So I’m quite obsessed with socks. Matching them to my outfits, or just my shoes or not matching at all. But sock game is a real thing and FEAT. sock co. can help you with that! Have you seen their amazing range? I mean who wouldn’t want sushi socks? Or giraffes. Or let’s be honest – Volkswagen beetles.

They make the best gifts and my Dad has a pair for every day of the week, in all sorts of beautiful designs – mainly because I couldn’t make a decision of which to get so I bought quite a few.. so my Dad’s sock game is en trend!

I’ve bought from Mungo & Jemima at the Watershed at the V&A Waterfront, as well as Fabricate in Gardens in CT before. And they can also be bought from the FEAT . sock co. online store, where you will find all the collections, all the socks, all the colours!

The socks are great quality, with quirky beautiful designs and are produced locally – and we all know – local is lekker!

I asked the lovely Chelsey from FEAT. Sock co. some questions. Check out what this #girlboss had to say – be prepared to be inspired.

You started your own business –  How does it feel to be a successful #girlboss that inspires others and loves what she does? 

I have to pinch myself every day because it still feels quite surreal to me that I get to do what I love everyday. I feel incredibly blessed!

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t grow up dreaming I would design socks for a living…I always loved cute and colourful socks growing up, but I didn’t necessarily know it would end up being my career. However, I always had this recurring vision that I would have a colourful studio full of swatches, patterns and pluckings of things that inspire me, and I would get to dance here and there collating all my inspiration into products that I love…and as it turns out, my canvas now happens to be socks, and I’m obsessed.

There are obviously very real challenges and it isn’t always all design and fun. Sometimes I have to knuckle down into the dreaded accounting, or confront a supplier who isn’t giving me the quality I’m looking for, but it’s all rewarding when I see the final product at the end of the day. And, possibly my favourite thing when people ask me questions about FEAT. sock co., is watching them step back or gasp as they come to the realisation that I’m the owner, and not the shop assistant as they expected. There are so many badass #girlbosses in the South African design scene that are the forming the foundation of our economy and inspiring young girls along the way, and it makes me so excited!

What are the top 3 learnings you have had to find out the hard way since starting your own business?

1) I guess I’ve realised that not everyone is as trustworthy as they seem, and a lot of people make promises they can’t keep. But I’ve also realised that I can’t let that stop me from networking and collaborating, because it’s really the only way to grow, as a small business owner, and it’s more fun! So, I’ve had to learn from each sour experience; let it make me a little wiser, a little stronger, and a little better at reading people…and then I push forward.

2) I’ve learnt to trust my gut feels and not worry about pleasing/displeasing others, which is a tough lesson to learn, especially as a woman, I think. We’re taught from a young age to compromise and to yield, and these are great qualities when used wisely (emphasis on ‘wisely’).

3) I’ve learned that inspiration only comes from being busy. It’s very easy for me to procrastinate, and then say I’m not feeling particularly inspired, and this was a fault I made at the beginning of my business. But slowly but surely I realised that you often have to make work for yourself in order to push through to the place where you need to be. This doesn’t mean never taking a break and burning out, it just means learning the difference between procrastination-station, and sleepiness.

Where do you see your business in 5 years? 

I didn’t always dream about making socks for the rest of my life. As much as I love it to bits, I have so many other product ideas bouncing around in my head that I often can’t sit still as a result. I’ve already started expanding into some new FEAT products, like gift-wrapping, notebooks, embroidered sweaters and coin purses, and I see this growing more and more.

What is your advice to women out there wanting to start their own businesses but are too scared?

It’s soooo much fun…do it! do it! do it! The greatest thing about being a woman in the realm of entrepreneurship is that you have so many other incredible women around you, open to share and support in whichever way they can. That’s the beauty of women right? When we learn to support other women, we really are unstoppable! It might seem scary, but I can promise you that once you get started, and you share what you love with those around you, you will be met with far more support than you ever dreamed you would!

As your eyes light up talking about what you love, it sparks something in the person you’re talking to, and all it can do is grow. I’ve seen it happen and it’s remarkable! Lean into the risk and the uncertainty, and let it fuel you. I know it’s easier said than done, but it all begins with baby steps. Maybe it means making a few products at home in between work and bedtime and sharing some pictures with your Facebook community…this is how my business and so many others began. Burn that midnight oil, girl.

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OMG. Are you as inspired as I am after hearing what Chelsey had to say? Wow! An absolutely inspirational business and brand, and socks that will have you walking around with happiness – I mean you really can’t be unhappy when you have these beautiful socks on your feet, can you?!

Take outs? Do what you love, take that leap of faith and be willing to work hard to make your dream a reality. Will it be worth it? OF COURSE, no doubt about it. Go forth and conquer your dreams!

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FEAT. sock co. Making feet happy since 2012.

Photos are from FEAT. sock co.

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