Before you begin reading about our journey thus far, I want to give a little disclaimer. The original name of our company was Sock Essentials before we recently changed it to Vintage Showtime. We made this change because we believe that the name Vintage Showtime more embodies our mission and goals.
From a young age I have been obsessed with starting my own business. Ranging from soap to t-shirts, I found great pleasure in making money by selling things I love. Although these business ideas provided me with a little pocket change, I quickly realized they would not be sustainable long-term. Frustrated, I went back to the drawing board and, on November 25, 2017, a new business was born.
While preparing for a Thanksgiving dinner in my grandma’s kitchen, I toyed with the idea of selling socks. Excited to pursue this idea, I began sketching socks designs on a few pieces of paper with some crayons.
A year after founding Sock Essentials, business was good. I was able to put aside a little money for college. However, the small company I formed to save for college soon became one that would drastically alter my outlook on life and the way I interact with those around me.
I first became aware of the impact socks could have after watching an episode of Shark Tank featuring Bombas, a sock company dedicated to donating a pair of socks to someone affected by homelessness for every pair purchased. Although I donated socks to those in need, I wasn’t able to make the large impact I wanted to make. So, to solve this problem, I contacted their founder, joined their ambassador program, and received boxes of socks on my doorstep within a month. As an ambassador, Bombas entrusted me to distribute their socks to at-risk communities in my area. This opportunity opened my eyes to the power of socks and led me to shift my own business perspective.
In an effort to embody a new mission, Sock Essentials adopted the slogan “More Than Just Socks.” Socks were simply an article of clothing and a means of making a profit until I began distributing them in vulnerable communities. Socks then became a bridge used to form relationships and a symbol of respect, humility, and kindness.
I first began distributing my own socks through Mobile Loaves and Fishes, a non-profit organization that provides support for the homeless. Traveling in vans, we passed out my socks to hundreds of people each week in addition to warm meals and other necessities. Teaming with pastors and students, socks were sent to children overseas in both Ghana and Haiti. Currently, I am partnering with Young Life Capernaum, an outreach ministry for young adults with special needs. We are working to design limited edition socks that will give these young adults a voice and allow the opportunity to support and advocate for them. I have seen men, women, and children in the midst of great adversity light up with joy and overflow with gratitude after receiving a pair of socks. The routine act of putting on socks in the morning that once was done with little thought now serves as a reminder of these moments.
Through founding Sock Essential, I witnessed the impact a pair of socks could have on those around me, especially those in need. I also realized that any impact my socks had on others had an even greater impact on me. This opportunity I had to start a company opened my eyes to the power of a simple gesture and challenged me to continue helping those, not only in my community, but also those in communities I enter in the future. My experience with Sock Essentials has transformed me from someone looking to make money to someone constantly striving to make a difference.