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Articles on designing your own custom merch, growing your brand, and managing manufacturing as a small business.

How to Start a Custom Sock Business

 

Custom socks are flashy, easy to make, and can incorporate almost any illustration or color palette. Start your own custom sock business today!

By Owen Clarke 

Everyone loves custom socks. Whether you just like socks with a bit of color or you want to display an extravagant, highly-detailed design, custom-made socks will spice up any outfit! You can craft customized dress socks for business casual aficionados, or you can make custom athletic socks for sports teams. You could even make business logo socks for your brand or business!

Making socks is both affordable and simple, whether custom ankle socks, no-slip socks, or any other style of socks. So starting a custom sock business could be a great way to earn some extra cash! Let’s learn more.

custom socks in a basket

Quick Facts About Socks

According to Expert Market Research, in 2020 the global sock market was nearly at $45.1 billion, and has grown by nearly $8 billion in 2022! We’re on track to hit 6% growth by 2026.

The beautiful thing about this market is it’s reliable and universal. Everyone wears socks, no matter their age, race, or gender. This makes custom socks an excellent first product for new business owners, especially if you want to get into other merchandise, like custom beanies, custom baseball hats, or custom patches.

Requiring only around $2,000 to start, the custom sock industry is ideal for side projects and small businesses, and with a bit of luck, you can easily expect a 70% profit margin.

Steps to Starting Your own Custom Sock Business

1. Find Your Niche

The first step in starting a custom sock business is figuring out what type of socks you’ll sell. Athletic socks? Pop culture-themed socks? Food-themed socks? Business socks? It can help to find your competitor’s niche, and work from there. Remember, start with the question, “What problem are you trying to solve?” If you can identify that there is a problem within your industry or niche, then by solving it you’ll inherently be creating a viable product.

2. Brainstorm Your Business Name

Think of a name that resonates with you, but will also resonate with your potential customers. Most importantly, though, make sure it’s catchy! Before you pull the trigger, make sure no one in your space has the same business name… then get that name registered!

3. Craft Engaging Branding

There’s a lot more to a brand than a name. You’ll need to craft an array of cohesive, engaging brand material, from a logo to a color theme. Once the visuals are created, focus on your brand persona and brand voice.

4. Determine Your Target Audience

Even if you have the most high-quality custom socks on the market, determining the correct target audience is crucial to your success. Ask questions like: Are women more likely to buy the type of socks you are offering or are men? What age group do these socks appeal to? What income level? What nationality? What level of education? Once you know your target audience, you can define your marketing strategy.

5. Will You Be E-Commerce, Brick-and-Mortar, or Both?

According to Insider Intelligence, American e-commerce sales will reach $1 trillion in 2022. The point is: E-commerce stores are booming! If you choose to go that route, decide which e-commerce platform you plan to use. Will you sell off Shopify? Wix? Amazon? If you want to go the brick-and-mortar route with a physical store, make sure you have the budget for it. Can you cover the rent with no sales?

6. Find a Sock Manufacturer

If you want to focus on your business (and on crafting high-quality sock designs), you’ll need a sock manufacturer. Keep the following things in mind when looking for a custom sockmaker:

  1. Price
  2. Quality
  3. Turnaround time
  4. Low or No MOQs/Minimum Order Quantities (You should start off with a small order to begin with to test the waters, so this is extremely important)

We’d be remiss not to mention that The/Studio is the obvious choice here, with high-quality materials, myriad customization options, competitive pricing, rapid turnaround, on-hand customer support, and FREE creative specialists.

LEARN MORE  

7. Determine Your Pricing

After you pick a manufacturer to work with, you will be able to determine your pricing. Think about your profit margin, and come up with a price point that works for you and your target audience.

8. Register Your Business and Get a Resellers License

Remember, registering your business works differently depending on the state you live in. Make sure to do your research based on your specific state so that you can complete the process accurately and efficiently.

9. Register for Taxes

Go to the IRS website to register your business. This might seem like a tedious step, but there’s no way around it. There’s nothing worse than having the IRS on your tail!

10.  Set a Launch Date

Now, the fun begins! Come up with a launch date for your business, and begin tying up all the final loose ends. You’re almost there!

11.  Create social media accounts

Choose one to three social media platforms, and make accounts for your business. Don’t stress about being on all of them. It’s better to be effective on one or two social media pages than to go halfway on multiple. Think about which social media platform your target audience would most likely use, and start there!

12.  Gather Email Addresses

Email marketing is very important to your business, whether you’re an e-commerce or a brick-and-mortar establishment, or both. If you’re selling online in any capacity, however, then email marketing is crucial. Don’t skimp!

13. Work Hard and Let the Success Come to You!

Get Inspo for Your Sock Business

Looking for some inspiration? Here are a few of our favorite custom-made socks!

custom colorful ankle socks

custom made socks

custom colorful socks

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Before working on your custom socks, make sure to check out FAQS from other custom sock creators! We’ve made custom socks for hundreds upon hundreds of custom sock businesses, so there’s a wealth of knowledge here at The/Studio. Before you get started, make sure to read FAQs to learn from the mistakes (and successes) of other creators!

If you’re ready to get your sock business started, chat with one of our creative specialists for FREE expert advice!

Talk with a Creative Specialist Now

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