After nearly two years of trial & error, teething problems & too many things to list the mint. marketplace is finally here and we’re really excited about it.

I’ve always had some sort of weird feeling that I would never settle for the traditional “nine to five” thing. Almost like a hidden path that was already paved out for me and the feeling that I would create something big. It started at about the age of 12. Selling BMX’s in the local paper and flipping unwanted Xmas presents. This was before the days of the internet where buying and selling was face to face and there was no such thing as Paypal. My first proper business venture was my own independent store at the probably way too young age of 22. Starting with whatever job lots and branded stuff I could get my hands on it quickly led to authorised accounts. At last I was an authorised stockist but Jesus it was hard work. My lack of experience in the industry showed not to mention dealing with the negativity from people I thought were in my corner. I grew it too quick. As anyone who has started an independent store from scratch will know with little experience you have to start with the dog shit. The dog shit quickly turned into some decent brands and with that came big minimum orders. You know the rest. I made the decision to quit whilst I was ahead and keep my mental health in tact.

The next chapter was Real Clobber which was launched in 2013, something which I had started as a side project whilst working in my store. I’d always had a passion for writing about subcultures, clothes, trainers & music. The platform quickly led to a 1000 views a day full blown digital magazine. Weeks were usually planned around advertising budgets, tickets down to London for events & interviewing well known artists & designers. The £500 free jackets and weekly free trainers didn’t go a miss, but I always felt like something wasn’t there as far as scaling the business to the next level. I toyed with a few ideas such as turning it into a fully functional marketplace but decided to close the online magazine in 2019. As much as I missed Real Clobber it felt like the right decision at the time.

After struggling to find reputable writers for Real Clobber, it was pretty clear that there was a gap for a recruitment platform that was geared up solely for the apparel and footwear game. Streetwear Jobs was a massive light bulb moment for me and quickly went from strength to strength. We had investment opportunities on the table from various well known brands. Working with some of the top retailers, resale platforms and brands in the industry, Streetwear Jobs opened up a whole new world. The only issue was is that it was too recruitment heavy. A far cry from writing about technical jackets and function. Although there was massive scope to scale the business, a lack of passion for recruitment plus the fact we were living in a global pandemic and new job opportunities had literally grinded to a halt, I made the difficult decision in 2020 to no longer pursue the business.

The concept of mint. came about in 2021 in a post lock-down apartment in Salford after working as a consultant for several resale platforms. With authenticity becoming a growing concern for many consumers the concept was basically working with authorised stockists, or the brands themselves in a more progressive manner. A super savvy shopping platform that would give the cool independents another platform to sell on and a more forward thinking approach of working with brands without holding a single item of stock. Combining everything I’d learned over the last 15 years into one fully functional marketplace.

The dream was big but the build was even harder. The key was getting 3rd party products to flow seamlessly with the traditional marketplace products as well as the ability to pay the sellers instantly whilst still offering the likes of Klarna. A hub for sellers to action orders, add products and link up with their own product catalogues. As you can imagine is was a lot more than your average e-commerce website.

It’s taken nearly two years to get this stage after working with various themes, concepts and models. The good news is mint. is finally here and I’m really excited about this next chapter. Over the coming months we’ll be working with various well known brands & retailers across our product catalogue with an ever evolving concept of retail. Welcome to the next chapter. Welcome to mint.

Luke Taylor – Founder mint.