Created a brand with nothing – that’s what Chris Riccobono, the founder of the brand Untuckit, did.
Untuckit is a brand which disrupted the men clothing industry with a new idea. The founder of the brand was a university graduate who always wanted to start his own business but never succeeded.
But then, he created a brand with nothing – in the end.
While working as a healthcare sales representative, he toyed with small ventures and business ideas before he picked up the great idea “the concept of untucked” – a concept most men have always wanted to embrace.
The ultimate untucked shirt became the brand created with nothing but a powerful idea.
Created a brand with nothing – literally.
Ever the entrepreneur, Chris teamed up with a friend to create Untucked.
Following several market research initiatives with the expertise, he shared the idea that hit home for the business – great looking shirts that are untucked.
Wasn’t easy – the investors weren’t initially convinced of the potential for the business. Neither were they happy with the name which they thought was too simple.
But that was the winning formula, as Chris knew. As an entrepreneur, he knew what the average man on the street wanted.
Lessons in entrepreneurship – Start small –
Chris says that he was glad the big investors didn’t come calling – that helped him start it later on a smaller, yet a sound footing. UNTUCKit was established in 2010 with a capital of $150,000.
The capital was limited yet they managed an off take that was solid.
They manufactured 1,000 shirts and would see how the market responded.
They didn’t have much to spend so hired a small PR agency to market the products – while using the rest of the money to build the website to run an online store.
Don’t leave your job too early for entrepreneurship –
Roccobono didn’t leave his full time healthcare representative job until the completion of 6 year for Untuckit.
He stayed on, building the business, without burdening it with his living expenses.
By the time Riccobono resigned from his prior job, the company was running at a level of more than $20 million with just himself and his business partner – with no office or fundraising.
Unexpected business boom with the pandemic –
Following the pandemic and lockdowns, it’s become even more apparent that untucked shirts are here to stay.
Those going back to work were preferring to dress laid back – the pandemic had eased the office dress code and Untuckit was going to benefit.
Even the older and more traditional minded employees had made a shift to more casual work wear.
By mid 2021, UNTUCKit had surpassed its 2019 pre-pandemic performance. Sales doubled over the months of May to July, and the company’s 2022 revenue goal is north of $300 million.
E commerce to brick and mortar stores – the gradual expansion –
How did the brand make the transition from online to actual store?
Chris felt that male customers needed less space to ‘try out the shirts’ – clothes such as shirts are often tried and bought. It made sense to go to brick and mortar stores.
How the entrepreneur managed the risk and growth –
Risk management was a priority for them – yet balancing it with growth was vital.
The two partners knew the brand had the potential to grow, managing diversification with the risk anticipated.
This strategy helped UNTUCKit to survive and thrive – even when the supply chain disruption they faced in the mid 2020’s.
In the end, the market disruption with on online purchasing in the midst of the pandemic, helped the brand grow.
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