Start-up delivers custom tailoring at scale
Several specialty apparel brands are offering on-demand tailor services via the Hemster platform.
Diane von Furstenberg, Outdoor Voices, and Alo Yoga are among the first brands to offer services from Hemster, which enables retailers to offer customers tailoring services in-store and online. Hemster’s network of tailors each specializes in certain kinds of garments and alterations.
Customers shopping online at participating retailers can also schedule a personal in-home fitting with a Hemster tailor, or use the company’s RulerSticker tool to mark garments they have purchased and then either drop them off in-store for tailoring or have them picked up from their home.
Each Hemster customer’s fit data are collected the first time the customer uses the service and kept on file, so the customer can shop at any participating retailer or brand and not have to take new measurements each time they purchase a garment. The data also allow participating retailers and brands to recommend the closest size for each shopper, based on the shopper’s measurements.
According to Hemster, its service helps drive traffic and conversion both during an initial store visit and also 48 hours later, when the garment is ready for pickup. Hemster also says its service helps reduce returns.
“I grew up in South Korea, where shoppers typically find the correct size based on weight first and where tailoring is expected, even with budget options,” said Hemster CEO and founder Allison Lee. “In the US, shoppers very often have to choose from small, medium and large sizes, but those sizes don’t fit almost 90% of people.”
“It’s critical for us, as a retailer, to continue to implement features and services that help enhance our consumer’s life: the woman who is in charge, busy and needs an unparalleled one-stop experience,” said Sandra Campos, CEO of Diane von Furstenberg. “Hemster provides the perfect solution in offering a custom fit, and we are excited to partner with them at DVF.”
In addition, the New York-based company announced that it has raised $4 million in post-seed funding, bringing its total funding to date to $5 million. Bullpen Capital led the funding round, with participation from Hustle Fund, Oyster Ventures, The Fund and FJ Labs. Hemster will use the investment to launch in new markets nationwide, expand its team and scale its operations.