I think it was all the black. I worked in Finance, yes I’m serious, and everyone in my industry was required to dress professionally. I was among those professional dressers and wearing brightly coloured socks kind of became my call-card. By the time I left my job, I was known for my affinity towards “odd” socks. When I decided to start my own business, it kind of all came naturally. I knew I wanted to start a sock company that encapsulated all that I liked about colourful socks, which I always managed to mis-match. I thought “God, how cool would it be if the mis-matching was obvious and intentional”. So I decided to make socks in “Pears” of three, two which matched and one that was inversely odd. That’s kind of how Odd Pears was born. There’s a pretty fun, brief history on Odd Pears odd sock on our website too!
I quit my shitty finance job and decided to travel Europe for a bit. When I returned I knew I couldn’t go back to that 9 to 5 hustle of working a job I didn’t love, surrounded by people who didn’t love it either. It just wasn’t for me. After I realised I wanted to be my own boss and came up with the idea of Odd Pears, it all happened pretty quickly and naturally. I scraped some money together and flew over to India to meet with my manufacturer and make sure everything I believed in, they did too. After that, I ordered my first shipment of Odd Pears, threw caution and common sense to the wind, and launched Odd Pears, giving it everything I had. All of a sudden I was my own boss, doing what I loved everyday. It was a one-man team for a while, until I bribed, begged and blackmailed the super-talented Carla McRae into coming on board and joining the team with me. After a year of working our butts off, we find ourselves where we are today, surrounded by amazing supporters and constantly pumping out some of the most beautiful socks that the world has ever seen.
Well I guess you could say it was destiny. Carla and I have been doing business together since we were spring chickens; back in high school when I may or may not have understood that it wasn’t completely ethical to “borrow” old assignments off her for a couple o’ dimes. But we’re totally cool and legit now, I do all my assignments myself. Anyway, the point is I knew she was a kick-ass illustrator and all round design mastermind, so when it came to needing someone with talent on board, I went straight to her. Thankfully, Carla saw past my earlier attempts at design and realised that we could be great together. So here we are now, being great together.
I think it comes down to mutual appreciation and genuinely amazing people believing in us for what we are and what we have the potential to be. We will never collaborate with someone just because they can give us good publicity or sales, that’s not a part of who we are. We have always started out as big fans of everyone that we collaborate with and usually contact them on the off chance that they share in our vision for Odd Pears and believe that we could create something great together, which we do. We actually just finished up a collaboration with the incredible UK artist Mr Penfold!
The biggest mistake I would have to admit was over-ordering stock on my first shipment of Odd Pears. Seriously, I’m all for believing in your product but yes, there is such a thing as ordering too much stock. It set us back months of cashflow and we’ve still got old Pears which can now never be sold…
If you have a dream: make it happen. Write down your goals and objectives and map out how you’re going to get there. Read it every morning and never lose sight of your vision. It’s not meant to be easy, heck if creating a sock company and selling them in ‘Pears’ (2 matching, 1 odd) was easy it would have been done a hundred times over. Don’t give up, persevere and shoot me an email if ever you need help.