When I first approached Bonobos for an episode of TC Makers I was convinced I’d be able to visit a huge warehouse at the edge of town where a gaggle of monkeys was sewing together travel jeans and hipster flannel. Instead, I was invited into a relatively small New York office where designers, web folks, and customer service representatives were working on selling clothing on the Internet with an eye towards comfort and customer satisfaction.
The company, founded by Andy Dunn, is all about customer service. The “Ninja” team of CSRs is hidden in a back room of the actual office where they deal with customers online and over the phone. It was interesting to see such a tight operation handle such a wide-ranging line of products. The company has mens’ and women’s’ lines and designs everything in-house. They also have created something they’re calling Guideshops where you can try on the clothes before you order, although they’re only in a few cities right now.
Making doesn’t always have to be about milling metal and printing PCBs. Instead, it’s fun to watch how a company handles the production and shipping of physical goods and turns the sad experience of online shopping into something as exciting as a warehouse full of worker monkeys.