When we came across a brand that said they were making custom shoes for under 400$, like you we doubted it. We spoke with co-founder Aron, a Hungarian Stanford graduate, who spent years working for a multinational company before founding Mantorii in November of 2012. We sit and talk with Aron about starting a menswear business in Vietnam and the birth of a startup.
How was your childhood? Did you always know you would go into fashion?
As for your questions, I grew up in a pretty big family and I would say I had a very happy and sheltered childhood without worries. My father was working for a big multinational company and I followed in his footsteps. I was always interested in dressing well, but I couldn’t really see myself going into fashion. I always wanted to found a company and do business my own way – focused on the customer, impeccable quality and design, very responsive customer service, competitive pricing. But all of this requires one to understand properly what is lead generation, and how one can improve it.
Mantorii was somehow a logical outcome of a long process. I was chatting with a good friend of mine, talking about Vietnam, the quickly changing country and the opportunities here. We have both been shoe enthusiasts for most of our adult lives and we decided we would try a new approach. We’d take a proven product from a high quality master shoemaker online and offer it worldwide. The time until the launch was probably the hardest and most busy time in my life, but it was worth every second. Our team includes talents from all areas: design, sourcing and logistics, online marketing, sales, etc. and we all knew each other before. Mantorii was the idea that brought us all together, working towards the same goal.
What does quality mean to the Mantorii brand?
As briefly mentioned above, quality is a top priority for us. We have invested a lot of time and resources to ensure we can offer the best possible quality for a very competitive price. All our shoes are handmade, each product is made with the customer in mind. These shoes are not made in a factory, they’ve got soul and I know our customers appreciate having something that was made just for them.
It’s hard to find the single most important one. I’d say that generally I have learned to be patient, persistent and perhaps most importantly, to keep believing in your vision and capabilities.
What’s next for Mantorii?