Ryan Meserole: Suited To Be An Uber Driver

Three years ago, Ryan Meserole opened Suited.co. The small shop offers high-quality, hand-crafted suits. Its Railroad Place location is convenient and — surrounded by neighbors like Indulge by Mersene, Sports Attic and a few restaurants — cool.

But small retailers have a tough time. And Commuter Coffee is just the latest business to announce it may close.

Suited.co, on Railroad Place

Ryan grew up in the fashion industry. It’s his life’s work. He’s amazed to see so many clothing stores fleeing Main Street.

He firmly believes that customers are here. However, he notes, “They won’t always come to you. Sometimes you have to go out and capture them.”

A couple of months ago — sitting in his shop, wondering why foot traffic has declined — he suddenly realized: People are now dropped off at the station by Uber.


“I can’t expect my window display to get customers in the door — even though I’m always complimented on it,” he says.

“But if I drove for Uber, I’d have my audience. And they’d be attentive.”

Ryan Meserole, in his Suited.co store.

It took him just a day to sign up to drive for the service. Almost immediately, he hit the road.

He wakes up at 5 a.m. He drives during rush hour, until 9 a.m. An hour later — the same as always — he opens Suited.co.

At his store, he reviews his passengers’ names and addresses. He sends them a personal note, with a gift card to see him and the shop “after our lovely little chat in the car.”

(It’s quite an incentive: a free custom shirt, or $150 off a Suited.co purchase.)

Ryan Meserole’s follow-up mailing.

Bottom line: Ryan’s sales are up nearly 30%. Plus, he says, “I’m being of service to my community. I’m expanding my customer base to Fairfield, Weston and Wilton. And I’m being paid by Uber to do it.

In his long retail marketing career, Ryan says, “this is the only campaign that ever paid me back.”

But he doesn’t need the Uber money.  So he donates it to charity — a different organization each month. Most recently, it was the March of Dimes.

You never know who your Uber driver will be. That’s part of the intrigue of the app.

In Ryan Meserole’s case, that seems to suit his — and his driving/custom suit customers — just fine.

16 responses to “Ryan Meserole: Suited To Be An Uber Driver

  1. Way to go Ryan!! On a personal note, I have done business with Ryan and his custom suits and sport coats are awesome…

  2. Quite remarkable, isn’t it? Not only Ryan’s incentive and techinque, but it speaks to the background story of those who arrive at your request to get you where you need to go…(yet more) food for thought.

  3. Good for Ryan. Good luck.

  4. Dennis Stahursky

    Well done.

  5. Don’t want to be the nay sayer here because Ryan sure is an industrious and very imaginative entrepreneur.
    However, if I ride in a cab(Uber) at 5:30 or 6 in the morning, the very last thing I want is pleasant banter from the driver, no less pleasant banter hawking his commercial enterprise….sorry, Ryan.

    • Agree- I actually wonder if Uber technically restricts its drivers from doing this. However, I do think it’s clever and entrepreneurial of him, and don’t mind getting something in the mail after the fact.

      • There is a little more to it. Obviously, I respect those who don’t want to chat. I don’t actually initiate the conversation either, and though I’d like to just lock them in the back seat and make them look at fabrics all day… I do restrain myself.

        When you request an UBER there is a bio about your driver that pretty much everyone looks at, and In that bio there is an explanation which can trigger them to ask me the question first; why the Founder custom suit company is driving them to the train station? Also when they request the cheaper UBER X service and a brand new 2018 Cadillac Escalade pulls up it tends to make them understand this is not a regular trip. Oh, and the TV’s in the headrests of the car play Suited’s current seasons collection of fabrics, styles, etc… It’s all touch screen and connected to the internet so you can even make your appointment through the car. Trust me, I don’t have to say a word. The Caddy does most of the work, I just open the door…

  6. Lisa Hemingray Savone

    brilliant idea!! so who will be the first to sign up for Uber at Lucy’s????

  7. Ryan should add teaching to his resume and go out there and tell students about his experience. What a great lesson. Good luck Ryan!

  8. Carlotta Grenier

    What a fantastic and creative Idea wishing you lots of success

  9. Very creative! Good luck to you!

  10. Be careful. Some readers know I travel a lot for business. I do not rent cars and use UBER/LIFT. WELL-I only use Lyft. This driver should think about this.

    After a bad experience with Uber in another city, I took a Lyft. When being driven from the hotel to the meeting I asked the Lyft driver if he also drove for Uber and asked him if there was a difference. I was shocked by his answer.

    He said Uber approves a driver within 24 hours. Just like Dan wrote. He then told me it takes over 3 weeks to become a Lyft driver as they do an extensive background check.

    He then really shocked me-he said he would never use Uber and told me his brother, a 3 time convicted felon, including gun violence, was approved by Uber in a day.

    As Dan wrote, Ryan was approved in a day which confirms their lack of background checks. This has nothing to do with Ryan, but a lot to do with Uber.

    Be careful. Maybe Ryan will change to Lyft.

    • They did do a background check actually. As an employer I’ve had them ordered, I know a basic background check can take a day for public records which include arrests and convictions, and bit longer for other info. I was approved in a day because after applying online they send an email which says, you can go to UBER’S Stamford Office (Which I did ) to expedite my application and interview. I’m also approved for Lyft BTW.. Food for thought: most drivers use both apps. Lyft actually pays out drivers better, almost $17 dollars an hours, UBER is more widely used on the east coast but closer $15 an hour. when you drill down the math to a 12 hr day.

      I’m not sure about their terms for multiple convictions, gun charges,violent convicts, etc… but there have been many articles and interviews with UBER executives and CEO who have explained why UBER wants to be a company who can give a chance to felons looking for work as most people will not hire someone with a record.

      Reminds me of a story Dan wrote here about a Mr. Arron Tucker who was sent to jail on weapons charges and saved a woman’s life after an accident on the post road, while on the way to a job interview. He needed a job so badly. https://06880danwoog.com/2017/07/13/honoring-a-post-road-hero/ was a great story. Do you think UBER should approve him and give him a second chance to support himself and his family? Because once people got to know Arron they saw that he was an amazing man, trying to make up for his mistakes and walk a path he can be proud of. He paid is Debt.

      Hell, I’m a recovering alcoholic, I go to meetings, I do my steps, I always try to do the next right thing. Should people not get in the car with me?

      I grew up in Brooklyn NY, the Brooklyn where when the street lamps turn on you better get your butt home side. To a Mother of 4 who worked harder then any other Man or Woman I’ve ever met in Westport, to provide for us, so she could raise 2 Lawyers, who paid their own ways, a smart talented Daughter who is also an amazing Mother to 2 special need children, and Myself who also put himself through school and FIT to build this company anyway I can. This is one of those ways.

      On the outside though what people see is a entrepreneurial business man and Westport resident. Well that’s my book jacket, but when you start to read you learn a bit more. I’m happy to Drive for UBER and Lyft. I think they are 2 great companies which allow people to grow on their own. I also really love Suited. It’s paid for my fancy Westport American dream, but I’m not so stupid to think I did it all on my own without the help of others or second chances.

      Of course there are dangerous people in the world and everyone should always be carful. I hope your friends brother was trying to do the right thing by being proactive to help himself and not assault and steal from people, or be a strain on our system by being dependent on sate and federal aid handouts. Which I find is another big thing people like to complain about when it comes to the lower classes or past inmates.

      “Before you assume, learn the facts. Before you judge, understand why. Before you hurt someone, feel. Before you speak, think.” These 20 words helped me to understand people and be a better person one day at a time.

      • Wise, honest words.

      • Best of luck to you. You sound like someone with a plan and always great to read how different people try different ways to grow their business.

        • Thanks Bart, And now you’re part of the plan. LOL… Why don’t you come by this weekend and I’ll make you a shirt on the house and when that shirt changes your life for the better I’ll consider letting you buy something… 😉

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