— WHAT I WORKED ON
Tech Pack/ Material Design
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.
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.
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 Model/ Canvas
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.
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.
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!