Mint & Oak is a Mumbai-based online stocking brand that makes socks for men. Currently, the bootstrapped startup has sold 10,000 pairs of socks over the past year.
When East Modi Monga was on her maternity leave, she noticed an interesting trend in her various interactions with friends and family. Many of the discussions revolved around one topic and were socks.
And it was not just for women. Most men said that if there was one thing they definitely bought on international trips, it was socks. This was because the products there were of superior quality and had a wide variety of designs.
This prompted Eastern to delve deeper and realize that socks were an emerging fashion accessory for men and that there was a demand for something different and fun.
Due to this, they decided to launch ‘Mint and Oak’ in February 2019. It is a Mumbai based online brand that makes unique and fine quality socks for men.
“The way a person helps to show who they are and how they bring out their personality.” We want men to have the ability to decide whether they are bold, happy, young or how they feel? You just need to open your socks wardrobe and express yourself. “
Manufacturing and Design
The first step to get started was to find a manufacturing partner who could work with the team. Eastern states that she met many people in the industry, studied clothing, questioned the fundamentals and went on to understand the nuances of production before she realized that manufacturing socks was a complex process.
Eastern took eight months to launch the brand and launched ‘Mint and Oak’ with a savings of Rs 5 lakh. The startup has become dependent on itself since its launch.
“While style and design are intrinsic to ‘Mint and Oak’, wearability and comfort are our top priority. Our socks provide comfort and freshness with their superior quality and anti-bacterial properties. “
The team has a graphic designer who works on various collections and launches, according to seasons. Eastern states that they have a role in maintaining the language of a brand and ensuring that each design created is consistent with the overall brand aesthetic.
She adds, “For each collection, we consider where the inspiration is coming from and create a mood board. We then work on design and colour. ”
The startup also has operations and warehouse team that carries out its work. When ‘Mint and Oak’ started they were completing out-of-home orders, but as the business grew, they moved to a professional warehousing facility.
“They process daily orders, check quality, look into packaging and coordinate with various delivery agents for pick-up and delivery. We had a lot of success doing pop-up events and we have an intern working with us. “
While the initial months of the lockdown had affected startups, it has since been back on the upswing.
Team and product
An MBA graduate from Wellingkar Institute of Management, Eastern previously led PVR Cinema’s marketing team and was also on the Star World Premiere launch team, where she launched shows such as Game of Thrones, Quantico, MasterChef Australia and Coffee with Karan.
She says, “‘Mint & Oak’ has always focused on creating unique and fun designs keeping comfort and quality in mind. Indian-themed collections like ‘The Auto’ Sock have been our bestsellers. In terms of hygiene, we incorporate silver ions to reduce clothes odour-causing bacteria using N9 technology, thus making the socks anti-bacterial. This will keep your feet and socks fresh for a long time. ”
“If you flip your socks up, you will often notice threads near the toe area. This causes irritation while wearing shoes. We add a hand over the toe area, allowing it to seamlessly close. Our socks have a strong heel and toe that provides strength in areas they can be worn for the maximum time. “
Market and future
According to the Indian retailer, the socks market is valued at between Rs 900 crore and Rs 1,000 crore. It is believed to contribute 4 percent to the innerwear market.
Mint & Oak competes with the Chandigarh-based SoxBerry, Swedish brand Happy Socks, Stance and to a lesser extent the country’s largest socks manufacturer Mustang Socks (selling over one million pairs per month).
Eastern says, “We have a diverse customer base including top CEOs, lawyers, bankers, tech and working professionals. We deliver pan-India and also receive orders from tier-II and III cities. We are venturing into international markets as well. ”
The platform sells socks directly to customers through its website and has also partnered with e-commerce marketplaces such as Amazon, Myntra, Flipkart and Aegeo among others.
Mint & Oak has also established more than 50 pop-ups in co-working locations, media companies, law firms, consulting and accounting firms, and other corporate offices.
“This model works very well for us and leads to immediate brand awareness. We have seen a good percentage of this audience who repeat online orders. We also cater to weddings, in which we make customized boxes for wedding favors and reception kits. Gifting is a huge segment and we saw a three-fold increase in demand during Christmas. ”
A pair of socks costs Rs 399 and you can make your own bundle of three for Rs 999. The team claims that 10,000 pairs of socks have been sold since February last year. Speaking about her future plans, Eastern said, “Our focus is to penetrate deep into the Indian market and also focus on diversifying into international markets. We are also launching women’s socks as women’s demand Is seeing an increase. “.