We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Luis Toache. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Luis below.
Luis, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Has Covid resulted in any major changes to your business model?
Prior to Covid, Our brand had been exploring the idea to expand our foot print and move to a larger location. We finally decided to move from a 650 sq. ft. store to a 1680 sq. ft. space and signed the lease in February 2020. We started remodeling the space in march 1st. 2020 not knowing the whole world would shut down a week after. The remodeling lasted 3 weeks and after setting up merchandise and filling up shelves, we finally were ready to open our new shop in April 15 2020. As you guessed, the shop never had the chance to officially open. As the months rolled with zero customers, we did notice an increase in online sales and phone calls asking us about our status. In 2021 we made the decision to launch a very careful “by appointment program” for our newly unveiled “custom garments” line and developed an online appointment system and calendar. That was a game changer. We filled up our calendar with in a few weeks (we started with 3 appointment slots per day and an extensive clean up and disinfecting fog session in between appointments).
Our sales revived almost immediately as our appointed guests were desperate to escape their homes.
We created a Private “speakeasy” style custom room filled with luxury and comfort. a mixology bar and Jazz music were the highlights of the experience.
As of today, our “by appointment” PRIVATE ROOM EXPERIENCE accoints for roughly 50% of our annual revenue sales.
Who would have known the pandemic would open such an opportunity.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
Luis Toache, The owner of The Tough Boot & Co. Started developing the concept in 2004. His initial idea has evolved with every piece he has acquired for his private collection which has been salvaged from almost every city he visits in the world. A seasoned Artist and Art Consultant he has been trained and submerged in the art and design world for over two decades. Men’s fashion is something he was introduced at a very young age by his father who was an avid style enthusiast and serial enterpreneur.
Making the transition from Fine Art to fashion happened very naturally. “As an artist, I will never stop creating”. And men’s fashion just adds a whole new dimension to the creative endeavors. “It truly makes me happy to meet people that enjoys fashion and gets so excited when they discover this world of inspiration I have put together for them”.
Currently, Luis Toache curates the brand identity with unique collections of heritage brands from around the world. His brand choices are based in history, quality, comfort and style. Some of these brands include: Schott leather Jackets founded in 1927, Dents Leather gloves founded in 1777, Loake 1880 made in England, and Stetson hats among others. He also offers a unique made to measure garment program with a slight European Vintage style and high end fabrics like Loro Piana, Reda, and Harris Tweed.
What else should we know about how you took your side hustle and scaled it up into what it is today?
I have always been a style afficionado. Before starting our brand “The TBCo.”, I spent 15 years in the Art Consulting world offering our services to architectural and Interior design firms. While in the Art business, I would travel the world attending art shows and meeting talented artists. One of the things I loved to do while traveling, was to visit and explore antique and vintage shops. I would spend a considerable amount of time shopping for the most unique pieces I could find. After a few years, my personal collection grew to fill almost half of my studio. By 2008 and with the Real Estate market collapse of those times, our Art business was sharply halted and by 2010 I realized this was a unique opportunity to develop my hobby and passion into something sustainable.
I had a small warehouse full of vintage garments and articles I had collected for the past decade and decided to display them in a communal market.
After studying the market for a couple of years, we understood the potential of this void in the mens style sector and started looking for an independent location. In 2012 We oppened our first store with only 650 sq. ft. displaying rare and one of a kind mens garments and accessories. The store quickly outgrew the space when we started introducing collections of Heritage brands and a custom suiting program. In 2018 we decided to expand our footprint again and in 2019 we relocated the store to our current location with 1680 sq.ft. and with a 5 member team.
“The Tough Boot & Co.” was then rebranded as “The TBCo. Heirloom Quality” and we introduced our new brand “The TBCo. RESERVE” for custom garments. As of today, the brand is now looking for a larger location to accomodate our inventory and guest experience as well as a second location outside the perimeter.
What’s been the most effective strategy for growing your clientele?
I am a firm believer of unparalleled service. Value is divided in two parts; Tangible (physical products) and intangible (the service, experience and feel the customer gets). A successful business understands the importance of these two values. Our mantra lays on offering not only a top of the line product but also to offer the absolute best experience they have ever had in their lives.
Our goal is to create a community of raving fans that belong and are loyal to our brand because it is theirs, and it is personal. We focus on offering our friends and clients the absolute best value in the market.
Following this philosophy, we have grown an incredibly loyal clientele and created a community of raving fans that will promote our brand and expand our audience.
- Website: thetoughboot.com
- Instagram: the.tbco
- Facebook: The TBCo. Heirloom Quality
- Linkedin: The TBCo. Heirloom Quality
- Twitter: @thetoughboot