It is often said that men do not like to shop. That stereotype is often true. For men that do not enjoy shopping there is Man Essentials. It is a subscription service that mails out underwear, undershirt, and sock packages over a set period of time. Men can keep their necessities freshly stocked without having to go to the store.
Like many good businesses begin, Luke Huebner saw a need and decided to fill it. Working in collaboration with his business partner, Graham Waite, Man Essentials could potentially become the go-to source for men that want their necessities without the hassle. We recently spoke with Luke about his business, and his inspiration.
Tell us a little bit about Man Essentials.
Man Essentials is a sock, shirt and underwear subscription service for men. I started this in September of this year with my business partner Graham Waite. We are based in Minneapolis, MN.
What inspired it?
Like most men, I hate shopping. I was stocking up on socks, shirts and underwear after my girlfriend made a not so subtle hint it was time to replenish my stock. I bought the exact same things I do every time, came home and threw my old, grungy socks, shirts and underwear away and thought — there’s got to be a better way to do this.
How many different package combo’s do you offer?
Each order is custom so each customer selects the size, style and quantity of the items they want. They then select how often they’d like to receive them (monthly, bi-monthly, etc.).
What “essentials” are included? Cost?
We sell socks, shirts and underwear and each man builds his own kit – there are no pre-set quantities. Depending on the name brand and item, each item is between $3 and $15. It’s a-la-cart.
Any plans to add more options in the near future?
Absolutely! We’ve been adding products as customers have been asking for them.
What are some goals that you would like to accomplish in the next year or so?
Continue to grow, add more products, become better at everything and learn. But really, it’s to have fun. I started this to have fun and right now I’m having a blast.
What separates you from the competition?
Convenience! You can buy socks, shirts and underwear anywhere. Frankly, you can get them cheaper at Wal Mart – but then you have to go to Wal Mart. Our customers simply have better things to than shop. One customer put told me “I have more money than time”, which kind of sums up our business.
What are some lessons that your business has taught you?
Owning a business is REALLY fun, but not as easy as I thought. You’re never “done” as you can always do more. Also, having friends and family that can give you honest feedback is invaluable. Some things that Graham and I thought were amazing ideas were laughed out of the room by our friends and in hindsight, rightfully so.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’d been looking for a hands-off, e commerce, residual business with no upfront costs for a few years as I have NO money and work full time. Using my marketing, advertising and operations background and my business partners’ IT background, we were able to get this up for almost no money. It’s been a ton of work but this is the most fun I’ve ever had.
Any advice you’d like to offer fellow entrepreneurs that are just getting started?
Go for it — take the plunge. I was busy working hard for other people, reading all the business books, waiting for the “perfect idea” and worrying about all of the negative things that could happen. I always thought I needed experience but how are you going to get experience? Experience is what you get along the way. Take the plunge, it’s fun.