He couldn’t follow his dream of becoming a commercial artist after the death of his father. At 18 Andrew David Fernandes had to stand on his feet, to continue his father’s trade and support his mother and sisters. Today D’Ziners is the sought after suit destination in Goa
Danuska Da Gama
Andrew David Fernandes six-moth tailoring course done back when he was a teenager, because his father was a tailor, did him better than anything else. Although he aimed at becoming a commercial artist, Andrew would accompany his father to Bombay and assist him at his tailoring shop ‘Johny Tailors’.
Sickness and then the death of his father meant that he had to shoulder responsibilities by default. And thus, Andrew carried on with his father’s trade in Bombay with hardly `10,000 left behind by his father. “Since the shop was a rented one, the owner wanted me to either buy it or vacate it and at that time the cost was `1 lakh. The underworld got involved to get me to vacate, but somehow I managed to convince them, prayed to God and borrowed money and was able to retain the shop,” recalls Andrew.
He re-branded the shop as Johny’s Creations and slowly learned how to survive in the trade and enjoy it. He had no choice but to forget about becoming a commercial artist. Soon he was able to clear his debts.
But, home is where the heart is, and Andrew wanted to come back to Goa. “Twenty-three years ago when I had come to Goa for my sister’s wedding I found that Goans are really fond of suits and I dreamed of opening a shop in Goa, so I sold the shop and bought a small shop in Margao which is still there.
“I always fancied Goan surnames with apostrophes. And I didn’t want to offer normal tailoring services. I wanted to design something innovative, focus on detailing and put to use the artist in me. So I thought of the name D’Ziners and started selling a full suit for `1999,” says Andrew who tells us that he managed to capture a sizeable market as suits at that time were sold for not less than `2500, that too only for stitching. With his quality of service, hard work and honesty, he says he managed to attain success and thus was able to expand to Panaji in 2014 and Porvorim in 2018. He now has plans of opening stores in Vasco and Mapusa too.
“There is no shortcut to success. And risks are everywhere, but you should have faith in yourself and trust God,” says Andrew who has willingly allowed his two daughters to enter the business with him.
“A family that works together in one mind is a great support. My daughters independently manage two locations and learn on the job. They get paid a salary and are bosses in their own right. The new generation has their own way of doing things and I let them experiment, instead of thrusting my ideas on them,” he says.
Despite attaining success, Andrew can be seen interacting with customers just like his staff does, he takes measurements, sketches designs, etc.
“I don’t want pride to come in my path as that brings downfall. Being grounded is important, and one shouldn’t forget the humble beginnings after becoming rich and successful,” concludes Andrew.