A growing Kansas City fashion firm is restitching its public image.
With a broader focus and new expansion plan, Sock 101 is rebranding to become School of Sock. The company — which began with a la carte and “Sock of the Month Club” options — is changing up its name to reflect its goals to be not only a manufacturer but also the educational source for all things sock fashion.
Also known as “sockrates,” School of Sock co-founder Kelly Yarborough said that the startup’s recent partnership with designer Rebecca Minkoff and venture capitalist Gary Wassner helped spur the change.
“At the recommendations of Gary and Rebecca, we went through the lay of the land, our website and where we wanted to go as a company,” Yarborough said. “We came up with School of Sock because we want to be the place where people go to get educated on socks in general — from how socks are made to not wearing socks with your Birkenstocks.”
In addition to a revamped website, Yarborough said School of Sock will offer several new genres of socks. Now deploying new designs from Minkoff, the company will continue its a la carte and Sock of the Month Club options, but will add a variety of new packages, including socks with better quality materials, such as cashmere and merino cotton.
Yarborough added that the company will also be expanding its digitally-printed sock offerings. The firm now has two machines that allow customers to add custom graphics — such as logos or typography — to a pair of polyester socks. Already popular with businesses and other organizations, Yarborough said the offering will allow School of Sock to tap the wedding market.
Yarborough added that the company continues to grow and that its new advisors — Minkoff and Wassner — have helped set the tone for 2017.
“The sock game is changing so fast,” he said. “We’re continuing to grow at a tremendous rate — we’ve increased revenue year-over-year ever since we’ve been in business.”
Sock 101 has now set the goal to become a $10 million company within three years. It appears the firm is already on its way to that goal, as Yarborough told a fashion publication that it posted sales of $1.5 million in 2015. The firm recently appeared on Lifetime’s “Project Runway: Fashion Start-up” and landed $250,000 in capital.