Erika

Socks designed for dancers, by dancers.

— WHAT I WORKED ON

Business Model

Market Research

Supply Chain

Tech Pack/ Material Design

Branding

Naming

Design

Pitch Decks

Budget

Packaging

Shipping Strategy

MATTE SOCKS IS

A direct to consumer online sock company that makes finding the perfect sock to dance in a breeze. The only pair of socks made specifically for dance wear in studio and on stage.


Dancers need to find a pair that can give them the perfect balance of surface skimming and controlled traction. This enables dancers to glide and skim with protected feet in floor work exercises, pirouette and turn with agility across different surfaces, and move largely and confidently at ease without the worry of wiping out in unreliable socks.


THE PROBLEM

Many dancers struggle to find the right pair of non-slip socks that give  them confidence to perform with ease.


1) Most apparel retail stores make their socks with high synthetic  fibers. This material content is too slippery to dance in.


2) Many dancers have hectic schedules and don’t have the time to  scour large retail and departmental stores for the right pair. 


3) The fast-moving dance industry does not enable dancers time to  test out different types of socks on the different floors before  auditions, classes or performances. They need socks they can trust.


4) Dance apparel stores don’t sell or market socks for this need.  Any alternatives are uneconomical options for dancers.


MY ROLE

This was a passion project that I'd spent a couple months developing and designing to go to market. Due to international trade restrictions and political unrest during the Trump administration, the factory I was working with decided to change our agreement by raising costs and the agreed-upon minimum order quantity. Simultaneously, I had started a number of contracts performing and freelancing for various dance companies and productions, all of which did not provide a conducive environment for me to continue this venture. I hope to re-visit this in the near future when the time is right.

Business Design

Business Model/ Canvas

Market Research

Budget


Packaging

Shipment

Pitch Decks

Apparel Design

  • Supply Chain Research
  • Material Design
  • Tech Pack

Branding

  • Naming
  • Logo
  • Landing Page

Contact

  1. email@domain.com

  2. — Twitter
  3. — Instagram
  4. — Facebook


The Business Plan


Google docs was my go-to for planning this business. I used this master document to collect every piece of research, draft and edit my writing, and craft my messaging for the brand.


Examples of some of the pages of my master document are shown below

THE BRAND

I played around with a bunch of different names and brand ideas. Below are some of the concepts I worked with. After a series of user tests, I decided to move forward with the name “Matte Socks” for a number of reasons: the implied texture of the socks' surface resonated with what dancers were looking for in a pair of dance socks; it directly spoke to our key differentiating factor; and it was unique and bold.

THE MAKING

I raised a quick $10k round from friends and family, and set out to start my factory research and sock design. Below are tech packs I put together to send to factories that were shortlisted to derive cost price and negotiate minimum order quantities.


Samples of the actual designed socks were sent to me and iterations were made to ensure the cushioning was placed on at the right location of the sock. It took about 4 months of back-and-forth and waiting for the shipment to get this designed right.

Skeletal tech pack sketch for socks prototype

Final Tech Pack drawing for winning prototype (with arch enhancement)

Tech Pack for Prototype #1

Tech Pack for Prototype #2

Packaging Options – to get a pricing quote

Sample socks sent (with arch enhancements)

THE LANDING PAGE

After a couple of wireframes and iterations, I arrived at a final draft for the landing page of Matte Socks. The brand direction, copy and color palette was finalized at this point. It was during this timeframe where negotiations with the factory did not pan out well and I decided to pause the venture. I look forward to continuing this project when the timing is right again!