Friday, 12 October 2012

Spotlight on Slinky Pins

Every month I hear about new online hosiery retailing businesses being set up here in the UK. This is good news from the point of view of the selection of tights available. However, it also seems that the new entrepreneurs on the hosiery scene are also very aware that men buying tights for themselves are an important and growing part of the market, and are keen to grow this part of their customer base.

A new retailer on the scene is Slinky Pins and I was pleased to interview the owner Karen Goldstraw for Hosiery For Men.

Can you tell Hosiery for Men readers a bit about Slinky Pins? Why did you start an online hosiery business? 
Several years ago, I started working for a department store in their hosiery department. I quickly developed a passion for the products, but it was clear that the buyers for that company were not in tune with what the customers were asking for. After more than a year of passing on feedback to the powers that be, and requesting more fashion tights etc., but getting nowhere, a colleague and I thought ‘we can do better than this!’

After a couple of brainstorming sessions, we came up with the name for Slinky Pins but, with my colleague soon to be moving away, it looked to be a non-starter. Another year down the line and the idea was still nagging me, so I took £130 of my month’s wages and bought the smallest amount of tights I could from a single supplier, with the idea of selling them on eBay. I first uploaded these first items on Boxing Day last year, and Slinky Pins has grown from there.

There has been a huge amount of media coverage of 'mantyhose' (tights for men) in recent months. What are your thoughts about the greater visibility nowadays of men buying and wearing tights?
I think that if men want to wear tights, then they should be able to! Society tends to forget that hosiery was first created for, and by, men, and that it only became the norm for women to wear stockings in the early 1800s. As well as being practical, tights have always been a part of fashion – why should men be excluded from this?

   

Are male customers buying tights for themselves becoming part of your customer base? Do you welcome their custom at Slinky Pins?
Yes, I have sold tights to male customers since the beginning of Slinky Pins, both purchasing for themselves and for others. I think it would be extremely foolish NOT to welcome these customers, especially at a time when more and more men are purchasing hosiery for their own use. Everyone is welcome at Slinky Pins, regardless of who they are!

Are there any particular styles of tights or brands that have sold well to your male customers? 

Whilst working at the department store, I found that the Aristoc Ultra tights sold well to men, both in Large and Extra Large (XL is available in 2 colours in this range). Also, the Charnos 24/7 High Shine range was quite popular. I plan to introduce the Aristoc Ultra tights to Slinky Pins very soon.



Have you considered stocking tights that are specifically made for men? 

Yes, it is something I am looking into for the future, and hope to bring in next year. 

To men thinking about trying tights, what would you say are the main benefits of wearing them?
There are many benefits to wearing tights, both for men and women. You can get added leg support, extra warmth, and extra comfort, to name just a few. If you get the right fit and colour, tights can give you a great shape, and make you feel very sexy. And of course, there is the feeling of the material against your skin. If you’re thinking about trying tights for the first time, I’d say ‘Do it’ – you might just like it!



What kind of service will male customers receive at Slinky Pins? Do you welcome enquiries and requests for advice?
Male customers at Slinky Pins will receive the exact same service as female ones – courteous, professional, and (I hope) helpful. I always welcome enquiries and requests for advice, and also feedback – if there’s something you’d like to see me stock, let me know, and I’ll endeavour to get hold of it.


Thank you Karen for speaking to Hosiery For Men. I hope Slinky Pins will continue to grow into a successful business and readers of this blog will visit the store and check what is on offer.

4 comments:

  1. What a fantastic, forward thinking idea - nice work Slinky Pins!

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  2. Outstanding interview... Sent an e-mail but not got a reply..

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    1. Hi Carl,
      Your comment has just been brought to my attention today. I'm sorry if I didn't reply to you before. I've checked my emails, and don't seem to have a message from you on file. I hope that your query was resolved. Please do get in contact if you need any assistance in the future.
      Best wishes,
      Karen (Slinky Pins)

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  3. You have posted nice questions on online business, men tights and silky pins. You said it rightly, that men can also wear tights. Tights are not made only for women's. It can be used by anyone for their comfort and looks.
    Stay Ups

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