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Waterloo Region Record
By Gordon Paul
WATERLOO — Three local men who tried to launch a menswear business with a crowdfunding campaign didn’t let failure stand in their way.
Daniel Byrne, Julian Corredor and Christopher Norkett fell short last November in their attempt to raise $80,000 through Kickstarter to start Gentlemen of York.
“Without funding from Kickstarter, we had to look into other ways to bring our designs to life,” Norkett said.
“In November we spent a month in Europe visiting different suit factories. We ended up finding one in Italy that would make suits on demand, thus not needing us to raise as much funds to get started.”
The trio, all in their 20s and living in Kitchener and Waterloo, visit homes and offices with fabric books for custom orders of suits and dress shirts. Corredor worked for three years at Stars Men’s Shops.
“Since we’ve had success with this model, we have now expanded into our own line of ties, socks, and accessories,” Norkett said.
Business is going very well, he said.
“This month it’s really taking off. It’s definitely the season for getting suits.”
Suits range in price from $250 to $2,500.
For every suit sold, Gentlemen of York donates $30 to Keep a Child Alive, a charity that provides treatment, food and support to children and families affected by HIV in Africa and India. Gentlemen of York donates $1 for every accessory sold.
The business hopes to donate $5,000 this year.
Keep a Child Alive was chosen as a way to remember Byrne’s mother, Kathy Shane, who died last June when her car collided with a transport truck on Homer Watson Boulevard in Kitchener.
Shane always gave back to the community, donating to Anselma House women’s shelter, helping out at the local soup kitchen and wrapping Christmas presents for underprivileged children.
The business can be reached at gentlemenofyork.com.
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