Jesse and Son is a tailor shop, recently opened on Soi 19.
Jesse has been in the business for 34 years. His old premises used to be on Soi 11, but for the past few months Jesse and his son, Manop, have been hard at work upgrading their services, and producing a brand new image. Hence the new premises, which opened in June 2014.
While Jesse was busy with customers, Manop was happy to talk to me about the business.
He explained that there are not that many real tailors around. There are hundreds of tailor shops in Bangkok but not many real ones. They are imitation shops who pretend to do the real thing. They provide no explanation about the fabrics, and sell the fabrics for what they are- cheap and lacking in quality. They don’t really care about their customers-once the suits are made they make no effort to get feedback to improve. And most of them do need to improve.
Not so at Jesse and Son. Their personal service comes at a reasonable cost, and they promote a brand rather than just a tailoring service. They care about their customers and want to provide them with everything they need to produce a perfect product. They ask for feedback from all their clients which they take to heart and if improvements are needed they will make them. They believe that this kind of service will make their customers return and tell others of the excellent service they have received.
In fact, as Manop explained, they have been getting a lot of repeat customers- clients that are so impressed with the service and product they have returned to do more business. And these same customers have recommended Jesse and Son to other people for the same reason. They also get a lot of customers walking in as they pass by. These customers will invariably spend time in Jesse and Sons, leave and go to check out other shops, but return because they realise that they are going to get a great service and a quality product.
When we were in the shop two guys did just that- walked in and spent over an hour talking to Jesse and getting measured up. They went away extremely happy. When they had left Jesse came to join us and he explained that they had just come in after passing by and seeing the shop. He says: “it works like this- the customer has an idea, I have an idea and we go from there. Their ideas might be something I had not thought of, and I think yeah, ok, let’s do that.”
I never realised that there was so much work involved in making suits and shirts. The design part is almost as much work as the actual making part- what lapel and style you might like; whether you want pleats and pockets on your trousers; choice of collar; buttons and whether you want a monogram stitched in. in fact there is so much to choose from you really are designing your own clothing.
There are also samples of different colours, buttons, and piping to make your item unique. You can choose Bemberg Lining- which comes from the linter of cotton plants, and is used by big names such as Hugo Boss, Giorgio Armani and Zegna. You can have mother of pearl buttons which have more depth and colour and do not dissolve like the plastic versions. These buttons are considered the hallmark of a high quality shirt maker and they enhance the elegance and value of the shirt.
Manop told me that their tailors use horsehair to line jackets, this being the traditional way. Horsehair is a natural product and conforms better to the body than other man-made fibres such as polyester. A lot of other tailors will use polyester or other material- in fact Manop told us he knows of one guy who, after buying a jacket from another tailor, wondered what it was lined with, so he ripped it apart to find it had been lined with newspaper.
There are currently 3 jacket tailors and 2 shirt tailors in the employ of Jesse and Son. They work to their customers timescales. If a customer needs a suit for a particular date, they will ensure that the finished item is ready in time.
As well as making tailored made items of clothing they are very proficient at copying designs. I know someone who gave Jesse and Son a shirt she liked and they were able to produce a replica for her-all at a reasonable cost.
They have a drinks menu in the shop so you can enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine while you design your outfit. I asked why they decided to do that and Manop told me: “I wanted to make it fun, more of an experience for our customers. We even have music playing in the fitting room- it all helps to create a good ambiance.”
Manop himself has been making clothes from an early age and the passion he has comes across very clearly when he told me he loves to explain to people what actually goes into making clothes and the reaction he gets in return. He told me “I could talk about it all day.”
They have their own website where you can place an order online- www.jesseandson.com. They have an iPad in the shop so customers can get an idea of what the suit will look like, and there are books to show all manner of designs, colours and fabrics. Customers can spend as long as they want browsing around the shop and looking at the books before they even begin to start designing.
It’s not only the men who have made this shop a success. Manop’s wife, Manhar, has been involved giving it an artistic and feminine touch in the form of vintage typewriters and sewing machines in the shop window and strategically placed mannequins. Everything in the shop has been designed by her, even the music that is being played. This all adds to the professional and stylish feel to the place.
Manhar’s involvement has been integral to Jesse and Son’s success so far. She is active on social media sites, such as Instagram and Facebook, sharing the store image based on articles and trends she finds. She knows how to capture the essence of the Jesse and Son brand extremely well through the packaging, small gimmicks and accessories that she has designed. She is also launching an accessories brand which will include cufflinks, customised neckties, bowties and pocket squares, amongst other items. Other things Manhar has created are- thank you cards with garment care instructions for all their clients, carefully chosen wood hangers, and the store furniture and colour schemes to produce a modern classic look. Without Manhar’s creativity and vision for the smallest of details, Jesse and Son would just be another tailor store on the block- which it most definitely is not.
Jesse and Manop have it right- they know customer’s expectations are high these days, so their philosophy is if you are going to do something, do it right. For them image and credibility are the most important things. As well as giving a much more personal service, Jesse and Son are giving their customers a new impression of what a tailor should do. And Jesse and Son are proud to be able to deliver on their promises.
Jesse and Son
Sukhumvit Soi 19
Monday to Saturday 9.30am-9pm
Sunday 1.30pm -5.30pm