Since graduating from the Oregon State College of Business in 2007, McGregor Madden has worked hard to shape his own career.
Madden has used the skills he cultivated in Corvallis and as an international exchange student to find innovative solutions when things didn’t quite fit, molding his path to his own vision of success.
While working in Shanghai Madden started hanging out with a stylish group of friends and realized there should be a better way to get a tailored suit. Last year Madden — along with co-founder Richard Hall — created Proper Suit, an online custom suit provider.
Now based in Chicago, Proper Suit arranges fittings for clients around the country and creates a suit tailored to the individual. Hall and Madden then noticed their clients were wearing these perfectly fitted suits over ill-fitting dress shirts and created Hall & Madden, a custom dress shirt company.
Madden was kind enough to take part in a Question and Answer with the College of Business, sharing how his time at Oregon State has helped push his career forward.
Q: What brought you to Oregon State and how did you get interested in studying business?
A: I felt at home on the OSU campus from the start. I did some other tours and just didn’t get the comfortable feeling I got from OSU. I fell into business since it was something I always was passionate about.
Q: Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
A: One of the best parts of being an entrepreneur is that you can’t get fired. I have a really opinionated mindset and convictions, so if I fail that’s on me. Working for someone else when I’ve always been a passionate and fiery person just probably wasn’t ever going to work long-term. I’ve worked as an operations director for Groupon’s now infamous China venture and it was a constant reminder that I would want to do things my way.
Q: Why do you feel Proper Suit has taken off the way it has? What’s been your favorite part of the experience?
A: Our product is of the highest quality and our service and experience is 100 percent built around the client, which is actually something new to suiting. Our price point and service is wonderfully positioned in this very large market. We also are flexible and lean so we can strike quickly into new markets without large investment. I think the most surprising thing is how consistent our sales have been and how growth has been like a hockey stick. My favorite part of the experience has been getting our locations opened up.
Q: How did Oregon State help prepare you for becoming an entrepreneur?
A: Entrepreneurs need to have a sense of adventure. I took an international business course with Dr. Steve Lawton and his stories of Hong Kong and living in Mexico City inspired me to head to Hong Kong. That’s where this whole business started.
Q: Where do you see your career heading from here?
A: Proper Suit has found its niche and we really understand the market, product and consumer. As we currently experience consistent growth and adding clients who come back for more we are going to ride it out and continue to improve. We don’t want to bite off more than we can chew but my business partner and I started a shirt business called www.hallmadden.com that is also an innovative menswear start-up.