You can be on Entrepreneur’s cover!

Passionate Entrepreneurs Can Find Success Even in the Sock Business Four "sockpreneurs" combined their diverse skills to create an out-of-the box business idea.

By Jonathan Long

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Sock101

Four ordinary guys from Kansas City are most likely the last group of people you would expect to be running a highly successful fashion company. The group of business-savvy entrepreneurs wanted to come up with a way to disrupt the traditionally boring sock market. Who says socks have to match the color of your pants?

With zero experience in the fashion industry -- just a passion for business and ideas, Sock 101 was born. Their concept was simple -- give young professionals the opportunity to express themselves in the workplace through creative socks, while still maintaining a professional appearance.

Kelly Yarborough and Dave Feyerabend.
Image courtesy of Project Runway: Fashion Startup

The four "sockpreneurs" combined their diverse skills in marketing, law and overall business strategy to create an out-of-the box business idea that gained serious momentum, as it resonated with young professionals.

Related: What Part Does Passion Play in Your Success as an Entrepreneur?

Why socks?

"We wanted to change the fashion game for men and women through socks. Our primary goal was to give men an easy, inexpensive way to express themselves fashion-wise and our socks provided the perfect way to enhance your look," explains co-founder Kelly Yarborough.

Their initial efforts recently caught the eye of two key players in the fashion industry -- Rebecca Minkoff and Gary Wassner. Sock 101 co-founders Kelly Yarborough and Dave Feyerabend recently appeared on the Lifetime show "Project Runway" and successfully secured a $250,000 investment from the two fashion icons to help them pursue their ultimate goal -- to become the world's largest sock-of-the-month club.

"When we walked into the pitch we were very nervous but also extremely excited about the opportunity. Dave and I also felt very confident about our pitch. We knew that if we were ourselves that we'd have a good chance at a deal," explained Yarborough on their opportunity with Project Runway.

Related: As Steve Jobs Once Said, 'People With Passion Can Change The World'

Confidence in yourself & your product = success.

This is a prime example of exhibiting confidence in yourself, as an entrepreneur, as well as your product. The entrepreneurs wouldn't have attracted the attention of fashion industry legends Minkoff and Wassner if they didn't emit confidence in both.

"The partnership with Gary and Rebecca will allow us to grow at a much quicker pace than what we could do on our own," said Yarborough. "The connections and expertise they provide in the areas of design, branding, marketing and relationships is a tremendous benefit to the growth of our company."

Related: Passionate Entrepreneurs Can Take a Page Out of the Best Salespeoples' Playbook

The entrepreneurs have set a goal to become a $10 million dollar company within three years, and their fashion industry mentors, Minkoff and Wassner, have committed to helping make that happen.

The company also prides themselves in giving back to the community -- philanthropy is extremely important to them. Through their Socks for a Cause program, they create custom socks on behalf of charitable organizations that they strongly believe in -- and donate a portion of the proceeds to the organization. Socks for a Cause has thus far partnered with large non-profit organizations including Water.org, ASPCA, Autism Speaks and Susan G. Komen of Greater Kansas City, just to name a few.

Jonathan Long

Founder, Uber Brands

Jonathan Long is the founder of Uber Brands, a brand-development agency focusing on ecommerce.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Business News

Side Hustles Are Soaring as Entrepreneurs Start Businesses Working Part- or Full-Time Elsewhere, According to a New Report

The younger the entrepreneur, the more likely they were to start a business as a side hustle.

Side Hustle

This Insurance Agent Started a Side Hustle Inspired By Nostalgia for His Home State — Now It Earns Nearly $40,000 a Month

After moving to New York City, Danny Trejo started a business to stay in touch with his roots — literally.

Business Process

AI-Generated Images or Stock Photography? Here's How Entrepreneurs Can Navigate the Dynamic Photography Industry

Entrepreneurs eyeing long-term financial gains find stock photography, a $4 billion market in 2023, enticing. Yet, AI's rise prompts a shift from cameras to algorithms.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Scrabble Makes First Change to Its Board in Over 75 Years

The new roll out is only available in Europe as of now.

Business News

CPI Report: Inflation Rose More Than Expected in March, Driven By Housing and Energy Costs

The average U.S. household is paying $227 more per month for goods compared to one year ago.