I am one of those people (I must be getting old) who absolutely loves getting good quality socks for my birthday, Christmas and because it’s Wednesday. I’ve searched and searched (and tried on) many a pair but none come close to the quality and love in each pair of as Lamington Socks. I absolutely love that they stay up and they’re merino! A little thing but so so so important on any legs; babies, women, men, your grandma.
How many pairs have you lost and got angry because you come home with just one? No more my friends. You can now buy your lovely partner merino socks and know you’ve done the world a favour.
Designed and made right here in New Zealand I caught up with the team that makes them so special and found out a few things that were burning a hole in my brain.
- Who are you?
We are a team of 4, all Mums with 11 children between us ranging in age from 4 to 17. Abby is our Media and Brand Manager, she is the brilliance behind our beautiful photography and social media. Channelle is our Sales Manager, she looks after all our lovely stockists and Lou is our Customer Service / Operations Manager, she takes care of all our online customers and orders and keeps our office and warehouse running smoothly.
- Socks? Why?
I (Sarah) needed a product to compliment the original Lamington line (which were infant tees). A friends Mum worked in a sock manufacturer which triggered the idea for socks. I designed what I considered to be the perfect sock for my own daughters. I wanted knee high so their little legs would stay warm, I loved Merino so this was the obvious choice and I wanted the size knitted in the foot. Having two little girls it was a challenge to sort socks. I very naively took my sketch along to a meeting with the manufacturer and asked if it was possible to replicate my design. Fortunately for me they were prepared to take a gamble on a very small first order and Lamington Socks were born. Very quickly the demand for the Lamington sock superseded the Tees and we became a sock brand!
- Where do your colour inspirations come from?
We are constantly on the lookout for great colour combos, we have a board in the office where we scribble ideas. Most colour and design inspiration comes from interiors rather than fashion. In design week we trawl through interiors magazines and wool books picking out colours we like and what goes together, we are not adverse to a colour clash either! It is quite a process, what seems a great idea can look horrific when sampled, these go straight to the “what were we thinking pile”. It is pretty exciting to see a range come together and to see which designs are popular with our Lamington Lovers!
- Setting up in a tough market (clothes/ lifestyle) what’s your 3 pieces of advice for any small businesses out there hoping to make a crack of it?
Don’t rely on generating an income immediately when starting a business. I worked on the business for 3 years part time while still working as an Instructional Design Consultant. Had I been reliant on the income….Lamington who?
Be open to taking advice but always trust your instincts.
You cannot be an expert in everything, it is not always cost effective to try and do everything yourself. From day one I used an accountant, I have never done my own GST return, I failed accounting at school!
- What are your hopes for the future and future growth of the business?
We really hope to remain NZ made, it has always been central to the brand and very close to our hearts. It is really sad that manufacturing sector in NZ is declining so rapidly with more and more brands forced to go offshore. We do ship worldwide and have stockists in tiny corners but we do hope to grow and strengthen our position in the Canadian and UK markets.
Lamington Socks have been on my radar for a while now (have you seen my sock drawer?). Beautifully made merino socks designed and made right here in New Zealand. I love hearing about the design process for something that we often just take for granted. Something we slip on our feet. But when socks are wrong they’re so wrong and Lamington’s are the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Sarah Teensma and her clever team have taken something so simple but so hard to get right and completely and utterly banged the nail on the head.
No more bad socks. Ever.
For all you lucky sock lovers I have a 20% discount code on til the end of May.
Type in: QUEENSTOWNLIFE
*Code can not be used in conjunction with any other promotional offer or on Last Chance.*
This post was written in collaboration with Lamington Socks but as always if I didn’t like them I wouldn’t write about them.