Career 180: They took a chance on pants
By Karen Tina Harrison
Special to amNewYork
The big career switch:
From finance to mens pants
Who pulled it off?
Andy Dunn, 29, worked in mergers and acquisitions, then went to Stanford for an MBA and the freedom of the student life. Last year, he and a classmate, Brian Spaly, started a mens pants company, Bonobos (www.bonobos.com), that has sold over 10,000 pairs.
What took you from finance to the garment industry?
My interest has always been innovative consumer companies. Brian and I thought that guys would be into buying well-priced, well-fitting pants online, because most men hate shopping and cant stand the way their pants look.Whats your job like?
At first, Brian and I did everything, but now we have a cool team in our Flatiron headquarters. Brians in charge of design and production; Bonobos are made here in NYC. I manage our Web presence, customer service and marketing. I work six days a week and travel about a week per month to recruit employees and meet with Bonobos customers and potential investors.
How does one succeed in a Web-based sales startup?
You need self-confidence, salesmanship and a genuine relationship with your team, your customers and your investors. And you need an awesome product todays successes go way beyond image. If you say your pants fit, theyd better. And luck really helps, because timing can make or break a startup.
Whats in it for you?
New entrepreneurs dont make bankers salaries, but selling a product or service you stand behind is incredibly fun. And were proud to be creating jobs in New York City even in a recession.
What else is there to know?
We feel that before Bonobos, no one in the mens pants business was thinking about the dudes who actually wear them. Bonobos are monkeys who are, shall we say, very into one another, and our customers are very into our pants!