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Category — Entrepreneurship

InspHerational Woman-Jas Banwait

When asking different women about who they would recommed for an InspHERational woman post, so many people said Jas! I’m so glad she’s sharing her story of entrepreneurship and starting a tailor-made suit business with her brother here. She shows us that sometimes what you study is not what you end up doing.


Name: Jas Banwait

Your Current Role: Co-founder

Company/Organization: Savillian (custom tailored suits)

What is your Myers-Briggs type? ENTP

What would the range of pay be for a person in your job position/year?

$0 for the first 3 to 5 years, must supplement with another income

Why do you love your job?

I don’t consider it a “job” – I feel like this is exactly where I want to be right now in my life. It provides me with an ample amount of freedom and independence to not only set my own work schedule but also to work on setting up my company the way I see fit.

Can you let me know the story of how you got to where you are in your career?

I am still in the “start-up” phase of my company (it’s been 1.5 years since we started the company and 1 year prior to that of researching).

I did my Master in Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology – I was very interested in starting my own company and felt this program would help me achieve that. While I was in the program, my brother approached me with the idea of starting a company that could make custom suits in India and sell them in Canada. I was intrigued by the idea and spent the rest of my school year researching it. A few twists of fate during the year allowed me the opportunity to meet a seasoned entrepreneur who said he would help me and my brother bring the idea to fruition. The little push is what we needed to set off to India and make all of our research into actual reality.

­­­­­­­­­­­What are your passions?

My passions are writing, reading, travelling, fashion, technology and attending/organizing events.

Give me the real lowdown of your work experience. Does your work experience, since you were young, reflect your passions or did you have to chip away and discover them (your diamond in the rough)?

No way! I did an Honours Science (and Business) degree and majored in Biology at the nerdiest school in Canada – University of Waterloo. I dressed in jogging pants throughout my university career and was made fun of for having funny shoes. Never would I have thought that in my career I would become a fashion expert and people would look to me for advice. What you study in school is hardly a reflection of what you end up doing in life. The only thing that remains the same is my passion for entrepreneurship.

Tell me about your educational training and what sacrifices you had to make, if any, to obtain it.

See answer above – no sacrifices!

It’s 7am! Give me the scoop on what your typical day is like (the glamorous and not so glamorous parts)

I am not a morning person or at least I think I function better after 10am and after a cup of coffee, but this trade off means I work late and don’t get to bed till after midnight. Every day is different, since I am still in the process of setting up my company. I also do freelance consulting on the side so I have to plan my business around doing that work as well.

Lately, my world has been filled with events, I plan my whole week around attending events where I can spread the word about my company and meet as many people as possible. Along with this, I spend a lot of time writing in my blog at least 3 times a week, twittering, and staying up to date on the latest fashion news.

My client appointments are usually just as sporadic as I work around their schedules as well. At each appointment, we discuss style options, fabric choices, and we take measurements and pictures. I then compile this information and send it overseas to my tailor who creates the suits. As you can see there are a lot of logistics involved – I spend a lot of time ensuring that all information is correct and that my client and financial records are up to date – this is a job in itself! Although fashion is a glamorous industry – most of my time is spent doing administrative tasks like entering in client information, sending emails, and stressing out about late orders.

Doing business in India is very challenging since the time zone is completely opposite; there is also a communication problem not in terms of the language but in how business is done. I usually have to send late night emails or phone calls as it is morning in India. Furthermore, a lot of time is spent in marketing and sales, we do a few events, tradeshows, and photo shoots during the year that helps us get customers.

What do you WISH YOU KNEW at 18 that you now know with regards to your CAREER?

Don’t limit yourself with respect to what you think you see yourself doing as a career. Although your parents, mentors, guardians, and friends may want the best for you in terms of your future, in the end you have to be happy with yourself and your choices. Try to do and/or be involved in as many activities and take as many opportunities that are presented to you. This is very important because you will never know if you like something unless you try it. Try to intern or volunteer with a fashion or magazine company to see if it would be something you enjoy. Take advantage of contests and competitions – you learn a lot about yourself in this way.

How does your chosen job IMPACT your community and the WORLD?

Globalization is very important – more and more people must do business internationally in order to survive. Local businesses are becoming obsolete due to technology and the internet. My hope is to create jobs in Canada and in India and give back to my community. I currently give back to a small charity in India that supports unwanted children.

What are the best real RESOURCES you’ve found for:

1.)     A person RESEARCHING to earn a fashion degree?

Ryerson University has one of the best programs in Canada for fashion related careers. The best way to get into the industry is to get in early! Try to intern at a fashion company or volunteer at fashion events like fashion week.

2.)    The best COMPANIES/ORGANIZATIONS for a person working in fashion?

Toronto Fashion Incubator – a great resource for fashion related entrepreneurs


Fashion Design Council of Canada (Fashion Week)


How did you learn about your position?

I didn’t really learn about it – I just started doing it! In the process (going to events, and reading blogs) I have met a lot of the major movers and shakers in fashion in Toronto.

What are the 5 most important skills to excel at this job?

Extroverted, Organized, Creative, Patient, & a Quick learner

November 24, 2009   2 Comments