Modern business conducted today, can be analysed, forecasted, put back on course if allowed to drop. Algorithms display projections, graph analysis of sales, and future sales. In the progression of business growth, we tend to pass by the small details of genuine customer satisfaction, created through excellent relationships and faultless craftsmanship.
Perry’s Tailor is of the latter and is in its fourth decade in business. Saluted by local and world famous clients. The discovery of what is their secret to such a successful business is simple. Located right by Bangkok’s Silom Road Skytrain station, the narrow steep staircase takes you to the first floor. The modest premises opened its doors in 1974 remains the same with rows of top quality material from all over the world, a work space where the septuagenarian twin brothers, Phonchai and Narong known as Perry are working today on the precision of a pocket. On the advice of a diplomat who told the brothers to call themselves Perry as it was an easier name to remember. There is an area for customers to relax and sip wine on their very first sofa, kept for nostalgia and good luck. The personal and individual relationship that is the core success of this entrepreneurship can be seen if anyone stops by their shop at around 4pm.
Much has been written about Perry’s Tailor, CNN travel website rated them as top five tailors in Thailand. Other magazines have extolled their clientele ranging from Royalty, World Politicians, Hollywood Actor, Diplomats even UN chiefs. Friendly and cheerful twins, Phonchai and Narong run the family business. Their accumulated skills and knowledge, learned the trade from their father, a tailor himself who came to Thailand from mainland China in 1928.
First fittings arranged around 4pm or 5pm allow the twins to share a bottle of wine with their customers. As the clientele increase in volume usually on their way back home from work, the first floor workspace resembles a small cocktail party with prominent faces of Thailand’s elite mingling with long standing residents and diplomats, clinking glasses of red.
The interest is of course their top quality men’s suits. To watch the twins interacting, between themselves, their customers with their fine tuned craftsmanship, is akin to observing the mechanics of a prized swiss timekeeper. Phonchai and Narong in their mid seventies, are identical twins. They compliment each other by way of taking turns to ease the customer’s requirements. While one twin measures, and suggests their infinite range of material sample, the other twin would talk about their enormous clientele built over their many decades. One wall, alongside rows of material, is dedicated to the array of pictures of globally known figures of authority who, by their smiles or handshakes are truly overjoyed with their bespoke suit. Upstairs with two floors dedicated to 30 staff who have been with them from the beginning, is where the workshop takes place. For convenience of customers and themselves, the suit is never sent outside for cutting.
While normal siblings fight to compete, Phonchai and Narong are inseparable and work in unison. Famous for their ability to measure and cut ‘by the eye’ – so good are they at this that they can size you up for a perfect-fit suit without actually taking any measurements at all. Atypical of twins, they work together, play together and travel together. When one jokes, the
other does the seriousness of the business. Judging by their calm and joviality, neither say who has the upper hand on the cutting or the sewing; unanimously voicing that they are both excellent.
In an atmosphere of true kinship, love and family devotion, in their own world, they project a wondrous atmosphere whereby ordering your first suit or your 55th ensemble is an enjoyable affair. A unique business team, they grow within their scope, never expanding beyond their dreams. Only to produce the best. And together both voiced the same sentiments; their satisfaction is their customer’s satisfaction.
This is how old world business is done.