Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
Mens apparel - and in particular accessories like socks - is a double digit growth market. We felt the need to provide premium stylish socks to the modern day gentleman. Our socks come with a hand stitched button on one, and a hole on the other sock to ensure they stay together during the washing process. No more lonely socks. This makes the sock unique. We design our socks here in Melbourne. We visited manufacturers far and wide; we wore, washed, stretched, pulled, threw, kicked, poked and washed some more until we came across a Korean manufacturer who we could work with to make our dream a reality.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
The majority of our sales are business to business; our clients are the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney up to the online retailer the Iconic. They found us either via word of mouth or via some PR publications we've done. They understand the market and love the product. We do some online advertising through Google but are still exploring the mix. Having said that, Instagram has currently the most potential.
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?
We use various tools to measure analytics, performance, and communication. Personally, the best tool at the moment is Trello. Trello is a project managent tool. It has a great way of visualizing activities and tasks as well as owners and due date. As the team works across Sydney and Melbourne, communication and transparency is key. We are actually currently in Hong Kong to see whether we can outsource this part of the value chain. At the moment we do all operations from Melbourne, but this has proven to be very expensive.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
It is beautiful to see something grow by your own doing. Sometimes you wish it would grow faster, and sometimes you wish you had more people to provide the support the company needs. There are always areas for improvent. Focus, persistence and striving for premium quality are three main values for us. Also, it has been great to step out of the operational aspect from time to time. We regularly take the entire team to spend the entire weekend together and have fun, talk about our brand, our customers and our vision. This creates great insight and intent for our team, making them more effective and committed on the long run.