StartUp Podcast: The Runway (Season 3, Episode 5)
May 26, 2016 8:09 AM - Subscribe

It’s not uncommon for shoppers to walk out of Mary Going’s store feeling on top of the world. Mary runs Saint Harridan, a company that makes custom suits for the gender non-conforming. With her store, Mary has created a space that caters to the needs of butch women and trans men—something that doesn’t happen very often. Her fans are enthusiastic and dedicated, her products are selling out… and she can barely pay her rent.

Saint Harridan is struggling to raise enough money to cover basic costs. Mary knows the demand for her product is there, but it isn’t translating into dollars. Her runway is getting shorter and shorter, but she’s hoping that by turning to her community, she can buy time and make a comeback.

Luke Malone brings us a non-linear look at Saint Harridan's story.
posted by sparklemotion (7 comments total)
I was surprised that no one had posted this yet, because the comments on other episodes this season lamented the over saturation of typical "tech bro" stories, which this is pretty much the opposite of.

I am a chesty cis woman and I kind of want one of those suits.
posted by sparklemotion at 8:12 AM on May 26, 2016

This felt more like an episode of This American Life than Startup, and ended like a Kickstarter. I'd have liked to have heard more about the business model (who was stitching those suits? Who funded them and what did investors think of a business which was so forgiving of defaulting clients?).

That said, it was nice to have a non-tech bro episode and the personal story was largely well told, though I would have liked a more concrete understanding of how Saint Harridan turned from an idea or inspiration to an actual business.
posted by tavegyl at 8:53 AM on May 26, 2016 [4 favorites]

Yeah the part I was most interested in seemed to be covered by 'Partnership with Brooks Brothers'.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:27 PM on May 26, 2016

I thought the story was interesting but I did not like the way it was delivered. I was not crazy about the host -- I guess he's new. Also the "scenes" setup was sort of distracting.

My friend bought a Saint Harridan suit for her wedding, and she loved the experience. I really hope the company succeeds!
posted by radioamy at 12:49 PM on May 27, 2016

I definitely wanted to know more about the product and the business. The personal story was interesting, even super interesting, but it's just not why I'm listening to this podcast.
posted by bq at 10:22 PM on May 27, 2016

I don't think I even listened to the end of the story. I can't really remember.

Otoh These suits are so fly.
posted by bq at 10:24 PM on May 27, 2016

I really enjoyed this episode. (And I've been a fan of the company since they started out.) This is the sort of story I was hoping for this season.

Though, I also would have liked to hear more about the actual fabrication and tailoring part. The back story was neat, but the making-clothes part of the business seems equally interesting. I was surprised to hear they chose Brooks Brothers - which I think of as the most stodgy and unimaginative of all men's clothiers - as a partner. But then, I imagine anyone working on the design side of the fashion industry is likely to be rather progressive and excited about new ideas, even if the work they're actually paid to do seems anachronistic outside of a mortuary.
posted by eotvos at 10:02 AM on May 29, 2016

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