From a prom joke to a tuxedo shirt Brand: Bro’s in Arms @Sqetch

Features

At Sqetch we love to hear how our brands got their ideas and how they turned them into collections. That is why we decided to interview one of the founders of Bro’s in Arms – founded by three brothers – to get to know more about their experience on how to create a new brand.

Bro’s in Arms is one of the first brands that joined Sqetch back in December 2015. It specialises in the production of tuxedo shirts with customized sleeves. You can select from a wide range of funny prints and fabrics, ensuring a unique flair to every shirt.

The idea

The idea of creating a line of funny tuxedo shirts had been in Steven’s, Casper’s, and Wouter’s minds since they first wore them to their prom. “It all started as a joke to fulfil their beloved mother’s wish to see her home-made shirts worn by her kids”, says Wouter.

Nevertheless, people reacted positive and asked me where to find similar pieces to buy them themselves. Being unique pieces made by their mother, they “lent” their original tuxedos but none of them were ever returned. This was when the seed was planted for a great idea in the triads’ minds for the first time.

Some years later Wouter started a minor in Entrepreneurship at Amsterdam University. His studies required the creation of a company which sounded like the perfect opportunity to try out the business he and his brothers had once thought about.

So, they had the perfect scenario and decided to give it a go. Thanks to their friends’ network, the 3 brothers immediately got in contact with Sqetch. “We only had a concept and no clue how to start our own fashion brand. Sqetch is a really efficient service; it offers full support throughout the whole planning and development of a collection. But the most important and useful thing is that it helps finding the right supplier – “which is well known as a dreadful task” -, in a very short period of time. Like Wouter said: “It was unbelievable, after sending out a few direct messages, we got replies and without even noticing it we started our first collection!”.

It was natural for me to ask whether they faced any problems with their supplier but Wouter assertively replied: “we didn’t encounter big issues, of course the first sample was not spot-on but it was really easy to get it sorted and it had no negative effect on our timeline for product development.”

It all went pretty smooth, especially at the beginning when sales saw a sharp increase that levelled off in a second moment.

But how does an emerging brand acquire popularity? Which effective marketing strategy – if any – should be implemented at this vital stage?

An effective marketing strategy

“There are infinite strategies to choose from, and all of them are equally effective if implemented in the right way. You need to know who your target market is and then you can decide which strategy to apply. Our target market is mainly composed of students initiating their undergraduate studies. Fraternities are the main focus as they offer a huge number of potential customers. We approach them with discounts and other offers to encourage the purchase; equally important is the consolidation of our brand image, which we decided to sponsor through advertising billboards. That is the marketing strategy we have been implementing lately. Ah, and of course advertising through our Social Media platforms!! You need to have a clear vision of where you want to go, and lots of creativity and enthusiasm in order to get there!”

The co-founder went on and shared other tips and tricks that we think may be of your interest. “As a starting line with tuxedo shirts with funny prints as a unique selling point, Bro’s in Arms decided to focus on only one style of shirts so that it could become a sort of unique trademark. It should help to consolidate the label that hopefully will be recognised globally.” Worldwide? “Yes! Because that is where they want to arrive within 5-10 years: starting off from Holland, moving to the Uk, Australia and finally the US. Nothing wrong with ambitions.

An advice 

Before wishing the guys all the best we asked Wouter what advice he wants to give to people with a similar idea. Simply said: “I believe opportunities are everywhere, you just need to spot them and act accordingly. Just do it, your life will get pretty busy.. But trust me, you are going to be happy with it”.

Got a similar idea? We hope that this story can inspire and motivate you to take the same leap of faith and kick-start your own line. The founders of Bro’s in Arms still study and work in bars to pay their bills.. But are also able to build a new label. So no more excuses, postponements or delays.. Just do it! 😉

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