The unassuming sock.
We wear a pair everyday; to go to work, school, or just about anywhere before putting on our favourite pair of kicks.
For most of us, we do not think twice about our socks, nor do we look at it when putting it on or taking it off.
Well, one Singaporean startup wants to change that.
“You Want To Quit Your Job And Sell Socks?”
Meet Talking Toes, and the masterminds behind some colourful, yet meaningful socks – Nison Chan and Lucas Saw.
Since he was a teenager, Nison has had an affinity with socks, falling in love with international socks brand, Happy Socks, the first time he bought a pair.
Before he knew it, his fancy socks collection grew from that one pair into three bags full of it.
As with some entrepreneurs, Nison never saw himself going into entrepreneurship, let alone having his own startup, but he took the plunge anyway, leaving his job as an events organiser.
“You want to quit your job and sell socks?”
This was what Nison’s mother told him, when he informed his family about his decision.
In fact, his parents were the first ‘investors’ that Nison had to pitch to, and to prove that he wasn’t kidding around, he even prepared a business plan and showed it to them.
Lucas, on the other hand, had always been the entrepreneurial sort since young.
From providing book-wrapping services in school as a student, he has grown to create his own startup GraphTik with the help of Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s EnterpriZe scheme, and is a producer of customised graphic watches – stemmed from his passion for arts and design.
Nison met Lucas through Red Dot Design Museum’s monthly MAAD marketplace, where both had set up pop-up stores for their own products.
They quickly became friends through their common values and visions in running a business, but it was only a year later that Lucas joined Talking Toes as a partner and designer.
“We Don’t Sell Socks, We Sell Inspiration”
So what are these socks that everyone has been talking about?
Simply, Talking Toes ‘speak’ to your soul.
Their socks seek to not just add aesthetic value to your feet, but also to inspire you when putting them on and taking them off.
The inspiration for them came to Nison when he was walking home after a bad day.
He realised that it would be wonderful if there was something that could give him that little boost of encouragement he needed to start his morning, and another to welcome him when he got home.
A lover of motivational quotes, he combined that with his initial love of fancy socks – and so, here we are today.
Each pair of socks will have snippets of inspiration printed onto them, and some of the quotes include short and sweet ones like “Celebrate Life” and “Dream Big”.
Kickstarting The Socks Internationally
Their socks are currently stocked at 14 stores in Singapore, along with one stockist each in countries like South Korea, Myanmar and the United States, in San Francisco.
They have also decided to put their newest collection up on popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter to reach a more international audience. Since they started on 12 September, backers have helped the project to exceed past 100% of the goal, with 26 days left of funding to spare.
They hope that through their Kickstarter campaign, they will get support from individuals around the world to help spread positivity, and at the same times, inspiring others to leave home on a good note.
Update, 19 Jan 2018: Talking Toes has moved their website! Check them out at the new address here.