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Sock Fancy: Rock Out with your Sock Out

by Carey Tucker

Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request, in 2013, we obtained declassified diplomatic cables that confirmed a long held national secret: the nation’s washers and dryers run on a strict diet of socks. While these documents provided peace of mind for many, for most, they still didn’t change the fact that they still always need to buy socks. If you’re motivated by price, you probably head down to your local TJ Maxx and buy 5 pairs for less than a whopper and fries. If sock fashion is imperative to your wardrobe, be prepared to fork out some serious cash at Urban Outfitters. What if I told you that one Atlanta-based startup has brought affordability and style to the sock game? Sock Fancy is ready to knock your socks off (although, they might want you to actually keep them on). We recently chatted with one of the company’s founders to learn more.

Founded by Stefan Lewinger and Futhum Tewolde, “Sock Fancy delivers fantastically random socks to doorsteps across the country every month,” explains Tewolde. “Our mission is to inspire creativity and self-expression through socks and we believe that great fashion starts from the feet up. Whether you’re getting socks delivered every month from our sock subscription or hand selecting your socks one by one at your local boutique, we guarantee you’ll love our socks.”

Lewinger and Tewolde knew that jobs wouldn’t be waiting for them out of college and always had an entrepreneurial mentality. “It happened to be the perfect storm as our interests and expertise came together to form a neat little company,” he recalls. “I’ve always had a passion for awesome socks and Stefan’s expertise is in marketing and e-commerce. We were both fans of different subscriptions (Stefan is a longtime subscriber to Dollar Shave Club (which was started by an Emory grad) and knew that with our combined talents, we could produce a service better than anything else out there. Who doesn’t love that feeling of slipping on a pair of fresh socks? We set out to make that feeling happen every month.”

Although Sock Fancy is a subscription company at heart, the co-founders were always intrigued by the idea of expanding into brick and mortar. “Last summer, to coincide with the launch of the Atlanta Streetcar, we were awarded a grant from the City of Atlanta to open a pop-up shop in the newly renovated commercial buildings on historic Auburn Avenue,” he recalls. “We used that opportunity to learn what it would be like to operate with a storefront and we were hooked. We really enjoyed having a local office and shop because it allowed us to be a part of our local community, meet an array people, and really see how people reacted to our business in person. After the popup ended in September ’14, we hit the pavement in search of a permanent space. In March of this year, we found a perfect little spot in the heart of East Atlanta Village. Thus far, it has really been great being a part of the community and getting the opportunity to hang out with fellow sock connoisseurs.”

Stefan and Futhum Sock Fancy
Stefan Lewinger (L) & Futhum Tewolde (R), Sock Fancy Co-Founders

Futhum and Stefan grew up together in Athens, Georgia and have been friends since they were seven. Having both moved to Atlanta, “it has been such a treat to see how creative and imaginative the city has really become. Atlanta is a city filled with doers that truly inspires at every corner,” says Tewolde. “This kind of vibe lends itself well to creating meaningful startups and small businesses. I think that’s why we’ve seen incubators and coworking spaces pop up all over the city. People are dying to create something and they need a place to do it. We’re in the same boat. Living in Atlanta, you run into other entrepreneurs, artists, and other creative professionals every day. It makes it easy to gather information from them and draw from their experiences.”

Sock Fancy’s co-founders have bootstrapped their company since its inception. With that said, they are now at a point where outside investment is needed to achieve their next stage of growth and are currently raising their seed round (~$500,000) on CircleUp. “This capital would allow us to purchase socks in larger quantities, increase our marketing budget, and sure up our fulfillment process,” he says. “Furthermore, we intend to launch our wholesale division this year and expand into other product categories like underwear. Sock Fancy is a proven and profitable concept and we believe that with the right type of funding we could grow Sock Fancy into a household name.”

If you’re out and about in EAV, check out Sock Fancy’s storefront, located at:
493 A Flat Shoals Ave,
Atlanta, GA 30316

Follow Sock Fancy on:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SockFancy
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sockfancy
Instagram: https://instagram.com/sockfancy

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