Tarig El Sheikh and Matt Mueller have set out to solve a problem that men around the world suffer from: ill-fitting suits.
"As a poorly dressed American, I came over here [to Dubai] looking absolutely awful," says Mueller. Once El Sheikh introduced him to the excellent taliors in Bur Dubai, "our other poorly dressed American friends would [ask us] to teach them how to make a custom suit," he recalls.
That's when the two co-founders decided to launch Knot Standard, a Dubai-based startup that now allows men from around the globe to order customized suits online.
In our chat at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, the co-founders reveal how their small team of 10 has been able to sell, tailor, and ship an impressive 1500 suits in less than 8 months, all under the goal to “create pride” for their customers, sometimes answering women's requests to "dress my husband better."
They first gained popularity by putting a deal on GoNabit before it was acquired by LivingSocial. After the success of this campaign, word of mouth brought in a flood of new customers from across the region. They followed a similar strategy in the U.S., offering deals on Groupon and Gilt.
Now, musicians, actors, and even The Daily Show staff are sporting their custom suits, and Business Insider recently listed them as one of the top “51 Companies That Are Changing The Way We Shop,” alongside e-commerce powerhouses eBay, Amazon, and Apple.
In a separate chat, El Sheikh admits that "We're very humbled to be ranked just after eBay, and very honored just to be on the list. Next year, we hope to climb higher up the ranking," he adds.
Check out the interview to learn how Knot Standard has expanded its market globally while taking advantage of Dubai’s central location and talent.