Socks. We all wear them, we all buy them and we all lose one when they’re put in the wash. Since they have such an everyday role in our lives, you would think that we’d rate socks pretty highly, but this just isn’t the case, is it?
When we think of socks, we picture a old, worn-out pair of black socks that’s full of holes and destined for the bin, or that one family member who always gives you the same cheap multi-pack of boring socks every Christmas.
High Arches, a new startup company based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, has set out to change all that. With their quirky, loud and fun take on the humble sock, they’re hoping to change the common notion!
I sat down with Kinga Kaminska, founder of High Arches, to discuss her start-up journey, the power of a positive mindset, and what you should do with your old socks!
John: Hi Kinga! How are you doing today?
Kinga: It’s all going well, thank you. Just ill at the moment but hopefully I will get better soon!
John: Ahhh, I hope you have a speedy recovery! When did you first come up with the idea for High Arches?
Kinga: I always wanted to start a business where I could use my creative skills. Only recently I have made the transition from being an Art & Photography teacher in secondary school to being an entrepreneur.
I have always liked socks; I think they are a great addition to any outfit! One day I sat down and started doing mock-ups of socks in Illustrator and Photoshop and got really into it. Since then, I have done the research I needed, found reliable manufacturers and slowly built the brand.
The idea itself started in December 2017, but it was just an idea back then. I was still working as a teacher, so I started thinking of it seriously in March 2018. We launched on 31st August of this year.
John: Have you had much success with High Arches so far? Are sales going well?
Kinga: Considering we are an unknown brand that has been trading for four months, we are doing well. We have received a lot of positive feedback from customers!
Our socks speak for themselves; they are very different in terms of designs – quite wacky as one of our customers said! You can’t walk past without stopping by and taking a closer look at them.
John: Have you made progress in the last 4-5 months?
Kinga: With the brand, I have definitely made progress. I lived in the North East before I moved down South but never had a group of like-minded people I could network with – I just had my group of friends like everyone else.
I moved back to Newcastle in July this year, and since then, I have met a number of people that are on the same path of starting up a business. Networking helps with gaining customers and referrals but it’s also important to be open-minded and look for opportunities such as collaboration, partnership or even expansion.
John: What have you learned?
Kinga: Being a teacher made me a very strong-minded person, which helps me to stay focused and resilient. I have learned that having faith in what you do can take you far, and even though sometimes it’s hard to be positive when running your own business, it’s a part of the journey that every entrepreneur has to face. The key is to understand those emotions and turn them into a engine that can make a positive impact and motivate us. If we focus on the negativity, it can stop us from succeeding.
John: What are your plans for the future of High Arches? Where do you see yourself in 1 year? 3 years? 5?
Kinga: I want to make people aware of our brand and what we do! We’ve just introduced a new service – when you buy socks from us, we will attach a free-post label to return your old socks to us. We will take care of them, whether that means recycling them or donating them to people in need.
I would like to expand on the range of socks we offer, and would love to enter the global market as well. There is a lot to aim for as well as a lot of work to make it all happen!
John: This all sounds great, I love the idea of returning your old socks! Have you done any trading on markets or are you all online?
Kinga: Yes! I have sold at the Living North Christmas Fair and a couple of smaller events. The rest of my trading has been online. I’m planning to go ahead with Amazon next year!
John: Sounds fantastic! Thank you for answering my questions Kinga, and I wish both yourself and High Arches the best of successes going forward! Cheers!
If you want to check out High Arches fabulous range of socks, take a look at their website by clicking here!
To take a behind-the-scenes look at the brand, head on over to their Instagram! You’ll get the low-down on their socks, as well as great outfit inspiration for wearing them!
If you want to see more interviews with North East clothing start-ups like High Arches, let me know in the comments below, and check out these links to my other blog, Wordflow, for interviews with Kimchi Planet and Manhua Cha – two great local businesses!
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🤵🏻 A man who is stylish will make sure he is always looking his best, even if there is nobody else around. Having an elegant uniform to fall back on during your off days really makes you stand out as style conscious – always at the ready! 👌 . 🎊 Happy New Year everyone! 🎊 #livedapper
Featured image photo by High Arches.