Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Marisa Sheff, Founder of Sock Footage, located in Toronto, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My company was born out of the desire to combine my passion for socks with an opportunity to give back to those less fortunate. Sock Footage is an online sock subscription and retail store with a one-for-one giving model. For every pair of socks purchased on our site, we give you a free pair to donate back to the homeless community.
A key strategy that has helped me grow my business has been providing individuals with the option to have their free donation socks shipped out with their orders to personally get involved. With an emphasis on reconnecting face-to-face with people on the streets, I wanted to give individuals the opportunity to feel like they are a part of a community.
My belief is that once someone is able to witness firsthand the impact of their donation, it propels them to want to give again. Consumers are encouraged to document before and after highlights of their experiences and share them to social media through user-generated content, using our unique hashtag, #PAYITFOOTWARD.
Tell us about yourself
Having volunteered at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health for five and a half years, I quickly realized that there was a common thread among the individuals with whom I crossed paths: they all craved connection and conversation. People wanted to be heard, and they wanted to be seen.
I recently heard a crazy statistic on the radio that said that homeless people only hear their names four times a year. After learning that socks were one of the most needed but least donated items to homeless shelters, I wanted to use my industry experience to help REDUCE SOME OF THE STIGMA associated with those living on the streets.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We recently hit a major milestone of 10,000+ pairs of socks collected/donated since our launch.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Entrepreneurship can be lonely; I make sure to surround myself with a strong network of like-minded individuals who I can lean on for support and who encourage me to push through the uncomfortable.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Being vulnerable and adaptable is necessary to any successful business.
- Productivity comes in waves, so practice forgiveness and take a break/exercise when necessary to regroup and push forward.
- Perspective is key, we are all facing our own set of challenges, but things could always be worse.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
We recently launched a custom sock offering so that companies can get involved in corporate gifting initiatives, especially around the holidays. Any inquiries can be emailed directly to email@example.com.
We are also piloting the first charitable sock vending machine in Canada, which currently resides at Dufferin Mall in Toronto. It can be found here: https://www.sockfootage.com/our-charitable-sock-vending-machine.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.