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How a Trio of Apps Helped a Custom Menswear Shop Thrive San Franciso clothier Taylor Stitch employs multiple apps for a custom commerce solution.

By Kristan Schiller

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Caiaimage/Lukas Olek | Getty Images

After a few years traveling through North and South America and doing odd jobs in home remodeling and catering, Babson College graduates Michael Maher and Barrett Purdum, along with business partner Mike Armenta, launched clothier Taylor Stitch in San Francisco. "We couldn't find shirts we liked that fit us," Maher says. "So we decided to start a clothing company to make our own custom shirts."

The trio started small, launching online in October 2010 with $20,000 of their own money. Their bespoke shirts--which cost about $200 and are cut and sewn domestically--quickly found a dedicated following. In March 2011 they opened a storefront in the city's Mission district. But soon after, they found that Magento, their low-budget, open-source e-commerce web platform, was slow and incompatible with their retail point-of-sale system and inventory-management requirements. Maher realized a new setup was needed to match his vision for the clothier's growth.

The fix
Maher researched the options, then chose Shopify to manage e-commerce, Xero for bookkeeping and Vend to handle in-store transactions, for a total cost of roughly $200 per month. After the three weeks it took to set up a new website and link the apps, Maher was pleased to see that the cloud-based programs, all from different companies, worked together seamlessly. Maher says Shopify, in particular, is dedicated to developing new features: "This program has really excited me. It has a very well-integrated rewards program, which will coincide with both our web platform and the in-store experience."

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