Field Ninja – Sales Professional, San Francisco, CA
Investment Banking Intern, New York, NY
Human Resources Generalist, Chicago, IL
Portfolio Strategy Associate, Boston, MA
Director of International Expansion, New York, NY
Fall is here, meaning it’s time to put away those beach shorts, put on some dress pants, and get back to work. But if achieving career success seems as challenging as finding a pair of good fitting pants, we have great news.
Don’t despair – thanks to a fantastic new partnership with Bonobos, we’re able to offer you some much-needed career wisdom from inside an innovative, successful company…and even a discount on some amazing pants!
Here at Doostang we’re big fans of exceptionally well-run businesses with quality products, outstanding service, and an entrepreneurial spark – and Bonobos embodies just that. Started as a small project by two guys with a big vision, Bonobos has grown into a global online clothing brand.
We spoke with Dave Eisenberg, Director of Growth at Bonobos, who offered some career wisdom on what makes a successful company and job candidate. So if you’re looking to start the next exceptional business, or just want to work for one, believe us, it’s in your best interest to keep reading.
Career Insights from the Pantsmakers – What Constitutes Success.
On its site, the staff at Bonobos asserts that they are trying to build “a different kind of clothing company?” Can you share a bit about how Bonobos got started and what the initial goals were?
Bonobos got started the way a lot of companies get started: with a good idea and a lot of persistence. Brian [Spaly – founder] wanted to make pants that fit better and were more flattering, made from the world’s best fabrics. Andy [Dunn – founder] wanted to get guys out of retail stores! For Andy, retail shopping is a frustration, and he knew there was a better way. We put those two ideas together: selling premium trousers with a direct-to-consumer model online with fantastic customer service. The fashion world is full of companies where it’s all about exclusivity. Bonobos is more inclusive–you don’t have to live in New York or Paris to enjoy Bonobos. You don’t have to be a rail-thin runway model or a millionaire. We have customers in every state and about four dozen countries abroad. That’s a new thing for a premium brand.
On that note, how did founders Brian Spaly and Andy Dunn go about accomplishing these goals? Which factors were most crucial to the early success of the company?
The factor that was–and continues to be–most important to our growth is word-of-mouth marketing. For the most part, guys love the pants, and they enjoy shopping with us because we keep it hassle-free. Then they tell their friends. We have a very loyal following because we’ve grown in a grassroots way. Our team actually grew in a similar fashion. Over the past 18 months we have been searching for other bright, enthusiastic people to join our team. So while we now have a company of about 25 individuals, we haven’t lost that spark of entrepreneurial energy that got us going in the beginning.
Moving forward, how has Bonobos evolved? What have you, as a company, done to build upon the early foundation from which you rose?
I think the most obvious places that we have involved are with our products and our technology. We now offer about 40 different trousers across many fabrics–cotton twill, two weights of corduroy, various wools and wool blends, seersucker. Not to mention shorts, and soon polo shirts. We’re expanding to become not just a trouser company, but a true men’s lifestyle brand. We’re a long way away, but we’re thrilled to be working toward that goal.
With technology, we still aim to be the world’s first 100% web-driven premium men’s brand. Now, though, we have a team to help make that vision a reality. We have been able to recruit four phenomenally talented developers and designers to help create the best shopping experience on the web.
From the perspective of a Doostang community member, what do you think can be learned from “the Bonobos example?” In other words, do you believe that there are any lessons or overarching themes that motivated, young professionals might draw from Bonobos’ story?
We try and hire people who can come alive in a certain role. It is our belief that businesses succeed when the people who work on them on a daily basis are fired up about their jobs! When you pour a lot of genuine passion into a project, you tend to be more successful, because you bring a real authenticity to bear around your final product. If you’re an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to take your product or service right out to people. We sold pants out of the trunks of our cars in the very beginning. Make your product or design your service, get it out in the field, make some mistakes and learn from them. Keep your customers involved in their iterative processes and never stop learning how to make your company better.
Getting more to the point, what stands out among candidates that are seeking to be hired by Bonobos? Which qualities would the ‘ideal new hire’ need to possess?
The best candidates that we see are those who have taken the time to learn about our business before they show up for an interview and who turn a thoughtful, critical, eye to everything that we have done and bring some great ideas for what we can do to become more effective. We look for enthusiasm, humility and great listening skills in all of the people who we seek to bring onto our team! Take a look at our open opportunities here and let us know if you’d like to be a part of our team!
And there you have your recipe for success. All you need is the winning combination of enthusiasm, persistence, entrepreneurial spirit, and insight. And a good pair of pants, of course…
So visit Doostang to start investing in your career. But first make sure you invest in a pair of good fitting pants. Trust us, you’ll need them for that dream job…
Wishing you a well-tailored career,
This week, Doostang users can get 20% off their Bonobos purchase. Just enter coupon code “Doostang” at check out. But hurry, this special offer ends September 21st.