Purvi Modi Monga started working very early in life. She was an instructor at a dance company when at 15 years old. Purvi has a decade of corporate experience in the filed of media & entertainment in sales & marketing. She has worked with some brands like PVR Pictures, Fever 104 FM and Star India Pvt Ltd before get into the eCommerce world.
When did entrepreneurship blossom into your mind?
I have always been passionate about the fashion world. This was one of the reasons why I chose to start Mint & Oak. I believe the best entrepreneurs are the ones who are driven by passion.
I was on a maternity break and in various conversations with friends and family members I noticed an interesting trend. The number of times socks came up in conversation piqued my interest. Most men were buying their socks while travelling internationally because of a better quality product and wider range of designs.
We did a market gap study and realized that the needs in the domestic market were not being met and that the demand was definitely there. This is how Mint & Oak was born. Mint & Oak is a super fun socks brand. Our wide range of socks have one purpose: to step up the sock game for everyone.
What are the challenges you faced before getting into this business?
Being a first-time entrepreneur, I had a very steep learning curve. At first, it was tough finding the right partners and vendors who could help bring the brand to market. Being bootstrapped meant that I had to maintain a very tight leash on cash outflow.
Small mistakes also tend to have an impact on the original budgeting and business plan. For example, I thought of the name of the brand, went ahead got the logo and packaging designed only to realize later that I had not checked for the trademark. Upon doing so I realized that the name was already taken. That meant I had to go back to the drawing board think of a new name and get an all new logo and packaging designed! Not only had we lost over a month of work but also had an impact on our allocated budgets.
Our focus now is on building a great team who believe in the vision of the Company.
Founding a company is hard. But doing so as a single founder is even harder. You’ve got an infinite number of decisions to make and every move comes back to you. Sometimes you spend so much time in your own head, overthinking, overanalyzing and internalizing every little thing.
With that said, becoming an entrepreneur is the one of the best decisions I have taken for my career. It is an extremely enriching experience.
How many pairs of socks have you sold in the last 12 months?
Mint & Oak is selling direct to consumers through its own website. We launched in February 2019. We have also partnered with all major marketplaces like Amazon, Myntra, Flipkart and many others. We have setup over 50 Pop-ups at co-working spaces, media companies, law firms, consulting and accounting firms and other corporate offices. This model works very well for us and leads to instant brand awareness. We have noticed a fair percentage of this audience converting into repeat orders online. We have also catered to weddings wherein we create customized boxes for wedding favors and welcome kits. Gifting is a huge segment and we saw a 3X growth in demand during Christmas. Since inception, we have sold over 15,000 socks.
How has been the journey with Mint and Oak so far?
Its been super exciting and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. E-commerce was an entire new universe for me and the learnings have been immense. It’s great to slowly get ingrained into the startup ecosystem. Even now, the notification of a customer order at 1 AM in the morning brings a smile to my face. When customers share feedback saying they loved our products makes for the perfect start to the day.
You need to be hungry to learn. Have an open mind, talk to people, be open to taking advice, don’t be scared of making mistakes and don’t give up. My family has been extremely supportive of my journey so far. As we were growing up, my father always stressed on the importance of being organized and I am glad to have learned that from him.
What’s in the future?
We truly believe in knowing our customers and using that knowledge well. Based research and insight we are foraying into women’s socks and will be launching a women’s collection soon. We have recently expanded to selling internationally and are available on sites like Etsy.