The whole idea of custom-made clothes used to be a big no for fashion enthusiast Rafina Tabassum. She felt it was too much work and visiting the tailors was a hassle.
"From buying fabrics to making the tailor understand my design, it always felt so off to me. LilyTailor has changed the entire concept of tailoring for me. Now, all I have to do is imagine the dress I want and the rest is handled by LilyTailor," Rafina informed us.
LilyTailor, a vertical of Lily, has addressed the inconvenience and discomfort of women going to local tailors.
It is a digital platform where female customers can avail tailoring services. Customers can also buy ready-made dresses along with fabrics and clothing accessories.
The tailoring industry in the country is highly male-dominated, and the service they provide is average. This is where LilyTailor stepped in and made the paradigm shift.
How it works
It enlists local tailors under a network and distributes their labour accordingly.
One can book an appointment through Lily's Facebook page or website.
Their designated female staff visit client's houses to take measurements and collect the fabrics. Clients can even provide fabrics if they want.
The entire process is comfortable and hassle-free.
Tajbia Karim, an associate professor of Bangladesh University of Professionals shared with us why she prefers LilyTailor over local tailors.
"Being a working woman, it is tough for me to make time to visit tailors. LilyTailor has made my life easier," she said.
"My other issue with local tailors was their service; they are quite unprofessional and very rarely deliver on time. Now I do not have to worry about these," she added.
Syed Md Saifullah (Saif), an alumnus of Brac University, founded Lily in 2017. But back then, it was a ride sharing app. The tailoring services began in 2018.
As a student, Saif worked as a part-timer in a digital marketing agency where his job was to handle customer queries on social media.
His boss at that agency inspired him to become an entrepreneur and eventually he decided to work on customer services.
LilyTailor aims to evolve as a unique women's clothing platform where consumers can avail any clothing-related product or service from its carefully selected partners.
On the start-up's profits, Saif said, "There are a couple of revenue streams we have been working on. We are monitoring them closely for a smooth supply chain for all the parties involved."
LilyTailor's partners – local tailors, small manufacturers, small and medium-sized merchants and micro fashion entrepreneurs – are what make the brand.
These often suffer due to many infrastructure-related setbacks. On top of that, the Covid-19 pandemic caused massive damage to the businesses.
Moreover, the majority of them do not have access to formal financial resources, which makes it even more difficult for them to survive and grow.
The owner of 'Choyonika Tailor' located at Mirpur-10, Jahangir Alam shared his experience with LilyTailor with The Business Standard.
"My tailoring business suffered a lot during the pandemic, and because of LilyTailor, I have been able to recover from the loss," he said.
"Along with regular local orders, I receive additional orders, which brings in extra money," he added.
"Being an early-stage start-up, we are doing everything we can to support local tailors and small businesses. But in the long run, we need to form meaningful partnerships with other credible organisations," Saif said.
He explained that they are actively discussing partnerships with relevant companies who will provide easy and collateral-free access to finance for the local shops.
"We want to build a thriving ecosystem of clothing businesses and involve more female entrepreneurs," he said.
Managing LilyTailor while travelling between Bangladesh and Canada is not easy for Saif, but the young entrepreneur wants his work to create a positive impact on people's minds.