With an aim to elevate socks to a must-have fashion accessory and to banish the conventional grey, brown and black socks, Footsy, an all-socks e-commerce portal, was launched in February, 2012. Based out of Bangalore, Footsy was Co-founded by Seema Seth and Pooja Mehta.
Seema is a Communication Design graduate from Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology. While at design school, Seema was surrounded by people who had a flair to dress unconventionally. Her sock fetish was born in that environment. “As students, we loved to intentionally mismatch our socks; wear a red pair with an uncoordinated yellow pair, etc. All this, just to make a bold statement,” says Seema.
This stayed with Seema at the back of her mind all these years. Nine years after graduating from design school, and one year after setting up her own Communication Design studio, she had the itch to do something more. That's when she started talking to Pooja about this urge to start a creative and unique product line. Pooja is a Design Management graduate from Mudra Institute of Communication. She had also started sharing her desire to do something experimental. She brings the real-world perspective to Footsy. Together, Seema and Pooja decided that socks would be a great product; something that's never been done in India before.
Footsy started off with the idea of designing and manufacturing their own products. But they’re now going the multi-brand route. This, they believe, will help expand their product catalog. “At the same time, we’ll continue to experiment via our private labels,” says Seema.
Apart from direct sales from their website, Footsy has also tied up with a few e-stores like www.3closets.com and www.imstylish.in who offer Footsy products as a part of their catalog. They’re in talks with a few other e-stores as well.
In the offline world, they collaborate with Buzzaria (New Delhi) and Bliss (Pune, Mumbai) who stock their products.
“We’re also in the process of tying up with some international socks brands. We’re really excited about this! These brands offer fantastic quality, and will add great value to our e-store,” adds Seema.
At the moment, their core team consists of only the two founders – Seema and Pooja. “We have been playing multiple roles, and wearing many hats. It’s worked like a charm so far,” says Pooja. Their extended family consists of a technical web development firm, their CA, friends who help them with photography, and a young girl who lends a hand with packaging and shipping. “We’re acutely aware of the fact that we can’t do everything ourselves. Expanding our team will not only help in terms of extra hands, but it’ll also bring in newer ideas. We would definitely be hiring in the next few months,” she adds.
80% of Footsy’s orders come from Mumbai. An interesting thing they’ve noticed is that men are waiting to lap up bright and colourful socks. Pinks are not only for women, and blue isn’t only for men anymore. There is no divide between girly and boyish colours any longer. Everybody wants something bright, vibrant and colourful. “We were initially hesitant to introduce bright colours for men, but the response has been amazing. We’ve been getting emails from men asking for more!” said Seema.
Talking about the user experience they provide, Pooja says, “We want our products to add a spring to your step. We try and keep our service as warm and personal as possible. We send out a hand-written ‘thank you’ note to most of our customers. We reply to emails and messages within hours. We’re trying to do everything possible to keep things up-tempo and efficient.”
“For an entrepreneur, it’s very difficult to compartmentalize personal space and work space. These boundaries begin to blur. It’s almost impossible to switch off your brain at 6pm and pretend like you’re done for the day. Because of this compulsive habit, it’s important that your family and friends support your vision,” says Seema. “At the same time the joys of running your own business are priceless! Nothing can beat the feeling when people appreciate what you’ve done, and believe in your dream as much as you do. It’s a very positive feeling,” she concludes.
For more on Footsy, visit their website here.