Any business idea that starts with a couple of friends having a chat on a Saturday night always seems to lead to something amazing. This concept is no exception for sock label Barnaby, which was created by a few guys in Melbourne in 2013. Today we chat to Shay about what it takes to create a sock brand with a difference and learn more about this local label.
Tell us a bit about Barnaby and what we can expect to discover?
Barnaby is a unique sock label inspired by geometry, symmetry and impeccable style, designed to add personality to men’s wardrobes everywhere. We wanted to reinvent the sock gift giving experience. It is rare to see socks that come in nice packages these days – we believe that if you are buying a quality product then you should be having a quality experience also. Made from high quality combed cotton, each pair of Barnaby socks also comes with a button to help keep them together. The quality, the button and the designs, along with the unique packaging concept, help differentiate Barnaby socks from other socks you see in stores today.
What are your backgrounds and how did you start working together
Barnaby was founded in Melbourne – and run by four young entrepreneurs Shay Namdarian, Andrei Maior, David Tay and Dirk Vos after we saw a gap in the Australian fashion accessories market for mid-priced men’s fashion socks. We are all professionals who have worked at global management consulting firms together.
What inspires you daily?
Inspiration can come from anywhere and sometimes when you least expect it. We are constantly looking through magazines, books and blogs picking up colour combos and designs we see all the time – sometimes it translates into a great sock design sometimes it doesn’t.
What is your creative workspace like, and what inspires you about your surroundings?
Our creative workplace constantly changes as we like to keep mixing things ups. A lot of our inspiration comes from graphic design and architecture that surrounds us. We are constantly scanning the environment around us for inspiration.
What challenges have you faced starting your own label, and what are some things you love about it?
Like any start-up, there has been no shortage of challenges. Some of the key challenges include balancing full time work commitments and finding the right manufacturer. We have learned to be patient as sometimes things take longer than you want or expect.
On the positive side, running a business with your friends is great fun (doesn’t feel like work at all). We have control over every aspect of the business and can experiment with innovative ideas to help grow the brand.
What aspirations do you have for your label in the future?
2014 shaped up to be the biggest year so far at Barnaby. We are looking to grow significantly in 2015 with a strong focus on collaborating with more distributors and retailers. We are looking to expand our team and will continue to establish the Barnaby brand in both Australia and the rest of the world.