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Corner Tailors suits students’ needs

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The Appalachian Online

A student-run company that started as a class project has expanded into a strong startup business since it was established in October 2014.

Corner Tailors, which makes custom-tailored suits, was started by senior management major Merrick Marquie, who was inspired when he noticed a need for high quality, well-fitting suits in the Boone community.

“I was upset that if you want to buy a custom-tailored suit in the United States in a decent wool, it’s going to cost you around $800,” Marquie said.

Marquie said cheaper suits from outlet stores are likely to be hot, ill-fitting or uncomfortable.

Corner Tailors’ website, cornertailors.com, is currently under construction.

“I want people to be really comfortable in their professional attire because you have to wear it – especially in the College of Business,” Marquie said. “We want people to look professional for interviews.”

Corner Tailors has gained some attention since its startup, including an endorsement by Jason Nik, author of “The Warrior’s Odyssey,” life coach and blogger, who recommended Corner Tailors in his blog, jniklc.blogspot.com. Nik said dressing professionally is an important strategy to success.

“A good suit is extremely important for men and women,” Nik said in his blog. “Corner Tailors gives everyone the opportunity to get a good suit in the comfort of their own home.”

Nik said normally most people aren’t excited to go to tailors, but Corner Tailors makes the process less of a hassle.

Tyler Peterson, junior advertising major was one of Corner Tailors’ first clients. Peterson, who had never purchased a suit before, said the process was very simple.

“First they took my measurements, and then I went to their website and picked out the suit style and fabric that I wanted,” Peterson said. “Then I put in all of the measurements, and three weeks later I got my suit.”

Marquie stressed that good customer service is vital to the company.

“If anything goes wrong, they just have to give us a call,” Marquie said. “We have a pretty good return policy. We include tailoring and we have around 80 suit offerings. We’re focusing on trying to make a really great product for the customer. If that means we lose a little bit of money here and there, it’s not the end of the world.”

Marquie said he and his team spent 40-60 hours a week working on the business in the first few weeks. He described the process as something he would not advise others to do.

Erich Schlenker, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship, oversaw the startup process. Schlenker described the Corner Tailors team as “a creative and determined group with a real sense of urgency.”

“They brought their idea from concept to reality in a few short weeks,” Schlenker said. “It was impressive to behold.”

In addition to Marquie, the Corner Tailors staff includes two vice-presidents, senior management majors Mitch Purgason and Ryan Sommerville, a computer specialist, junior computer science major Kira Washaw and a graphic designer, senior graphic design major Miles Elliott.

Marquie credited Appalachian’s Center for Entrepreneurship for giving the Corner Tailors staff the tools needed to create a successful business.

“We love the Center for Entrepreneurship,” Marquie said. “It really provides us a great opportunity to use resources that we may not have had [and has] helped us develop faster than we probably would have elsewhere.”

Corner Tailors is currently working on increasing sales on campus, specifically in Greek life.

“We’re meeting with a lot of the fraternities on campus because a lot of [them] have talked to us about helping their pledges dress a little bit nicer and to improve the image of Greek life,” Marquie said.

He said many fraternity brothers express interest in dressing well, but may not necessarily know how to find a good quality suit.

Marquie, who plans on staying with the company after graduation, hopes to expand the company in the next year or two.

“Corner Tailors will not be in Boone alone for very long,” Marquie said. “We’re looking at expanding to UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State, ECU, Wake Forest, etc.”

Like Marquie, Peterson expects Corner Tailors to start expanding soon.

“This is a one-of-a-kind business that will definitely be growing and expanding in the future into something huge,” said Peterson. “All they have to do is work out the small kinks and the sky will be the limit for them.”

Story: Clare McPherson, Intern News Reporter

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