United Kingdom mom invents a clever solution to the famous problem of the “missing baby sock”
How many socks do you reckon your baby has lost in their lifetime? Ten or twenty? Maybe more? Worse still, it always seems to be one in each pair doesn’t it?
With a family of six small boys to take care of, Kezi Levin had to do something about her family’s sock bill, and so came up with the idea for Sock Ons, an amazingly simple little gadget to stop socks going astray. Continue reading to learn more about Kezi and her amazing invention!
Welcome to Mompreneur Media Kezi! Tell Us Where the inspiration for Sock Ons come from?
We had a family wedding mid-December and my baby had to go dressed in formal suit attire but he kept pulling off his socks. I was so desperate I was on the verge of putting him in tights, but his older brothers would have none of that. I knew there had to be a better solution, and after searching and finding nothing else available I used all my graphic design training to come up with a solution.
The Sock Ons idea came while I was trying to fall asleep that night: I got up, cut up my own tights and made a prototype — and it worked. The product is now made of softly woven elastic material that “locks” babies’ socks gently and firmly in place.
Seeing the huge potential in the product – I worked incredibly hard over the next few years filing patent applications, prototyping, branding, doing photo shoots, etc.
What kind of approximate start-up costs were involved in getting The Sock Ons from concept to launch mode?
I worked as a graphic designer to finance my business. This definitely made it a much slower and longer process, but we maintained full control of the company. We exhibited Sock Ons at a trade show and ended up winning the award for innovation! This launched on a global scale and we took orders at the show. We borrowed £3000 from a family member to put through our first order and from then on it started paying for itself!
It took about 3 years to get Sock Ons to market and 5 years for it to really start flying. We have sold over a million Sock Ons to date and we believe that they are a necessary item that no baby or sane parent can do without.
The Sock Ons brand has now become synonymous with innovative and practical baby products and we have enjoyed the release of a whole range of innovative baby gear including Dribble Ons bandana bibs, Mocc Ons slipper socks and Plod Ons knee pads.
Please describe one business setback you have experienced and how you got overcame it?
I am the proud mother of six sons ages 15, 14, 12, 10, 7, and 2. I married straight out of high school at the age of 19 and spent my first four years of married life in the company of London’s hippest, studying at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. I three kids in three years and was constantly told I was crazy and would never finish my degree.
Pregnancy and baby care brought unusual challenges. I used to run out of the library with morning sickness and run home in between lectures to feed or bring the kids in. One valuable skill which I credit to that period is time management. I learned how to be time-efficient – if I had a design brief, I knew my time was more limited, given all my other commitments, and there was no time for procrastination. Getting an assignment done would often mean completing it between midnight feeds.
With a hectic schedule came a new pursuit: I am constantly thinking of how to make life easier. I have always been a mad inventor and creative problem solver. My mind spins around at 100 miles per hour. With Sock Ons, it was a case of necessity proving to be the mother of invention.
Please provide a tip for someone looking to manufacture their own invention?
Leave no stone unturned and do your research. Make sure it has never been done before and that there is a real consumer need. Network and don’t be shy to ask others in the industry for advice. If anyone tells you that you won’t succeed – prove to them that you can!
1 thing you do for yourself to unwind from it all?
5 minutes of prayer each day before my crazy juggling schedule of being a mom, wife and CEO begins.
Share a favorite book or a website you like to browse just for fun
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