Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce
Chamber Chat with Christian Boehm, President at BALANI Custom Clothiers
The Chamber is committed to telling the stories of our members. Chamber Chat is a regular series profiling our members. We love great stories about what led our members to start their businesses! In this Chamber Chat, learn more from Christian Boehm, President of BALANI Custom Clothiers, and read about what makes his business unique. BALANI Custom Clothiers is an Inaugural Member of the Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
BALANI Custom Clothiers operates in 14 markets nationwide and is listed on the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest growing privately held businesses. The business was established in 1961 has been voted as “One of the 6 best tailors in the world” and enjoys a 5-star rating by Yelp, Google and Trust Pilot in each of its 14 markets.
What is your 15-second “elevator speech” about what BALANI Custom Clothiers does?
We are a “True Custom” men’s clothing experience located in River Oaks and The Woodlands. Our clients work one on one with their dedicated stylist to create their unique one of a kind garments. Our stylists are trained in color, current trends and pattern matching to provide the best advice in the industry.
Talk a bit about the array of services you provide.
We take over 30 measurements to create each individual customer pattern which is cut by hand by our cutters. This pattern is kept on file and adjusted with each client meeting based upon weight gain or loss and client feedback on their likes and dislikes. In addition to custom clothing we also make custom shoes and carry a variety of accessories such as neckwear, pocket squares, cufflinks, hosiery, outerwear, casual wear and formal wear.
How many clients do you serve in an average week?
We serve 40-50 clients on average each week.
What do you think sets your BALANI Custom Clothiers apart from the competition?
Our people are the very best in the industry. Yes, we make great clothing but the advice we are able to provide to each client and the relationship that they build with their trusted fashion advisor is the added value that makes it hard to compete with us.
What has been key to your success with BALANI Custom Clothiers?
I’ve hired great people who are engaging, have big personalities and are fun to work with on a daily basis.
We are proud that BALANI Custom Clothiers is one of our inaugural Chamber members. Thank you for your incredible support since our first year! Why is it important that you are part of the Chamber?
We appreciate our relationship with the LGBTQ community in many ways. The community has continued to help promote our brand and become our advocates within Houston. It’s important to us that we support the Chamber and support its mission in Houston.
What’s ahead for BALANI Custom Clothiers? Where do you see the business in the next five years?
We have just expanded into our 14th market. We are due for expansion of the River Oaks location in Q3 of this year into a space three times as big. We are very bullish on the growth of custom clothing in general because more men are discovering the benefits of having something made …once they try, they never go back to ready-made. It’s addicting but in a good way!
What do you think are the positive aspects of running a business in Houston?
It’s a very friendly business climate supported by a great economy. We have found Houston to be a great town to network in. The people are very generous and are genuine.
What’s the best advice you ever received as a business owner?
Do what you love, hire great people, delegate the things you are not good at or don’t like to do and elevate those around you.
What's your favorite thing to do in town when you're not working?
Enjoying and discovering new food and cultural experiences, fishing in our gulf coast fishery and enjoying the outdoors on a bike and hiking trails
Barbecue or Mexican and where do you go for it?
Mexican – The original Ninfas – their fajitas are sublime!
Barbeque – I make my own but the best barbeque I have had in Texas has been in Austin at Coopers. I take the team down the River each year on innertubes then to Coopers!
Anything else you want to mention about your business?
I promise you will have fun and learn something each time you come in.
Follow BALANI Custom Clothiers on social media - #TheCustomLife:
Want to meet Christian and the fabulous BALANI Customer Clothiers staff? Join the Chamber on May 8 for Brewing Up Business event where you’ll have the opportunity see the unique one of a kind garments and get some tips on “dressing for success.” Thank you to BALANI for hosting and sponsoring our May Brewing Up Business!