“Our model can work for and inspire other Victoria small businesses: selling items on-line is easy. Think of B.C. e-tailers such as Robeez baby footware, Abebooks, etc.”
What happens when you put a University of Victoria political science student and a business student together? You get two really well-dressed young men, even if they did have to start up a company to get the right clothes. Kyle Vucko and Heikal Gani started Indochino while they were pursuing degrees at UVic.
“I dreamt of becoming an accountant, and I had a job offer at one of the big accounting firms,” laughs Vucko, “but I decided to stay and build Indochino and I still have a semester to finish at University.”
That degree is going to have to wait a while as the business continues to grow. Indochino sells made-to-measure clothes for men over the Internet. With strong business, moral, and financial support from well-known local business entrepreneurs Eric Jordan, Hannes Blum, and Boris Wertz, Indochino has grown from success to success — sales in December 2008 doubled their best previous month. They currently sell into 40 countries and have offices in China and Victoria. Their plan for 2009 is to scale up sales and production and go after a second round of financing later in the year.
“Who would have believed the fun we are having,” says Vucko in a phone call over the Internet from China, where he lives now and the suits are made.
“We get to hang around with fashion editors and models from around the world. Yesterday, I met with the CEO of a potential new supplier in China. The company has 10,000 employees and he wanted to do business with us.
“We are learning every day, and doing business in China is an education in itself, particularly dealing with government participation and regulations, but it seems to be working.”