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A Chat with Stu Deabill

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

A chat with Dan from Your Place of Birth Socks


MOU: So, what is 'Place of Birth?' 

Dan: Place of Birth is a new sock brand for anyone that loves their clothes. It really is as simple as that.

POB has a broad target audience, this isn’t something that appeals to one group of people or subculture or style; my own style changes day to day - I don’t pigeon hole myself and that is reflected in POB. A friend of mine came up with this and it couldn’t be truer – “Like your own Place of Birth. The way you wear it is unique to you and yet at once you share it with so many others” – to me that is spot on and exactly the guide lines I am following.  

MOU: How did the idea come about? 

Dan: Bit of a strange one - I’m always getting asked, ‘why socks?’  Well originally, I wanted to start a clothing brand, I have been into my clothes for a while (from about 16 years old) and I have dabbled in every style out there – I am easily influenced. So yeah, I wanted a clothing brand primarily producing coats. This was a few years ago and if I am honest with myself it was a pipe dream, something to get me through the mundane days at work – I was never going to act on it, it was a little bit of escapism…plus it wasn’t feasible at the time.

As my own style developed and I got a bit older, I started to pay attention to detail but subtle details like what socks I wear with certain shoes or trainers or to match my top(s) and just like that I fell for socks. An odd thing to fall for I know but I went travelling for just under a year and during that time is when I really started planning my future plucking up the courage to book a few meetings out in Portugal with manufacturers to present my ideas.

That’s a little background on where the idea comes from, the birth of the plan was actually just before I left to go travelling. I tagged along at a race day, me and a best mate presented the idea of a sock brand or company to an older relative of his whilst we were drunk at the horse racing…

May have been a drunken joke to him, but since then I have run with the idea and find myself with boxes of socks in my bedroom.

MOU: Where do you get inspiration for your designs? 

Dan: This is the easiest part for me and the most enjoyable. As I said, I am easily influenced, take design ideas from anything; someone’s shirt pattern I see on the way to work, an old/traditional sock style or pattern to tweak into my own, film posters, colours from graffiti, anything I see – take a picture and use later on.

I have well over 100 designs and choosing the first 3 or 4 to present for the first line was the tricky part. If I started all over again, there would probably be different designs on the website now, but I have the luxury of having so many designs that I won’t be short of new socks to bring out over time.

MOU: Do you feel your designs are more unique than what is currently out there? 

Dan: I do – maybe ‘more down to earth’. Some brands I see out there with outrageous price tags and designs with pizza slices on etc, that’s cool but they are something you would wear on the one off or as a joke…..With POB there’s no gimmicks, the designs are understated (this time round), the promo shots are in the studio and on the streets – people relate. At the end of the day I am a fan of clothing, I know what I like, I am effectively one of my own target audience.

Focusing on ourselves though, I want to keep making good socks on a global scale – the next step is to go full time with this. I love the design process, it’s incredible to draw something on your laptop, visit the factory and see the design that’s from a sock silhouette actually on people’s feet.

MOU: Would you consider branching out into producing more than just socks? 

Dan: Certainly do (I have some ideas saved on my mac), think that could be a little further down the line though as I have so many more, completely different, sock designs to bring out.
The next thing for me is getting some more male socks out in the new year, but what I am really excited for is the range I have in mind that is going to appeal to females.

MOU: How is the business going so far? 

Dan: Steady start, better than expected! Never know what to expect, this has come from nothing really. I am focused on getting the brand ‘out there’ and just keep on improving.

MOU: Have you any ideas/plans for any collabs with other brands? 

Dan: I do – I have been approached by some smaller independent brands, but I am waiting for when the time is right. I also have some companies I would like to work with once I have POB on the map.

MOU: What does the future hold for the brand? 

Dan: At this stage it’s difficult to say, even being at this point now is mad and I am so proud.
I know where POB can go and what it can be, so we will just keep our head down, plan on bringing more and more out in 2019, get some exposure and keep building.

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In loving memory of Denise Pottinger