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Startup Up: Online Clothing Service for Men

Open in 2014 in Greater Des Moines (DSM), Men’s Style Lab has helped men look their best through its online subscription service with 30 brands on board. Derian Baugh explains how he started up.

Speaking the Language of Investors

Derian built out a succinct executive summary to explain the company, the market, hitting milestones and more to help seek out investors. He says once investors know the potential return on investment, their interest in partnering on your business idea skyrockets. Due to “mentor speed dating,” Derian says he gained experience from rapid fire practice pitching and found mentors he still gets advice from today.


Raising capital allows the startup to level up. If you generate enough interest, you can more easily find angels to invest in your business, but you want to find the right people to help you reach that next level. Derian explains how even if a potential investor doesn’t invest, they can still offer knowledge that will be beneficial to you over time.

Central Location

Starting Men’s Style Lab in the Midwest made sense to Derian because he can ship anything in three days to each coast. He also touches on the business’ goal of marketing to the everyday man and being in Iowa lets him have a handle on who that everyday man is.

Targeting Opportunities

Customer demographics include the young professional who wants to establish a professional wardrobe as they climb the professional ladder, as well as the women in the men’s lives buying for boyfriends or husbands. A quarterly or monthly subscription is another opportunity to expand.