Odd Pears: Our interview with Brock Sykes

Odd Pears: Playing on odd pairs...

Socks are one of the rare places men can be a bit more avant garde than elsewear. And Odd Pears, is a company that makes incredibly interesting and quirky socks. The company sells pairs of socks in three, with one sock being slightly different than the typical matching pair. Moreover, the company donates $1 from every purchase to charity. It's exactly the type of company and story we like sharing at Lyf Consul. We recently had the chance to speak with Brock Sykes, the founder of Odd Pears. We are very excited about what other products they are working on and wish them great success. 

Socks: Three at a time

Socks: Three at a time

LC:  When was Odd Pears founded? How did you enter this business and  industry and what's your background?
BS: Odd Pears opened its cyber ‘doors’ for trading in December 2013, just before Christmas. I come from a background in finance which, as you might understand, just wasn’t doing it for me. I couldn’t handle the monotony and lack of colour in my life so I traded it all in and took the biggest risk of my life by entering the fashion industry, with no prior knowledge at all. 

LC: How did you end up focusing on socks?
BS: Once again, my background in finance might have been uninspiring work, but it definitely led me to inspiring things. I think it was all the black. Everyone in my industry was required to dress professionally, which in most cases means suits, dress suits, pantsuits, etc. You get the idea. I was among those professional dressers and wearing brightly coloured socks kind of became my call-card. By the time I left my job, I was known for my affinity towards “odd” socks. When I decided to start my own business, it was a natural path for me to take.

LC: How do you come up with the designs?
BS: Our creative director, Carla, is the brainchild behind our wonderfully designed Pears. She draws inspiration from the most unexpected things and manages to always come up with fresh, inspiring designs that we are super proud of. 

LC: Where and how are your socks manufactured?
BS: That would be our incredible manufacturer located in India. I actually took a trip to India when I was trying to establish a manufacturer for Odd Pears. I wanted to make sure that the company I was dealing with met my personal ethical standards and was not only a high-quality manufacturer of socks, but treated their staff with the same care. I couldn’t be happier with the way they operate. I think it’s really important to know who you’re dealing with so it was an extremely rewarding trip for me. I guess the how would be through constant communication. Once we finalise our designs, we send them through to our manufacturer, who then makes samples to our specifications and sends them to us for approval. Once we approve the final sample, they get to work to create the beautiful, high-quality Pears you see on our website today.

LC: Do you plan to add additional products?
BS: I am happy to announce that Odd Pears has an extremely beautiful new range launching sometime in the upcoming months. We are seriously proud of this lot, and I think our customers are going to love it even more than the last range (if that’s even possible).  

LC: How do you see the company growing in the next 3-5 years? What's your ambition for Odd Pears?
BS: We have some reeeaaaallly exciting stuff in the works at the moment, obviously top secret. I guess as a personal goal for Odd Pears, I would love to see us grow to the stage where we can continue to excite and surprise our followers with awesome collaborations, installations and eventually even a super-beautiful flagship store. We aim to be a permanent fixture in the fashion sock scene, consistently pushing the boundaries and striving to maintain our unique product and designs.

LC: Can you tell us more about the One Pear, One Dollar campaign?
BS: One Pear, One Dollar, was a partnership we formed with the world changers at 1$ Day, to do our part in reducing global inequities in children’s health and education. In it’s purest form, we donate $1 from the purchase of every Pear to assist 1$ Day in their cause and turn all of our customers into socially-conscious shoppers, without even lifting a finger. It’s something we really believe in and we are thrilled that we can help in any little way. More detailed information on our partnership can be found at: http://www.oddpears.com/about/one-pear-one-dollar/

LC: Aside from Australia, where else are you distributing your socks?
BS: Our website ships our beautiful parcels all around the world so that everyone can enjoy them. We are currently in the process of acquiring some partnerships with large, international companies, which may see us update our list of distributers, but either way, we plan on always providing global shipping so that no one misses out!

LC: What would you like customers to know about your brand?
BS: I think it’s difficult to accurately explain the joy that comes from owning Odd Pears. Our product is unique and I would like to think that it attracts people with that same like-mindedness. Simply put, I believe in Odd Pears, and I think our customers do too. No hard sell necessary, they are either perfect for you, or maybe a little too ‘fun’. 

LC: What brands or products inspire you?
BS: I personally draw a lot of my inspiration from artists, rather than brands. If I love an artist enough, I usually try to collaborate with them, that’s why some of my favourite artists have collaborated with Odd Pears in the past. I love the work of creatives such as Phebe Schmidt, Leta Soberjaskdisjrfwe, just to name two. If I had to list them all, we’d be here all week.