I spoke to 400 of those customers and asked: What can we be doing better? What is your shirt requirement? Where are you buying them from? How much are you paying? What type of shirts are you buying? How often are you buying them? What can we do that betters the experience for you? We spoke about product a lot, but one of the running themes was that these guys were time poor, they didn't have time to buy the things that they needed on a daily basis. They wanted a service that could stop them spending their lunch breaks running around city centres to get a new white work shirt for example.”
“It was September 2019 when I decided to try and get this business idea off the ground. I literally went on my LinkedIn profile and posted the concept idea. I pitched that we'll do all the legwork for you, we'll take the hassle out of shopping, we'll deliver a great product and it will cost you £40 a month to be part of this membership subscription service. I sweetened the deal where if they signed up right then, I would give it to them for £20 a month for life. That was my way of proving that this concept had legs, that we could get customers onboard early. Within the first three days of doing that post, we had 750 people sign up to the email list, and the week after that, I converted 250 of those into paying members. That allowed me to go off and buy stock with their money, which was perfect. When you sign up to The Shirt Society you can skip as many months as you need and cancel anytime. We're also working on additional subscription levels, so you can sign up to get a product every other month or every 90 days, making it really flexible for the customer.”
This is a shortened transcribed edit of episode 86 of the MenswearStyle Podcast with Matt Bird, Founder of theshirtsociety.co.uk. You can listen to the full version below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast player.