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David Minns

Studio manager for Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter, A Suit That Fits

What does your job involve?

Working with our customers to help them design their perfect, individually hand-tailored suit, shirt, overcoat or accessories. When the suit is ready, the customer will visit us for a fitting and we discuss what adjustments are needed to perfect the fit to their requirements. When I’m not attending to customers at our studios in Bristol, Exeter and Cardiff, or at our business partners’ offices between the Southwest and London, I’m generating new business through networking and providing tailoring and style advice via A Suit That Fits’ blog and press features. 

What skills do you need?

An eye for design and style, an entrepreneurial outlook, a personable manner and the vision and creativity to help customers realise their sartorial dreams.

What do you like and dislike about your job?

I like the creative element and being able to meet a customer’s needs, as well as being a brand champion. What’s not to like?

How did you get to where you are today?

By being passionate about the products I’ve worked with, and by going the extra mile for both the internal and external customer. I started my retail career in a skateboard shop, where aged 18 I became the youngest UK sales manager for a skateboard and snowboard distributor called Leisurescope. I then started my own business aged 20, importing skatewear from California, before realising a passion for interior design and working my way up at homewares retailer Habitat.

I started on the furniture floor, then moved to business-to-business, and again to customer services, before leaving to work for designer Sir Terence Conran and The Conran Shop as quality assurance manager for its stores worldwide. After that I spent three years working out of Southeast Asia and Latin America, overseeing furniture programmes for [discount] retailer Target USA, after a friend saw the job advertised in Drapers. I returned to the UK to set up a sportswear import business for Brazilian brand Bia Brazil, which I then left to join A Suit That Fits.

What is your proudest career achievement to date?

Hmm, I have several. I’ve fitted suits for some well-known figures, including former England star turned rugby analyst Will Greenwood and TV presenter Rick Edwards; being interviewed by Empire magazine off the back of one of my blogs; earning the equivalent of a six-figure salary as an ex-pat; and now being featured in the retail bible, Drapers.

What is your ambition?

To tailor the nation.

How do you intend to get there?

One stitch at a time.

What three words sum you up?

Gregarious, eccentric, passionate.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Take pride in your work and go that extra mile. Feedback should always be viewed as positive as it helps you to see what others see, and remember that networking starts the minute you leave home in the morning and continues until your week ends. 

CV

2010 Studio manager for Bristol, Cardiff, Exeter, A Suit That Fits

2009  Style adviser, then senior adviser and studio manager, London, A Suit That Fits

2008  Partner, Bia Brazil

2004  Quality assurance manager, Target USA

2003  Japan sales manager, The Conran Shop

2000  Quality assurance manager, The Conran Shop

1996-98 Sales assistant, B2B operative, customer service agent, Habitat

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