Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we’re talking with Shay Namdarian from Barnaby — a sock startup with added buttons.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
Friends Andrei Maior, David Tay and myself founded Barnaby, after we identified a gap in the market for high quality and affordable men’s statement socks.
Our socks are designed in Melbourne and are made from a high quality combed cotton blend. Innovation is key in this day and age so we really wanted to make an innovative change to an otherwise simple product. Enter the button. Each pair of Barnaby socks has a button to help keep them together. We didn’t stop there — each pair is packed in the unique Barnaby packaging concept.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
We’ve seen the power of social media first hand. A big part of our strategy is to maintain a strong online presence and ensure we provide a high level of customer experience. After launching about 4 months ago, we have built up a strong following. Going forward, our key strategy is to continue to collaborate with retailers while growing the brand globally.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?
Time. Each member of the Barnaby team is currently juggling full-time work with Barnaby. It has really taught us to be more efficient outside of our daily jobs and make the most of the time we have. We are expecting a big 2014 and are already looking to add a few people to the Barnaby team to ensure that we keep up the momentum.
How do your differentiate your business from your competitors?
The quality, the button and the designs set us apart from the rest. Barnaby aims to be a brand that uses a socially and environmentally transparent business model.
Barnaby is also giving back to the community by partnering with charity organisations like YGAP (Y Generation against Poverty). We thought if people really needed a motivation to wear colourful socks, supporting a charity is a pretty good reason.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
Trello! The Barnaby team uses Trello as a work collaboration tool. It allows us to add tasks and assign owners to them and have full visibility on progress without having to talk every day. We like to keep meetings to a minimum and Trello helps us do this.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
Networking is crucial. People love hearing stories about startups. Tell people about your ideas, share them and watch your network grow. You never know who you will meet — sometimes all you need is one big break.
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