Jake Bronstein was not happy with his underwear. In fact, he wasn’t satisfied with the quality of any men’s underwear in America, most of which is made in other countries, such as China, Indonesia and Thailand. So in 2011, he founded Flint and Tinder, with a pledge to make noticeably superior, affordably priced, American-made men’s underwear, and help revive the American cut-and-sew industry in the process.
Within 30 days of posting a video on Kickstarter, Bronstein pre-sold $291,493 worth of underwear. He’s since raised $850,000 from other investors, including Tony Hsieh and Fred Mossler of Zappos, David Tisch and Lerer Ventures.
The company’s five employees work out of an office in Chinatown (ironically), which they share with another online startup. The underwear and packaging are made in Brooklyn, North Carolina and Nevada. The biggest benefit of launching a company in New York is “we are constantly surrounded by inspiration,” says Bronstein. “As for cons... we would never speak badly about our city, but the rent is too damn high.”
This isn’t Bronstein’s first startup. He and a business partner previously created Buckyballs, magnetic desk toys that had been a big hit but have now ceased production due to child-safety complaints.