You’ll find e-commerce sites touting almost any kind of product on the Internet. Footsy (www.footsy.in) an e-commerce startup from India, is little different – it focuses on socks. And very colorful ones, at that.
Founded by Seema Seth, 32, and Pooja Mehta, 27, Footsy was pretty much the culmination of the founders’ desire to having their own product-led business. “For me, Footsy is a promise of both business viability and dreams,” says Mehta, a graduate of Mudra Institute of Communications Ahmedabad and who comes from a family of entrepreneurs. Her co-founder Seth is a a graduate of Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology who’s spent over nine years designing brands for others and a year back started her own design communications studio. She’s always wanted to start her own brand.
Footsy, launched in February this year, doesn’t only carry socks. Aside from all kinds of colorful socks, there’s a range of legwarmers, and snugglers, as well as accessories such as shoelaces. The socks are made with a mix of cotton and lycra, and are manufactured locally in India. The woolen snugglers and some of the legwarmers are even completely handmade by a group of local women who enjoy knitting.
But why socks? “We believe socks are a reflection of one’s personality,” exclaims Mehta. “In a place where the ‘uniform’ dominates, socks allow you to show a piece of ‘you’.” It helps also that they both come from a background where people dress unconventionally to make a statement and get noticed. “Even in the corporate world, which is ruled by well-tailored business suits, CEOs of some large organizations are experimenting with fun socks,” Mehta shares.
The idea for Footsy was, according to the founders, literally born under a street lamp in a quiet Bangalore side street. It’s also something, according to Mehta, that’s never been done before in India.
The biggest challenge the founders have faced in their business is actually to change people’s mindsets about socks – they’d love people in India to move away from more conventional grey, brown and black socks.
And as a two-person operation, the founders have been involved in every single aspect of the business. Like any other start-up organization, they’ve spent countless sleepless nights taking stock of inventory, packing products, getting the e-commerce site up and running, amongst other things.
It’s been tiring, but Mehta and Seth are unfazed. “From the time the idea of Footsy was born, we’ve been brainstorming, ideating, traveling to towns we’d never imagined, glued to the Internet and phone, trying our best to create something we’d be proud of.”