Yet fashion retailers spend over $35B every year creating and managing multiple sizes.
As a result, retailers suffer from low conversion rates and high costs due to returns from imperfect fits, while shoppers have to go through a frustrating multi-step process to achieve their ideal fit.
Instead of traveling to a local tailor, now shoppers get their outfits tailored right in the store within minutes. Perfect fit guaranteed within 48 hours.
Our next gen tailoring services upgrade the traditional tailoring experience in these ways:
Shoppers get fitted right in the dressing rooms with Hemster’s proprietary, patent-pending RulerSticker in under a minute by the store associates.
RulerSticker allows anyone to accurately fit the shoppers, even without prior tailoring experience.
All orders are processed within 48 hours
Average Order Value has jumped over 2x within six months
Shoppers have used Hemster, with 99% accuracy rate
Expanded from one pilot mall partnership to three live locations in ten months
Launched in-home services with premium residential property groups
Increased the monthly sales for retailers by 15% on average
Major retail property groups, who control over 90% of flagship malls in U.S., are Hemster customers.
Through these property groups, Hemster serves premium retailers such as Michael Kors, Club Monaco, and Reformation.
Hemster is also partnering with top residential property groups including Greystar, Crescent Heights, and Maximus, to expand our services to luxury apartments.
By streamlining the tailoring process, Hemster creates an arbitrage between what we charge customers (retailers and shoppers) and what we pay the tailors.
Our revenue streams come from providing our tailoring services at retail locations and residential properties.
Average Order Value: $60+
Order Cost (tailoring and transportation): less than half.
We have extremely low marketing and user acquisition cost due to strategic business partnerships (retailers, residential properties, malls)
For In-Home services, we charge an additional $15-25 fitting fee to help protect our order margin.
Premium retailers such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Men’s Wearhouse, and Armani group spend over $500M every year to offer full suite of complementary alteration services. Individual brands such as EXPRESS, J.Crew/Madewell, Gap group, and ZARA have more difficult time offering consistent services through local tailors.
With Hemster, both types of retailers can enjoy streamlined in-store tailoring services with guaranteed consistency in quality and rates across nation. From our initial pilot, retailers saw a 15% increase in their monthly sales once they started offering Hemster service to the shoppers. Through our partnership, we will cover 7,000 retail stores across 400 mall locations, serving 1M shoppers every year.
Hemster can lower return cost for retailers drastically, through our proprietary Perfect Fit data that are initially collected during brick-and-mortar services.
With our data and nationwide tailoring services, all retailers can 1) Recommend the closest size for individual shoppers, and 2) Customize the ready wear sizes to the shoppers’ specific perfect fit measurements.
Hemster is the first mover in this market with scalability and accuracy. With our proprietary, patent-pending RulerStickers and localized supply chain of master tailors, Hemster is able to expand our services to new partners and new regions.
Hemster has raised a $150,000 pre-seed round in Dec 2017 from XRC Labs and strategic angel investors.
Our first market in San Francisco was a proven success. Now we are ready to replicate our success in other markets for rest of the year with our strong partners.
If we reach our stretch goal of $400K, we will accelerate our launch schedule into new markets where retailers and mall locations are already waitlisted. With the funds raised, we will hire regional teams (regional director, operational manager, fitters) for New York, Chicago, Texas, and Florida to accelerate our national expansion.
Allison has actively pursued her entrepreneurial passion since her time at Berkeley, where she launched her first company. Prior to Hemster, she was a director of monetization at IOT startup Peel, where she grew the revenue from $20,000 to $10M in less than 18 months.
She has been selected to speak at Shoptalk, the retail industry’s largest conference, to showcase Hemster. She was also on a panel to discuss Retail Innovation at ICSC in the spring.
Paul Raffin (Retail Executive) - Advisor
Paul Raffin is an internationally-known C-Suite executive, with over forty years of experience managing consumer goods businesses across a wide spectrum of the Fashion Industry spanning department store retail, direct-to-consumer, vertical specialty retail, and luxury. Ruffin has held CEO, President or Division President roles at The Frye Company, Li & Fung USA-Mens, Kids and Entertainment Licensing Group, Frette, DZ Trading, Express, J. Crew, and Gant as well as Board roles with dELiA*s and Rosie Pope.
Bebe Chueh (Marketing Executive) - Advisor
Bebe Chueh is a co-founder and partner of Atrium LLP. With experience as a litigator and also having started her own company, AttorneyFee, which she sold to LegalZoom, Bebe understands what startup businesses need in terms of legal services at every stage.
Together we can bring personalized sizes to every shopper, so you don’t have to pick from small, medium or large.
Thank you for your support!
The smallest investment amount that Hemster is accepting.
Hemster needs to reach their minimum funding goal before
the deadline. If they don’t, all investments will be refunded.
The Crowd SAFE is an agreement for future equity in the startup,
meaning that it can convert to equity in the future.
The Crowd SAFE is an agreement for future equity in the startup, meaning that it can convert to equity in the future.
$50,000 – $1,070,000
Hemster needs to raise
before the deadline. The maximum amount Hemster is willing
to raise is $1.07M.
We are live in San Francisco, San Jose and LA. We are gearing up to launch New York, Chicago, Florida and Texas in the next 12 months.
We see pretty even split between men and women. The main difference is that women want to tailor one item at a time to get a garment-specific fit, and men have one fit template that they tend to replicate across all garments!
We launched our first pilot with Westfield, San Francisco center in August of 2017. Since then, we have processed over 3,000 garments with 99% accuracy.
Tim Draper: Now, let's bring on some entrepreneurs because that's what this is all about. We want to interview entrepreneurs. We want the audience to be able to vote on them, fund them if they want. Let's bring on our first entrepreneur, but first, let's see what's going on behind the scenes.
Allison Lee: My name is Allison Lee. I'm the founder and CEO of Hemster. We are solving a real problem that every person goes through on daily basis. When I grew up in Korea, tailoring was a natural part of shopping experience. When I moved here, I saw a tailoring market. It was so fragmented, I decided to streamline it. I finally found the retail expert but also the master tailor to help me achieve Hemster's vision together. I am so excited but also very nervous. We've been very under the radar focusing on our growth but I think this is going to be our first coming out party to the rest of the world to really let people know about Hemster.
Tim Draper: Welcome to Meet the Drapers. Give us your pitch.
Allison Lee: Hello, Drapers. My name is Allison Lee, the founder and CEO of Hemster. We illuminate the most frustrating part of shopping which is finding your perfect size by plugging our next-gen tailoring services right into your shopping journey.
Allison Lee: Let's think about how we shop today. You browse in the store or online and you try your best to choose the closest size. When you try it on, it just doesn't feel as right and that is not our fault.
Allison Lee: 89% of U.S. population actually does not fit into the conventional small, medium or large, so what do we do? We travel to a local tailor where we go through a very stressful and time-consuming experience. And you're not even sure if the seamstress actually specializes in the garments that you brought, until Hemster. We bring the perfect fit to you, so the shoppers are now finally getting fitted in the dressing room as they're trying on clothes.
Allison Lee: With our initial pilot with Westfield, we saw that Hemster service benefits the entire ecosystem. For mall operators, where we boosted the traffic and visitor engagement, for the tailors where we increased their hourly rate and for retailers who saw 15% in lift in sales by offering our services to their shoppers.
Allison Lee: We're now replicating this success nationwide with 400 premium mall locations. And what about you, if you have stuff in your closet? Hemster can help there too. Now, you can customize anything and everything in your closet all at once. Through our services, Hemster learns about your perfect fit data to the skew level, meaning that we understand not just your body measurements, but your preferred style preferences on how you would like to wear these clothes.
Allison Lee: Hemster is not just a tailoring company. We are bringing personalized sizes to off the rack inventory. We're disrupting ready-wear one hem at a time. Thank you.
Tim Draper: That's fun. You're in effect Uber for tailors.
Allison Lee: That is exactly right, but we're also plugged into every single store so that you're shopping and you don't even have to call on Uber.
Polly: You're shopping, you're in the dressing room and you say ...
Allison Lee: You're like, "Hey!"
Polly: Find me this tailor.
Allison Lee: Right. Let's say you have-
Polly: A lot of stores have that anyway.
Allison Lee: Yeah, so think about the stores who also want to offer that services and they don't have that right now, the logistics or the challenges are really huge. But even the stores who does have this, someone like Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's, they can't handle the dynamic seasonal volume. They actually work with us to really handle their streamlined process and really offer the consistent quality across all of their stores.
Allison Lee: We have actually taken out the pain of fitting using pins and chalks. What we have right now is, this is the traditional measuring tape, if you will. And what we've done is we have a patent pending ruler sticker that allows any store associates to actually fit you with 99% accuracy rate. If you don't mind, I would love to demo it on-
Allison Lee: You.
Tim Draper: Polly. Use Polly or Vish.
Allison Lee: This is the sticker.
Vish Mishra: No, Polly is perfect.
Allison Lee: And it comes off right like that. And let's say you're trying on this blazer, you're like, "Oh, the sleeves are a little bit too long. I'm not going to buy it." And the store is just like, don't leave. I can fit it for you right here, and then they basically fold it and mark it and that's all they have to do. They don't need to learn how to pin or chalk.
Polly: Who does that?
Allison Lee: We have delegated the fitting part to the store associates instead of having to have a tailor there all the time.
Polly: Okay. I can say that with hems.
Allison Lee: Right. Anything more specific, we do additional training with the stores, but let's say you're like, "It's a little bit loose on me."
Polly: I want it all here, let's say.
Allison Lee: Exactly. The ruler sticker can be used, and then all you have to do is just pinch and mark it that way, as well.
Tim Draper: They're still doing it. It's just you're not having a professional tailor do it.
Allison Lee: Right because that is-
Tim Draper: You're making it very simple for the store, the salesperson. You've got chalk marks all over you ...
Allison Lee: Yeah, see? That would never happen with these stickers.
Polly: There's no chalk marks but do we trust the salesperson to do this?
Allison Lee: Yep, so ...
Polly: Why do we trust them to do it?
Allison Lee: Because, so, right now, they're working as a stylist for the stores. They're already trained to think about the fit and what is the right size for you. This is A perfect sales tool.
Bill Draper: Have you tested this?
Allison Lee: Yes. We are live in Westfield San Francisco Center. We just launched San Jose and also L.A.
Tim Draper: How do you get paid?
Allison Lee: Either the retailer or the shopper will choose to pay, so retailer like Bloomingdale's will cover all cost, so we just invoice Bloomingdale's or Nordstrom directly.
Polly: You said that you could have it all done with clothes in your closet. Does that mean someone comes over to your house?
Allison Lee: That is right. That is a separate and more white glove services. We work with high-end condos and residential properties so that in-home tailoring is now the newest amenities. Let's say you're like, "I have 30 things in my closet. Can just someone come and pick everything up and fit it to my body and bring it back?"
Tim Draper: Wouldn't she have to put every one of those [inaudible 00:11:23] on?
Allison Lee: Depends. Sometimes what we see is basically you have already something that fits you really well. You're like, "Can you just replicate this fit on 30 jeans I have?" And that's exactly the prefect fit data that we keep on file. Next time you're like, 'Hey, I went shopping. I have five jeans. Remember my size? Can you just recreate that size?" That is how we streamline the second and third fittings.
Vish Mishra: Are you primarily marketing to women because they are more picky when it comes to fit.
Allison Lee: Our gender split is very even, so the one difference we see is women tend to do one piece at a time, but for guys, it's been very big volume at the same time. They're like, "I just want this chino."
Polly: I want this fit. It's like this.
Allison Lee: "In every color."
Bill Draper: You're sales thus far have been to how many people?
Allison Lee: We've processed about 4,000 garments with 99% accuracy rate to 2,000 people because at the mall, they tend to do one thing at a time. But now that we've launched in-home services, our average order garment size is getting really, really big.
Tim Draper: How much do you get from each one?
Bill Draper: That's what I said.
Allison Lee: Yeah. The average order value at the mall is about $25 and we keep 60% as our order margin.
Tim Draper: I have about 10 suits that are the pre-whole 30.
Allison Lee: Exactly. You're our target market.
Tim Draper: I've been using them to jump into the pool with the students, but I think it might be a good thing to do.
Allison Lee: You're exactly our target market. Another thing that we're doing is we're working with personal trainers because as people are losing a little bit more weight, about 20 pounds or so, they have to either re-buy the entire closet or they can just alter it at a much cheaper cost.
Tim Draper: Any other questions? Thank you very much for coming to Meet the Drapers.
Allison Lee: Thank you so much for the opportunity.
Tim Draper: This is great fun.
Allison Lee: Amazing, thank yo. Nice meeting you guys.
Allison Lee: It's not what I expected, actually. It was a lot less intimidating than I thought it would be. I think the guest judge might have been the most interested, plus Polly. I think, as a woman, she kind of understands what we go through to get something that fits us really well. Mine was less boring, I want to say. It was more exciting and I got to demo the ruler sticker and talk about my [tractions 00:13:39], so I actually wouldn't change anything else than my outfit, so I could have demoed it a little bit better. If your clothes doesn't fit you, invest in Hemster and become the part of our growth as we take over the world.
Tim Draper: This is up to you. As a viewer, you can vote up, vote down. You can invest. You can celebrate or you can use the service of Hemster. Vish, tell us what you thought of Hemster.
Vish Mishra: I really like it personally because I think this is a unique service. I like this idea. I think she's onto something.
Polly: I agree. I think she's definitely onto something. I don't think that she's going to replace the tailoring for someone who is meticulous about their clothes. So this would be-
Bill Draper: That's what I think.
Polly: They do but not Macy's.
Bill Draper: The tailor's not. They're not going to replace the tailor that is in the store.
Tim Draper: No. it wouldn't be a bad idea because she's saying ready to wear becomes tailored, right?
Polly: Yeah, I know.
Tim Draper: She may be increasing the market. I think she's terrific and I think this business probably is going to be successful. I'm concerned that it's not going to be that big. Let's figure out what the crystal ball sends, what message it sends to us.
Tim Draper: Okay, so, here goes the vote. Thumbs up, thumbs down, thumbs all around ... That's interesting.
Tim Draper: There you go, that's Hemster from our point of view. Whatever your point of view is, you go ahead. You vote thumbs up, thumbs down, or you can invest. Let's bring on the next entrepreneur but first, let's see what's going on behind the scenes.
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