SARATOGA SPRINGS – Online retailer, Cinch Men’s Wear, LLC, a custom clothier, opened its first brick-and-mortar location July 3 on the first floor of 517 Broadway. The store will be celebrating its opening during downtown Saratoga’s Hats Off Weekend with tied-to-purchase cigar giveaways and black-carpet photos of store visitors on Saturday July 25.
Owners Sam and Christina Gonzalez began the business in March 2014, originally intending the e-commerce menswear site at www.cinchmenswear.com to ease wardrobe building for men who have little time or simply dislike shopping.
“A lot of guys typically don’t like to shop,” said CEO Sam Gonzalez, “so we do the work for them. We ship to APOs and FPOs, too. We’re very popular with military. Then we began offering a styling service online to help make clothing choices quick and easy, and noticed more and more people signing up for that.”
That led to the development of a niche in menswear locally and nationally – a monthly Cinch Club box, filled with an outfit hand-selected by a stylist based on client preferences listed in a questionnaire that includes everything from measurements to hobbies. Clients indicate how much they wish to spend per month, and a stylist will pick the clothes, email pictures, ship clothes to the client’s doorstep, and gives them ten days to try, keep or return them.
COO Christina Gonzalez, who brings experience in retail and human resources services, said, “Our website brings the fitting room to the home. Now we have a store, and with an appointment, we can shut the store down and they can shop the racks privately. Often they are looking for advice from a mom, wife, or girlfriend, and they either bring them along or I help provide that. The client has significant control of the process, and we provide them so much flexibility. We take the hassle out of shopping.”
Sam Gonzalez is a patrolman in the Schenectady police force. He and his wife, Christina, are raising their two-and-a-half year old son, Isaiah, in their Ballston Spa home. Just a few months ago, Christina Gonzalez was laid off from her position in public education human resources, about the same time that their retail website was showing success.
“We looked at each other and decided to take a leap of faith,” said Christina Gonzalez. They decided to open a store, were sure Saratoga Springs was the place to be, and felt fortunate to find a Broadway location. The entrepreneurial couple is excited about the venture’s future.
“We will soon have a shop-with-me system,” said Sam Gonzalez. “If a client likes a blazer here in the store, but it doesn’t quite fit or isn’t the right color, he can scan the tag into the system and pick from all the colors and sizes the brand offers. Then he can swipe his card and it’ll either be here in the shop in two days or on his doorstep in three.”
Typically for any order online or in the store, traditionally sizing is turned around in three days and customized sizes are in ten days. The store strives to provide customers an easy method to build an effortless wardrobe with both known brands and up-and-coming labels. The clothier hopes to help limit the gap between new brands and potential customers, keeping selections fresh every season.
“This is definitely not a typical retail store,” said Sam Gonzalez. “This is shopping of the future – personal service, limitless options, yet still a small business that can hold trunk shows and provide a private shopping experience.”