An Exploration of Reuel Matthew’s Image Building Journey with Egami Collection

Entrepreneurship is hard work. I don’t think any of us can deny that fact. We have our passion, we hustle to make it work, and we hope that all the time, money, and effort we put into it pays off. But you know what? That payoff doesn’t always come as quickly or fruitfully as we want or expect it to, and that’s not such a bad thing.

In my interview with Reuel Matthew, the founder and CEO of Egami Collection, I had a chance to explore this very realistic and practical approach to entrepreneurship.

Reuel Matthew’s Image Building Journey with Egami Collection

One of the most incredible parts of Mr. Matthew’s company is his origin story. So much of what his business does, both in terms of custom tailoring services as well as his philanthropic work with the community, can be traced back to his roots.

“I grew up in poverty, in a neighborhood infested with drugs and full of gangs. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to change my own image, having not been surrounded by the most positive of examples. It was a long and hard path, but I got there.”

That’s why what he does now with Egami Collection (“Egami” is “Image” spelled backward) is so impressive. He could have remained in that life he was raised in, but he chose not to. He could have stuck with the reliable albeit less fulfilling CPA profession, but he chose not to. He could have chosen to target his custom tailoring business at the upper-class demographic that already had a plethora of high-end tailoring options at their disposal. Again, he chose not to.

Matthew took the time to assess what he wanted his own personal as well as professional image to be, and then developed his business concept around the idea of helping others redefine their image.

Three years later, Egami Collection is going strong. Matthew’s custom tailoring business provides a convenient and accessible tailoring service to both men and women, and that’s something he’s proud of.

“We are the most personal tailors on the market; in that, we’re meeting you in the privacy of your home.”

In addition, customers of Egami Collection have access to a larger scope of services than what other tailoring companies offer. And, because Matthew and his team are so focused on helping their customers build an image through fashion, they take the time to educate customers about their options rather than leave them to simply choose something off the rack.

Want to hear more about Reuel Matthew’s inspirational story? Listen to the full audio of our interview now.

Lessons Learned

Despite Mr. Matthew’s current success, it hasn’t always been easy nor do I believe he’d claim it’s easy right now.

In the beginning, one of the major challenges Matthew faced was how to get Egami Collection out there. People were interested but hesitant to trust a brand with little exposure.

“We don’t go on social media and put it out there for everyone. We are a more intimate brand, and we want our business to be based on referrals.”

It’s a smart approach considering his team doesn’t currently have the capacity to handle a scaled-up influx of business.

“Quality of our deliverable has to really be on point. Doing that without the resources of a junior business is a challenge.”

He also has grappled with how to make Egami’s custom tailoring services stand out from the competition. As a result, Matthew has focused on acquiring and leveraging partnerships that give him the opportunity to get the company’s name and image out there.

As it stands now, Matthew currently splits his time between working as a CPA and his role as the CEO of Egami Collection. While he originally hoped to quit his professional career completely in pursuit of establishing his passion for fashion, he discovered that operationally, you can’t always predict how well your hustle will take off.

“It’s not an actual science. There are many businesses that take off and become very successful. And there are many business concepts that need a lot of work and TLC.”

His advice then to the entrepreneurs who run into rough patches? Don’t be scared to scale back. It doesn’t mean you have to abandon your business. Sometimes all you need is a little time to take a step back, put some money in the bank, and reassess your business model before moving full-steam ahead again.

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