Consistently Great Quality Generates Success
While the theory behind quality can be debated endlessly, the value of putting quality first in your business is irrefutable. As discussed in our past post “High Quality: Competitive Advantage or Pointless Expense,” quality is one of the factors that you can use to differentiate yourself from overseas competition. Tara and Tony Costanzo, of Costanza Clothing, (founded in 2002), have leveraged quality in service, materials and workmanship as an integral part of business success. They have made it their mission to offer a “best dressed” option to professional men and women throughout the U.S.. Their custom made suits are complimented by their expert personal styling and fit guidance. On their website you can sign up for their newsletter (always informing), have your style questions answered, or contact them to schedule a personal fitting at a time the works with your schedule. Here’s an excerpt from an interview we did a while back.
US&D: Could you please give us a profile of Costanzo Clothing?
Tony: We are custom clothiers. We visit our clients in the privacy of their home or office to help them build their wardrobe, everything from custom suits to casual wear or apparel for the golf course. Everything we do is made here in the U.S.. Our clients fall into three categories, typically: they don’t like to shop, they don’t have time to shop, or they have some sort of fit issue. We have men’s and women’s clothing.
Tara: I think our customer likes a lot of options, so that’s a huge advantage for us. If someone’s looking for a navy suit and is female, and it’s winter and there’s no navy, they can get it with us because we have all these mills at our fingertips.
Tara: We like to teach people that if the hot color is magenta, then you should find accents to incorporate in your wardrobe. If you’re someone who is truly looking to build the foundation of a wardrobe there’s no way you can do it on today’s fashion, so you need to be shopping in a more classic way. So that’s why they benefit from what we do. In the long run, they’re actually saving money.
Tony: I just want to add to what you’re saying. With custom clothing, there are some great things that come along side that. Aside from fit, quality, longevity, and performance; it’s green, there’s no waste. It’s made specifically for that individual. With that, is the maintenance of that person. Should that person fluctuate in weight, with custom clothing we can maintain them in it and keep them in that clothing longer.
US&D: How do you measure success?
Tara: Giving us referrals, that’s number one, (our customers) getting on the phone to call their family and colleagues to set up the appointments for us. It just speaks volumes to what we do. Our customers then integrate our products and services into their family. So, it’s not just the husband. His wife begins to buy items from us. The greatest compliment is when they’re doing events and they invite us to display our products to people because they’re proud of what we do for them.
Tony: When we see someone for the first time they know that were not just interested in selling them a suit because they can go and buy a suit anywhere. And of course at this point, much of our business if not all of it is referral based. They know that we’ve already spoken to their friends or colleagues.
US&D: What are you doing that makes you competitive?
Tony: What keeps us competitive I would say is the service that we provide. The craftsmanship is far superior to what is out there, it’s a better value.
US&D: So what is “value” to Costanzo clothing?
Tony: A great product that is going to perform really well.
Tara: You get what you paid for. It’s quality of experience. It’s quality of ease. It’s the quality of the workmanship. (The competition) may be able to price their products a little bit more competitively, or just have larger margins but I’ll tell you, it’s easier for us to pick up unhappy customers from them because the quality of the product is not the same.
Tony: On that note, you might make a little bit of extra money but you’re going to lose customers because that product can’t compete with what we deliver.
US&D: What do apparel industries in CT need to focus on to be competitive?
Tony: Quality. It has to be far superior.
Tara: And consistency.
Tony: And consistency, no doubt about it because in the clothing business, this isn’t die cut steel so there’s a lot of room for error. It has to be consistent because if it’s not you’ll lose your customers.
Mary Ruth, Owner of United Sewing and Design has over 30 years experience in the manufacturing of products by sewing and is author of “Industry Sewing Construction Methods” http://amzn.to/2yMxMmk. Her focus is on design, entrepreneurship; social enterprise; the connections between the environment, the apparel industry, and manufacturing; and how owners can leverage artistic methods to benefit their business.