This Sock Startup Is Run By an 18-Year-Old
Eighteen-year-old Andrew Epprecht has turned his custom-designed and manufactured school-pride socks into a full-fledged business with the launch of OurSock.com. The startup caters to universities, prep schools and companies as a one-stop shop for sock design and manufacturing.
"In an age where 'brand promotion' is paramount, we see OurSock.com as a creative way for schools and companies to do just that," said Epprecht, a graduate of The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn. "OurSock.com offers a service that allows institutions and companies a great way to incorporate their logos into an item that everyone uses on a daily basis."
OurSock.com pitches branded socks for schools as gifts or rewards to students and alumni as a simple and easy way to drum up school spirit.
"We know that young alumni are critical but challenging targets for schools to engage," says Epprecht. "Providing custom socks is an innovative way to differentiate outreach strategy to address this group. For non-profits, it's also a great way to retain and reward volunteers."
Early success with several East Coast prep schools had OurSock.com looking to expand its reach, with Epprecht and his staff reaching out to potential customers and branching out to new industries such as charities and hospitals. They launched a redesigned website to accommodate the expanded customer base.
Running a business at just 18 years old might sound daunting, but for Epprecht, it's actually old hat.
"I was 15 when I started my first business, a sock company called Noble Stitch," he said. "I hoped to revitalize a common clothing item by crowdsourcing designs for casual dress socks made from eco-friendly bamboo fiber. We've spent years perfecting the material content and now use the same unique bamboo/cotton blend in the socks we offer for OurSock.com."
Epprecht is taking a gap year to expand OurSock.com before beginning classes at Duke University in the fall of 2018.
"I knew I wanted to go to Duke when I heard about the Melissa & Doug Entrepreneurs program," he said. "It's a program that helps undergraduate entrepreneurs navigate the difficult entrepreneurial landscape by pairing them with mentors, and teaching them hands-on skills to succeed."