India’s first brand of playful socks
Inspired by the accessories-only shops in London’s High Street, Seema Seth and Pooja Mehta discovered that India, until then, relegated socks to the hosiery and undergarments, in the dullest shades of brown, beige and greige. The gaps were many: They knew next to nothing about textiles, the yarns they wanted didn’t exist, the colours they sought were unheard of, but the core idea was clear: to introduce colourful and playful socks in India.
2011 - 2019
Footsy launched in February 2012, a whimsical celebration of colour, pattern and print. Steadfast in its aim to surprise and delight, this was a trendsetting product in many ways, from manufacturing techniques to marketing strategies to collaboration, to even heralding the influx of global brands into India.As the product quickly found its community of sockaholics across the length and breadth of the country, Seema and Pooja didn’t let up, strengthening their networks, diversifying the offering, expanding their collaborations.
Learn everything you can
Seema and Pooja did their homework, clocking innumerable hours in production facilities to understand the processes and the possibilities. They reached out to every sock manufacturer in the country, and it took them a full three years to find a true manufacturing partner that was interested, open and keen on experimenting.
Footsy was the brand that changed the industry of socks in India, way before the other 50 copycat brands came by.
Colour, colour, and some more colour
The socks were a celebration of colour and pattern – geometric stripes, polka dots, triangles, nature-inspired, grunge, quirky moustaches and bicycles, dinosaurs and foxes... always attempting something unexpected and delightful.
Slip on a pair of socks.Get up. Jump. Dance. Tip-toe.Take a walk. Run like the wind.Curl up. Be naughty. Step up.Meditate. Do whatever it takes.But hey, play a little!
The tags and boxes always had budget constraints. These were printed on uncoated paper, in small sizes and batches. To make up for the lack of production techniques, we turned up the volume on the brand personality here. The tags carried quirky illustrations and nonsense poems – an honest attempt to make you smile.
A hugely popular, limited edition collection with well-known illustrator, Alicia Souza; and Monsters with Chaitanya, Anu and Viplov; Woollen Snugglers handmade by Himachali women in Spiti Valley through SHEN (Nature Conservation Foundation); Sock Monsters with Srinivas, a Bangalore-based toymaker, who took the cartons of rejects and samples to make what happily turned out to be highest in demand; and more!
Knitted with love
The community of women in Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, who hand-knitted woollen snugglers every year in the cold winter months. A collaboration with SHEN, Nature Conservation Foundation.
Running your own design-led retail brand is the most invaluable lesson in brand building.
Successful Brand vs. Successful Business
A truly memorable brand, infused with personality and surprise. Footsy went on to being a maverick in the socks and accessories industry. Unfortunately though, unit economics weren't sustainable and production was challenging from the start, and because this is a volume-driven industry, we found it extremely hard to be profitable and sustainable.
Small Business. Big Heart.
Seema's own experiences with Footsy got her thinking about processes, quality, and other small businesses, and the need to consciously seek out and support those who mindfully create things.Seema wrote this in 2018, as she and Pooja took the hard call to wind Footsy down for these very reasons. It’s valuable sharing for every small business with a big heart.
- Seema Seth
- I will never be able to thank our friends and family enough for everything they did behind the scenes. From being our models and photographers, to helping out at events, sending out orders, for being our cheerleaders every single day.
One of those rare occasions, where we were our own clients 🙂 Footsy was a brand created by Pooja Mehta and Seema Seth (also the founder of Studio Sky).