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Foot Cardigan Taking Socks One Step Further

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Socks Foot Cardigan

Seeing packages in the mail is probably one of the most underrated and exciting things that happen to us in our digital world. You may know them as the guys on Shark Tank that ripped off their pants. Foot Cardigan is a sock subscription that sends you random socks once a month. From holiday themed to socks covered in sushi, be sure to be surprised every time. Their fun, colorful Instagram feed is a small taste of what you will receive. We interviewed the founder of Foot Cardigan, Bryan Deluca, about how the company got to where they are today.

Bryan Deluca Foot Cardigan

How did Foot Cardigan get started?

We fell in love with the subscription model after seeing that viral Dollar Shave Club video in 2012. Socks are a commodity so we knew we had a shot at having some success within the space if we came at it from a different angle, you know, like a subscription. Et voila!

Why socks?

The ‘fun, crazy, fashion’ sock trend was just getting going, so we kind of were at the right place at the right time. I had a little experience in sourcing so I was able to find our first factories and get that going. But I really loved the idea of taking this historically boring product, like a sock, and making buying/receiving it fun.

What makes your socks different from competitors?

Over the last four years, I think we’ve created our niche within the larger sock industry. Of course I think our product is as good or better than other brands out there, so when you’re competing, you have to make sure there’s just a quality standard there, or people won’t buy your stuff. But beyond that, we’ve really separated ourselves with our design aesthetic. The words ‘whimsical’ and ‘fun’ are probably the most circulated within our design team. But really, it goes beyond the socks. It’s the brand. The tone. It’s unique to our industry.

Describe your subscription service.

Most people don’t think about buying socks until they have to. They’ve got holes in their current ones, so now they’ve got to go to the store to buy new ones. It can be a hassle. But with Foot Cardigan, we give you something you need (socks), and we give you an experience you wouldn’t expect for such an historically mundane product. You get a random pair of fun socks in your mailbox every month. You don’t know what you’re getting until you open the package. That’s one of our customers’ favorite things about us. We make the decision for them, and they get the surprise in their mailbox. No one gets fun mail anymore. And we’re proof that people still crave it.

team foot cardigan

Tell me about your team.

It’s really a privilege to work with them every day. They work really hard and are really smart. About half our team is operations and customer service and the other half is marketing/web. It’s a good blend of creative people. When I say creative, I don’t mean just the designers. We need every position to be creative, with how we respond to customers and how we ship out socks.

Describe your company culture.

It’s pretty much exactly what you’d expect from us. Meaning, if you’ve been to our site or received our socks and you walked into our office, it would make complete sense to you. A lot of laughing. A lot of energy. Whimsical decor. Every person on our team is empowered to do their jobs. And they’re encouraged if they make mistakes, because when we make mistakes, we learn and get better. We love taking risks. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. We give our team the freedom to think about how to do things better, without the fear of judgement. That matters.

How has being on Shark Tank and HSN affected your business?

The’ve both been really great. Both are experiences that you never expect to happen, but when they do, you’re kind of like ‘WHAT?!?! Did that just happen?’ But yeah, our business greatly benefited from both experiences.

Do you plan on expanding your product line?

I’m so excited about this. Over the last four years, we’ve launched four products. In the next 12 months, we have plans to launch almost double that.

planets foot cardigan

What inspires you?

My family. They are my rock. My three-year old doesn’t care that I was on Shark Tank and she doesn’t care if I had a challenging day at work. She just wants daddy to cuddle her and play Candy Land. That’s really refreshing for me. I thrive off seeing my friends succeed. I have a lot of friends in different industries that are so damn good at what they do. When they have victories, we celebrate, and when they fail, we cry. Being around people who challenge themselves to be the best they can at what they do. That gets me every time.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?

To soak in every single moment of this ride. I find moments every single day to be thankful. I often find myself saying ‘I can’t believe I GET to do this every day.’ Because I’m not guaranteed this will last forever. So I’m going to enjoy it while I can. Tomorrow, the world could decide that socks are terrible inventions and we’re going barefoot, and we’d be done. Unless we made socks that looked like people were barefoot….I’ll be right back….

What are some obstacles you’ve come across?

Growth. While it’s really exciting to be growing, it’s also really challenging. 2/3 of our team have been here less than a year. We’ve had to create things like an organizational structure, training, etc. Navigating inventory management with our model can be tough, but we’re getting there. Oh, and things like at the beginning when we had to figure out how to tell people to buy something that they didn’t know was a thing. That was strange.

foot-cardigan-food

What was the proudest moment for Foot Cardigan?

It had to be the first customer who bought a subscription that none of the co-founders knew. We went ballistic over the fact that someone who wasn’t obligated as a friend or family member bought a subscription because they just loved the product. I’ll never forget that.

What is some advice you can give to someone building their own startup?

Get over that fear of failure. I see that the most from people. They work on their thing for a couple years and it never sees the light of day. No one will ever care about your thing as much as you do. We had the idea and launched in 2.5 months. It wasn’t the best first site, but it sold sock subscriptions. We tweaked it from there. So yeah, just get your thing out into the world. Don’t waste time and money building something people don’t want. The sooner you push it out there, the sooner you’ll know if it’s going to work or not. That’s invaluable.

Jie writes about influencers and startups in various industries. She is a designer turned techie, and when she is not writing, you can find her in her workshop working on her next big project.

Business

5 Behaviors That Separate The Successful From The Average

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Many of us wish to be Bill Gates, Warren Buffet or even Mark Zuckerberg. These people are some of the most successful Americans today. They are worth billions of dollars and are at the helm of successful companies. Aside from wanting to be like them, many are also asking what they did to become successful. We want to know what behaviors and characteristics they have that helped them succeed. Here are behaviors of successful people you will want to emulate to help you become triumphant.

1. They Initiate

Successful people are not happy with the bare minimum. They like going the extra mile. For example, aside from knowing how much an item costs to acquire, they also want to learn about better products, discounts or how they can save. They do not wait for other people to tell them information. They initiate and ask questions because they want to learn, make recommendations, pitch ideas or offer to help. This is because success requires people to become proactive. Successful people are on the offense not defense all the time.

Initiation takes risk. By putting yourself out there you could fail. Conversely, you can also fail by not doing anything.

2. Thrift

Frugality or thrift is defined as “the quality of using money and other resources carefully and not wastefully”. They don’t live beyond their means or try to keep up with the Joneses because they know that there will always be other people who are more successful than they are. Successful people also know the value of money which is why they are not too keen on burning it quickly. They know the hard work they put in earning that money and wasting it on frivolous items is counterproductive.

Successful people like Mark Zuckerberg do not flaunt what they have. He drives a $30,000 Acura and Michelle Obama wears Target and recycles her wardrobe.

3. Persistent

Thomas A. Edison said he did not fail 10,000 times. He just found 10,000 ways it did not work. Many people are willing to accept failure, but successful people embrace these failures and learn from it. They use it as a stepping stones that can help them reach that “aha” moment. Successful people are adaptable and do not give up immediately which is a big reason for their success. These behaviors help you progress as you try to reach your goals.

The same is true for bestselling author JK Rowling. She got 12 rejection letters and was told “not to quit her day job” before the daughter of a Bloomsbury editor demanded the rest of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The series is now the fastest selling book in history and has a combined sales of $450 million.

4. Intuition

Successful people listen to their gut instinct. Even if other people told them not to do it, they did so anyway because it felt right to them. Intuition goes hand-in-hand with fearlessness and not doubting yourself which are traits that keep people in low-paying jobs. So listen to your instincts. Do what you think and feel is right.

5. Passion

Passion is believing in something that is sometimes impossible. Successful people are passionate and they use this drive to do things other people have not thought of. They love what they do and it is this drive that pushes them to become the best in their field which in turn makes them financially successful. When you don’t love what you’re doing it shows in the results of your work which in turn affects your pay.

People who are inspired and passionate create new opportunities which can open new doors that lead to success. Steve Jobs for example, was often labeled as “crazy” or “eccentric”, but there is no doubt to everybody that he is passionate in what he did which in turn made him a very successful and wealthy man.

The difference between successful people is not just old fashioned luck. Successful people have behavior that helps them tackle mediocrity and stay on top of their game while other people complain about money. Success is the result of hard work; dedication and gratitude for people who helped them achieve it. Hopefully you can nurture these behaviors and let them grow to help you become successful in your own right.

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8 Bad Career Tips That Keep You From Being Successful

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Every human strives for success in his or her respective fields. Achieving success is not magic. You need to work sincerely to achieve wealth, respect, and security for the entire life. Anyone can attain success, but you need to make wise decisions for your career. Some successful people can give you some valuable tips, but all may not be effective for your career path. So, be cautious about what you hear. Accept the right career tips, and you can be a winner.

1. Asking for a raise and promotion

Do not believe that if you work hard, you will be noticed by the management. However, this is not the reality. No matter how many hours you spend at the office, that does not necessarily promise you a reward. You need to take the initiative to show your performance to the management. Make yourself visible to the authority. Ask for the raise you are worth.

2. Too much useless information

You may receive many kinds of career tips that you may think may come handy. Check the source of information you receive and then decide if it is worthy for you. There are many kinds of training programs available in the market. Some of the training are useful for a section. It may not be useful for your career. So, choose wisely.

3. Resisting change

It is an old school of thought that any kind of change is bad. If you want to be successful, you need to go with the flow. Flexibility is the key to success. Accept what is in front of you and improvise per your requirement. Do not get stuck with old theories. You need to be balanced when you accept your responsibilities at work.

4. Do not underestimate yourself

‘Below the line’ thinking is the greatest barrier to achieving success. Never lose your confidence. People will not always encourage your high thinking, but you should not doubt your capability. Overcome the challenges and move forward. You need to see study the obstacles in the true light and find ways to overcome it.

5. Manage your emotions

Challenges and pressures are a part of work life. Your attitude towards life can make or break the situation for you. You need clear thinking. You should act objectively to challenge the obstacles. Fear can make you weak. Fear makes you accept wrong advice. You suffer when you make rash decisions. Keep calm and evaluate the situation rationally.

6. Increase your productivity

People always advise to overwork. Too much work makes you dull and exhausted. The harder you work, the less productive you become in the long term. Losing one hour of sleep every day can noticeably decrease your productivity. Proper rest is very much required to get rid of work-related stress. If you want to reach the pinnacle of success, take frequent breaks.

7. Do not say ‘yes’ too often

The more you deliver, the more people expect from you. Everyone believes that if you accept all the duties, the management will notice your efforts. However, that is always not true. You know your limits and do not go beyond that. One of the best career tips is learning to say ‘no.’

8. Do not yearn to be a perfectionist

Perfectionists spend more time on every work to make it perfect. If you put too much effort on smaller things, you miss out the bigger perspective. It reduces your productivity. Be sincere towards your work. You have limited time to finish your work. So, do not waste time to make it perfect.

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Why Your Monday Emails May Be Ignored

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Are you click-throughs and open rates declining? Are your recipients not responding to your emails? Many people are wondering what is the best day to send emails and if Monday is the wrong day to send them. While there are many studies showing that Monday emails are the worst, there are still people who feel that Monday is the best day to do so. So, why is Monday the worst day of the week to send emails?

Busy Start

As the first day of the work week, Monday is usually the busiest day for most people. This is usually the day when meetings for the week are scheduled, tasks delegated and reports regarding the past week come in. If you’re a supervisor, you need to wade through scheduling, reports, meetings and correspondence first thing so that your week can be productive. Sometimes, Monday emails get lost in the shuffle especially if the person wants to hit the ground running. This is especially true if the email is not headlined correctly. It can fall through the cracks and be forgotten. If you want your email to be opened, make the subject attractive and compelling to catch the recipient’s attention and to make them click your email open.

You and Everybody Else

Monday is the worst day to send emails because people who want to be noticed immediately usually send their emails during the weekend. This means that you and everybody else are vying for the recipient’s attention. For many people, Monday is usually the day where your mailbox is full especially if you tend to go off grid during the weekend. This means that when you open your email on the first working day of the week, it is full of messages from all kinds of people including those from the office, marketers, relatives and your boss. Monday is when you to compete with everybody else.

Urgent First

People like to schedule their work week on Mondays. This means prioritizing work that needs to be done immediately and delegating the less important tasks later in the week. The same is true with Monday emails. You need to open and answer the most important emails and then do the rest when you’re not too busy anymore. But you can’t control how your email is “important” to the recipient since they are the ones that decide what is and is not important to them. So if they feel that they can schedule to read your Monday emails later in the day or week, you have tough luck reaching the recipient unless they feel that you are important enough to be given first priority.

Weekend Hangover

If there are people who want to hit the ground running on Mondays, there are people who have weekend “hangovers”. They are sluggish during Monday and like to procrastinate in their work for later in the afternoon or on Tuesday (or when they want to). These people do not really feel the need to be rushed like other people on Monday so they like to take their time not only in opening emails but also in responding to them. Luckily, there aren’t many people who have weekend hangovers, unless they’re the boss of course.

Error Prone

According to a study conducted by software company Boomerang, people on Mondays tend to be error prone. The company analyzed 250,000 emails sent on Monday and they discovered that there are a lot of spelling errors and poor subject lines which resulted in low click and response rates on this day of the week. This may be because Monday is the most harrowing day of the week for most people (see above examples). They are rushed, busy, have a weekend hangover or are prioritizing emails and those with poor spelling and subject lines are usually the last to be opened.

Generally, there is really no best day or worst day to send emails. Many people dread Mondays and Tuesdays because these days are usually full of activities that need to be accomplished for the week. As the week winds down, people are generally more responsive to emails and will click and open them. The best way to get clicked on busy days is to construct an attractive subject line to entice the reader to click open and read the email.

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