A 10 year old has started a budding business (Picture: Associated Press)
A fashion statement in your teens to indicate your level of ‘coolness’, or a practicality as an adult when one goes missing in the wash – odd socks, we all have them.
One schoolgirl in Russia has run with this annoying fact of life and set up her own business.
Dasha Kuznetsova, 10, wears odd socks – but not by accident, or because she couldn’t find a matching pair.
The school girl is the mastermind behind the Single Socks collection – a business devoted to selling single socks, without one to match.
Maria Chevichelo, a customer, says the idea of wearing odd socks is great – it’s stylish and saves wearers the trouble of finding a matching pair in the morning.
‘I just like the idea. It is so simple and brilliant at that,’ she said.
‘You have eleven socks, they are all different, and you can wear them in such an order as you like. No need to worry, you just drop them into the drawer.’
Each box contains eleven garments, differing not only in colour, but also design, each of which is dedicated to a major global event of the year.
The 2021 collection features tributes to events such as the death of French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, and the blockage of the Suez Canal.
‘I am delighted with the idea, and the second thing that I like about these socks is that they are based on the top events of the year, this is just cool,’ Chevichelo said.
Last year, when Dasha was nine, she attended a children’s startup school, called Silicon Valley Camp, where children were taught the basics of business and marketing.
That was where the idea started to form.
Dasha said she also wanted to make everyone feel comfortable and not ashamed to wear odd socks.
‘The first task was what problem that people have every day do you want to fix? I thought that people have a very big problem with socks because the nisses (mythological creatures) are stealing socks,’ she said.
Dasha won second place with her business project.
While the adults came up with what global events should be featured, Dasha and her younger brother, sketched the themes – including the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s historic space flight, Covid-19 vaccinations, and the launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon.
‘If I were to make a collection in which all the themes were only mine, then there would be all sorts of games, cartoons,’ Dasha said.
‘Oh, and the story about McDonalds. How one dude bought a Happy Meal, but didn’t feel happy, and then he sued McDonalds.’
The only issue they faced at first was finding a factory to manufacture such small batches.
‘Dasha has technically very difficult socks, detailed elaboration is required, a lot of colours, sixteen colours in one sock, so it’s not just an inscription we are making here, but a whole picture, a whole work of art. So, this, of course, differs from others,’ said factory director Valentin Rybalkin.
However, they practically sold out before production was over.
‘We hardly had time to make this batch, pre-orders have already been made, almost everything has been sold, we do not have time to pack and release now,’ Rybalkin added.
According to Kuznetsova’s mother, Ella Manzhеeva, success of the project largely depends on her daughter’s charm.
‘You need to have some kind of lightness, inner charm, and very good luck in order for everything to work out like this, because no effort was made here, in this project, that’s what everyone feels, it’s lightness,’ she said.
‘We didn’t do anything on purpose, didn’t put pressure on her or on the partners, didn’t beg or ask anyone, this idea somehow expands by itself and grows.’
One box of 11 socks costs 1,990 Russian rubles (approximately $26) and is available in two sizes.
But the main thing is the spirit of freedom, says Dasha’s mother.
‘Now, we all wear different socks, and all our friends wear different socks, and this gives you some kind of a very interesting feeling, the feeling of this spirit of freedom, that you have the right to do something different.’
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