This month, we sat down with Brandon Chestnut, co-founder of Self-Made Menswear and StartMart member since November 2018!
Brandon grew up in Indianapolis and went to Purdue to study marketing and accounting. He found his way to Cleveland to pursue an MBA at Cleveland State University where he became interested in international business.
While in grad school, Brandon had the opportunity to study abroad in Shanghai. Initially, Shanghai was a bit of a culture shock, but Brandon soon grew to enjoy the culture and became inspired by the intense work ethic and hustle he observed in the city. During his time there, he interned with a local Shanghai company and also ended up meeting his business partner, Aimé.
He and Aimé started exploring the opportunity to sell custom suits, though initially it was something they saw as a fun side gig. Eventually, after making some valuable connections with manufacturers and investors, they realized Self-Made Menswear could be a much bigger thing.
They started selling to friends and family, but steadily, they attracted new business since they started the company in 2015. Today, Self-Made Menswear sells custom suits to customers across the US. This past fall, the Kent State University Football and Basketball teams ordered their suits through them.
Brandon emphasized the importance of Self-Made Menswear’s strong brand identity and the message they promote. By making custom suits more affordable and accessible for your “average Joes,” they bridge the gap between celebrities and the rest of the population. “Self-made custom menswear is about inspiring individuals to live life how they want and to go after their self-made life” says Brandon. Their impressive social media following and engagement speaks to how people really connect to their message.