J. Hilburn, a Dallas-based company, is relatively new in the scheme of things. Although only five years old it already has over 2,000 consultants nationwide, most of whom are women. But what exactly is making this company so successful?
They offer customers the custom-made experience right in their office, home, or favorite hangout. "I have met men at Starbucks to create their very own shirt," said Deborah Scanlan, 39, a style consultant for J. Hilburn.
Although her home office is based in Massapequa, Scanlan meets her customers all over the area, from Farmingdale to Plainview or wherever she is needed. Basically this business is tailored to her and her client's schedule. Recently, she met with Matthew D. Brenner of Family Wealth & Pension Management, in Woodbury at his office.
"I ordered a custom shirt for my dad for Father's Day and decided to have one made for myself. It's convenient for me to buy clothing this way instead of having to waste time shopping around," Brenner said.
This is the common thread: convenience and flexibility. That is why women have signed up in droves to work at this service-oriented company. Those who want to make extra money or have school-age children find this to be the perfect fit for their lifestyle.
"I took this as an opportunity that allowed me the flexibility to provide financially for my family while still meeting the time demands of young children. Having stepped away from the corporate world in 2008--working as district manager at Randstad, a staffing company-- to focus on raising my children, I felt the need in 2011 to find a way to contribute financially without having to work a set schedule," Scanlan said.
J. Hilburn is loosely described as a multi-level marketing company, with a percentage of the commissions trickle down to the head consultants.
"Right now I have five style consultants under me and are looking for more qualified people to join the team," she said.
Getting in early with this type of company has its advantages and timing, luck, and connections were on Scanlan's side.
"I reconnected with an old friend through Facebook, that's where I first learned about the company. My friend, one of the founding partners at J. Hilburn, said they were looking to expand their market into Long Island, so I jumped at the chance."
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With measuring tape in hand, Scanlan takes Brenner's measurements. After, they sit down to select coordinating fabrics--one for the overall shirt and the other fabric to go inside the collar and cuff. He then chooses a collar style from 15 variations, as well as a monogram. Catalogs are fanned out on the table where he can select from a plethora of options. When finalized, Scanlan pulls it all together and displays what the shirt will look like on her I-pad.
"The initial appointment takes about one hour due to all the measurements, but once we have a profile on the customer they can re-order with me either by appointment, phone, or website, all rather quickly," she said.
Starting price points for shirts are $89 and go up according to how far you go with the details and customization.
Although custom shirts are their mainstay, they offer everything from suits, tuxedos, belts, wallets, polo and tee shirts, socks, pockets squares, basically everything except shoes and underwear. All with a 100 percent money back guarantee and a 93-percent re-order rate.