Taylor Offer recalled buying and reselling tickets at age 16 outside the LA Clippers arena. He would start with the nosebleed seats, upsell them for a profit, and repeat, until he scored courtside seats just in time for tip-off. In college, Taylor started a digital marketplace geared specifically toward college communities, called Market Loco, that is still successfully operating seven years later. Among other lucrative college-era ventures, Taylor’s most successful one was his now skyrocketing company, FEAT Socks.
It wasn’t until senior year at UMass Amherst that Taylor crossed paths with future FEAT co-founder Parker Burr in an entrepreneurship class. Taylor’s profits from his various small business endeavors — enough to pay some college tuition bills — were pocket change compared to Parker’s custom lacrosse uniform sales. Parker had made over $1M in sales, all while in college!
Still, Parker’s uniforms were lacking one thing that his patrons were asking for: socks. The boys paired up, cleared out all the discount retail stores of their name brand socks, printed funky patterns on them, and set up shop by the dining hall to see if there was demand. Instead of selling the socks just to the lacrosse athletes, they went after the entire student body. “If we could sell $10 socks to college kids with no money, we could sell them anywhere,” Taylor said. That first day they sold $2,000 worth of socks. Senior year, they sold over 20,000 pairs just out of their backpacks. “We were like drug dealers, but for socks,” Taylor said.
The day after graduation, the duo was given a quarter million dollars in seed money from an angel investor. It was time to scale. These millennials knew that the fastest way to grow a company was by partnering with social media influencers. FEAT Socks’ first promoter was Olympic gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman, who added $500k to the socks sales. Second, they reached out to internet personality Logan Paul. His single promotional Instagram post contributed another half million dollars in sales and over a million hits on the FEAT Socks website.
FEAT Socks made the move from Boston to LA in 2016 to a reputed Hollywood “hotspot” where a handful of social media influencers live. These days, followers are currency, and these influencers each have over 20 million of them. The move paid off. In four short years, the founders have grossed $10M in sales and snagged a spot on Forbes 30 Under 30, which begs the question: What will these innovators do next?