If you haven’t yet seen the brand FEAT. Sock Co., where have you been? 🤷♀️ 😂
This super creative and super funky brand is owned by one heck of a boss babe – Chelsey Wilson. We had a quick (Covid safe 😅 ) email interview with Chelsey to discuss how she came up with the idea to start a sock shop, as well as how she has overcome difficulties in starting a business.
Take a look at what Chelsey had to say…
Tell us about yourself and how you came up with the idea of FEAT. Sock co?
From a young age, I’ve been obsessed with art and design, as well as story-telling and illustration. I studied Fashion Design for three years after matric and in my final, 3rd-year collection, I used clothing to tell the story of a girl who I had imagined up. Running parallel with this has been my life-long love affair with cute socks and footwear.
After chatting to my dad about possibly designing and producing socks in 2012, he introduced me to some of the manufacturers he knows as a result of being in the packaging printing game and what started as a fun project quickly evolved into a designer sock business.
You have created quite a successful brand around your creative socks. To what would you attribute your success?
Definitely consistency and commitment. As a creative (and someone who can easily lose hours scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram), I can easily get distracted by new ideas and projects I’d love to try. But, I’m so glad I heeded my father’s advice from the beginning… he always told me to stick with one thing for long enough to see if it works. And once I saw that it worked, I decided to stick with it long enough to see if it would flourish further, and that’s what I’m focused on right now… seeing how much more the business can be and do if I stay committed and give it my all.
Life as an entrepreneur isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, did you experience any difficulties in starting your business? How did you overcome them?
There are always challenges, from finding copycat brands to overcoming the pitfalls small business owners (who are learning on the job) often make, but to be honest I’ve tried not to let any of them stand out and override what I’m trying to do.
It’s good to acknowledge problems and overcome them through hard work and dedication, but it’s also good to look at the business and the process as a whole and not let hiccups stop us from doing what we love.
As in life, there will be peaks and valleys, I’ve tried not to let them consume the overall blessing and freedom that running my own business has given me, and steal the joy and gratitude that propels me forward. I obviously don’t stick my head in the sand and ignore them, and I have my down days, but that can’t overshadow all the other fun and freedom that being a business owner can bring.
What advice would you give to the many up-and-coming female entrepreneurs out there?
I’ve been running FEAT. for 8 years now, and it has flourished into a hugely successful business, and still, I’ve had people (men and women shockingly) make comments or insinuations that my dad or my husband obviously keep the business afloat financially… as though a female couldn’t possibly understand the ins and outs of business, and run one successfully.
It sucks, and it’s enough to make me want to start a riot some days, but as I’ve mentioned in my answer to your last question, these things are part of the peaks and valleys as a female entrepreneur… people not taking you seriously. It sucks, and it isn’t right, and men don’t have to deal with it as we do, which makes it feel worse.
But you can let it steal your joy and excitement for doing what you love, or you can let it drive you forward so that your life and business speak louder than words. I would choose the latter and shrug off the haters.
On top of that, there is this amazing network of female entrepreneurs that are so helpful and supportive, ready to cheer you on. I don’t believe that men have that. We as women have had to build this support net as a reaction to a negative situation, but it’s a beautiful thing and it’s something we should embrace. Beauty can come out of ashes, and I would tell every up-and-coming female entrepreneur to embrace that.
Getting to know Chelsey:
Who is your hero?
I can’t choose one. My mom AND dad, both for very different reasons, both important.
Pizza or pasta?
Woah, that’s hard! But I’ll say pizza.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Sounds cheesy, but I love where I am right now. The Southern Peninsula (Cape Town). It has the sea, the mountains, and all this character that people don’t see unless they look properly. And it’s where most of the people I love either still live, or came from, which feels special. You can live in the most beautiful place in the world but it will suck if your people aren’t there.
What would you sing on karaoke night?
‘It’s all coming back to me now’ by Celine Dion
Quote you live by?
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
Thank you Chelsey! Follow FEAT. Sock Co. below ↯
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