No. 14

Maison Leporem Puts Their Signature on a Ready-to-Wear Line

Maison Leporem Puts Their Signature on a Ready-to-Wear Line
The made-to-measure menswear shop shares how they used business funds from Square to expand into a ready-to-wear line, offering more affordable luxury to more people.
Mar 22, 2024 — 6 min read
Maison Leporem Puts Their Signature on a Ready-to-Wear Line

About this series



Discover the more surprising sides of your business finances. From unique seller spotlights (did anybody say taxidermy?) on tackling cash flow to monthly advice from a Financial Therapist and CPA — check out these stories and more from our banking newsletter.
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This article is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal, financial, or tax advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.

Dany Dao’s interest in men’s suiting sparked in 2014, after seeing the film “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” in which a sharply dressed Colin Firth operates a stylish spy outfit from a Savile Row tailor shop.   

“I fell in love with the main character when he got out of the plane, dressed in a double-breasted suit,” Dany said. “I’ve been striving to dress better ever since.”

Dany is now the Chief Creative Officer and partner at menswear shop Maison Leporem — or House of Charm in Latin — an appointment-only, made-to-measure menswear shop situated in Quartier des Spectacles in downtown Montreal. At the helm are Dany and his three partners: Dr. Collins Oghor, founder and Chief Executive Officer; Benjamin Iraguha, partner and Chief Financial Officer; and Sung Kyun Ahn, partner and Chief Operations Officer. 

The space is filled with vintage, overstuffed leather couches, thrifted chairs, and photos of Hollywood royalty from a bygone era. The operation isn’t stuffy or old-fashioned though. The four men simply have an appreciation of style, craftsmanship, and an impeccably tailored suit.

From bootstrapping to building a brand  

For the past seven years, Maison Leporem has run primarily on bootstrapping. On the occasions they needed a quick boost of cash, the partners would seek out loans from friends and family. While this money helped them in a pinch, it wasn’t enough to take the business to the next stage: starting a ready-to-wear line. 

You cannot run a successful, independent business without external funding. At a certain point you need capital to grow further. ”

Dany Dao Chief Creative Officer

When Dany saw the offer for business funds in their Square Dashboard, he knew part of it would help them get their ready-to-wear inventory off the ground.

Not every Maison Leporem client has the time or the budget to have a custom suit made. By building up their stock of ready-made suits, shirts, and accessories, the shop will be able to serve more clients who want accessible luxury with the Maison Leporum signature. 

“We want to build a brand where people go online and look at our ready-to-wear. We want to have our own signature for people who come in and say, ‘I do not have four to six weeks to have a suit made. I need a suit for this weekend.’”

Creating a cash float    

The rest of Maison Leporem’s funding went into building up a cash reserve to keep custom suit orders running smoothly. Prepandemic, many of the artisans they worked with offered 30- or 60-day grace periods for full payments. Now Dany and team must pay everything up front.

“When you make a suit, you have to think about the fabric. Once you order the fabric, it goes to the maker at the fabric mill. The maker makes the suit and sends it to us. If we don’t have enough money to send to the maker, there’s suddenly a bottleneck at the initial step of the process,” Dany said.

Oh, the possibilities

Initially curious about their offer from Square, Dany talked with his partners about the possibilities it sparked. “I was amazed by the amount,” Dany said. “As someone who [has not taken] funding before, seeing that amount — a lot of ideas started popping up. ‘We can do this. We can do that.’”  

Since Square looks at Maison Leporem’s business data, rather than the personal credit histories of its partners, Dany felt the offer was more accessible to the business: “Square looks at your volume, your sales, and the scale and scope you’ve been doing throughout the year. It has a built-in algorithm that determines how much you’re eligible for based on your sales, not based on your record. That’s a great way to go about it.” 

Planning for a stylish future

How has it felt to have the funds?

“It feels great. It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” Dany said.

Now he can focus on his clients, give them the best experience possible, and begin to think about the future. If the opportunity to take another offer comes up, Dany says that they’ll take it.

“The first thing I’d do is get some additional ‘try-ons.’ In suiting, we do body measurements, but everyone stands in a different way. Some people are hunched forward, some people have low shoulders, high shoulders. Waists are angled or not,” Dany said. “Having actual ‘try-ons’ in different sizes allows us to not only have a visual confirmation, but gives peace of mind to our clients.”

Did you know?

With Square Loans you may become eligible for a loan based on your Square sales. Loan offers are customized to your unique business data, such as card sales, payment frequency, and customer base. Check your eligibility

Editor’s note: The following columns were first featured in the Square Banking newsletter. Aja Evans and Keila Hill-Trawick are not employees or consultants of Square, and the views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and are not endorsed by Square.

Finance in focus: 3 books to tap into more financial wellness


Aja Evans is a licensed mental health counselor who specializes in financial therapy. She owns and operates a private practice in New York City.

When I think about what may be helpful to small-business owners on their road to success, a lot of books come to mind. While many focus on the actual methods of how to manage your business cash flow, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t encourage you to understand your financial behaviors and tendencies too. 

Here are a few of my favorites: 

“The Psychology of Money” by Morgan Housel
Housel provides insight into how our relationship with money is less about the numbers and more about how we think and feel about ourselves — and subsequently our money. This is a powerful read if you’re exploring your relationship with money for the first time.

“Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz
Michalowicz details a cash-management system that encourages business owners to prioritize profits over revenue. While I don’t think any system is one-size-fits-all, I do agree with Michalowicz that paying yourself first and keeping business and personal expenses separate can have transformative effects on your business finances. The Square Readers Book Club just wrapped up this book last month. Join book club ->

“Your Life or Your Money” by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
Robin and Dominguez emphasize the importance of connecting your values and what you want to sustainable financial practices. When you’re grinding to make it all happen, it can be easy to lose track of your why. This book is for you if you want to have a more meaningful relationship with your business finances and refocus on your purpose.

My debut book, “Feel-Good Finance,” releases in December 2024. We all could create more space to truly understand ourselves, our psychology, and how it impacts our financial behaviors. This book will take you on a journey of answering the hard questions to understand the emotions behind your money.

Good with numbers: 4 last-minute tricks for Tax Day


Keila Hill-Trawick is founder and CEO of Little Fish Accounting, a boutique CPA firm dedicated to serving micro businesses through accounting and tax support.

Editor’s note: Keila is in the thick of tax season, so we’ve rounded up our favorite tax advice from her over the past year.    

Give your tax documents a digital home. 

Take photos of your docs and save them to a folder named for the current tax year on a secure online storage platform. That way you won’t accidentally leave a document on your dining room table and you can easily share with your tax preparer when requested. (Save the document as a PDF. Your accountant will thank you.)

Ask questions. 

Your tax return is your responsibility. If there is anything you don’t understand, make sure your preparer is willing and able to answer your questions so you can sign your return with confidence.

Not ready for Tax Day? Get an extension. 

Taxpayers qualify for a free six-month extension. Doing so gives you some breathing room during what can already be an anxious time of year. Remember, an extension gives you more time to file, not more time to pay. Any taxes owed can still accrue penalties and interest while the IRS waits for the return to be submitted.

Get help throughout the year. 

Since your tax return is a reflection of the previous year, get a consultation after tax season (mid-year or year-end) to check the accuracy of your numbers. You’ll have fewer surprises and you’ll feel more empowered and educated about how your numbers will impact your return next year.

All loans are issued by Square Financial Services, Inc., a Utah-Chartered Industrial Bank. Actual fee depends upon payment card processing history, loan amount and other eligibility factors. A minimum payment of 1/18 of the initial loan balance is required every 60 days, and full loan repayment is required within 18 months. Loan eligibility is not guaranteed. All loans are subject to credit approval.



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