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A pair of best friend tailors open 1701 Bespoke in downtown Detroit

1701 Bespoke

Max Schmidt and Tom Daguanno have been close for about as long as the two of them can remember, so it’s not that surprising the pair of friends since the 3rd grade are launching a business, 1701 Bespoke.

"We grew up together and always hung out," Schmidt says. "We have been best friends for a long time."

Last summer, Schmidt stood up as best man during Daguanno's wedding. The friends wanted to wear custom tailored suits to the festivities, but were unable to find any options they liked. So they decided to make their own and 1701 Bespoke was born.

"We started getting orders after the wedding just from word-of-mouth references," Schmidt says.

1701 Bespoke had its own pop-up store in the First National Building in downtown Detroit late last year. Schmidt and Daguanno wanted to use it as a way to get the word out about their company to the business class.

"I remember saying if we got four customers in those six days, I’ll be happy," Schmidt says. "We got two weeks of appointments in those six days. We really overbooked ourselves."

1701 Bespoke, which made it to the semi-finalist stage of this year's Hatch Detroit competition, currently has a temporary space in the Chrysler House, where it makes custom suits, coats, and other fine clothes. The partners hope to open a permanent home in downtown before the end of the year. In the meantime, Schmidt and Daguanno are servicing business executives, attorneys, doctors and athletes.

"We fit those types of guys, but also college kids like medical students looking for a really good suit," Schmidt says.

Source: Max Schmidt, co-founder of 1701 Bespoke
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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