Having seen too many too-big tees on the backs of his mates, Nick Gonios decided he’d had enough and was going to find a way to make clothes shopping for blokes easier. After a friend put him in touch with English-born e-commerce whiz, Will Rogers, who’d worked in the menswear buying team for ASOS, the two started Kent & Lime last June.
“We saw a gap in the market for busy men who wanted to look and feel good but did not have the time to go shopping. When we went shopping for clothing we found physical stores lacked the service we expected, and online was just too frustrating to navigate,” explains Nick.
Relaxed shopping from home
So, to make blokes look good without taking up too much of their time, all customers have to do is complete an online registration. This is followed up by a 30-data-point phone questionnaire with an assigned Style Advisor. Then, a customised KiT of eight to 10 items and accessories is delivered the next day. “We send the customer a KiT of clothes which he tries on at home. He then decides what he likes, and pays for it. He can trial the clothes for five days and return what he doesn’t like at no additional cost,” says Will.
The two co-founders of this self-funded business, who are currently considering getting other investors on board, say their partnership works because they play to their strengths and respect each other’s knowledge. “I manage brands and Style Advisors, as my background is 15 years in retail. Whereas Nick focuses on building the business, raising capital and growing conversions,” explains Will.
Hub for a company's growth
The biggest challenge so-far has been outgrowing the original headquarters and having to relocate within six months of starting up. “We originally set up in an office space in Ultimo. A few months in and with boxes of stock all around us, we made the decision to move into a renovated warehouse in Surry Hills. Being next to Central Station, it’s a great hub for our team,” says Nick.
Other changes have come from customer feedback, says Will. “When we started we didn’t list the brands on the website. We learned that while people aren’t necessarily brand-loyal, they want to know these details to get an idea of the quality and range we have. So we’ve updated our website.”