Australian Enterprise Awards 2022

54 APAC / Australian Enterprise Awards 2022 Founded by two pioneering individuals who, two years ago, established TheMost Innovative Sock Brand named Foot-ies Socks, an Australian owned and designed company that is changing the way people are styling their feet. The socks are created with a high-quality, super comfortable 200 needle constructionmade from cotton, polyamide and elastane blend that ranges in designs to suit the backyard to the boardroomand everymoment in between. While the company is renowned for referencing Australian nostalgia within the core brand of merchandise, Foot-ies Socks also collaborates with iconic brands such as NRL, AFL, and CUB, developing socks for any occasions. Co-Founder and Managing Director Lincoln Neill and his partner Andy Gilroy established Foot-ies Socks during the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Connected to part of Seven7 Group Licensing & Distribution Ltd Pty, Foot-ies Socks was an idea that escalated from dream to reality with the help of several outstanding members that have been heavily connected to Lincoln and his journey as the company’s Managing Director. Shortly after leaving his role as the General Manager and Director at Colour of Shade & Happy Socks, Lincoln Neill bought a caravan and planned to go on a three-month trip around the south coast of NSW. The mission of the trip was simple – to have fun, go surfing and at the same time, help surrounding communities recover from the devastating bush fires that engulfed the nation in 2019. As you can imagine, the world was heading for a significant shift in every possible sense. Although, because of this, his trip was cancelled with a little more time to focus on a career. The idea of Foot-ies Socks was born, thanks to him and co-founder Andy who he met through their previous business connections and had already established a strong bond for all things outdoorsy but particularly surfing. Lincoln depicts the launch of the company, stating, “It all happened very quickly, and the retail environment was changing rapidly as brands started pulling back on production or temporarily leaving the market due to the impact of Covid-19. Andy (co-founder) and I saw an opportunity to fill a gap and started speaking to brands we were passionate about and proposed collaborating with them. Our first collection was a collaboration with Australia’s largest sporting code, and we’ll forever be indebted for the opportunity and belief AFL gave to us to create a bespoke collection of teams inspired Footies novelty business socks.” Now, as the company and reputation of the brand have expanded, Foot-ies Socks has since collaborated with some of the most iconic Australian and International brands, including the National Rugby League, Corona, Fosters and Coca Cola, to name a few. Utilizing the storm that is Covid-19 to its advantage, Foot-ies Socks has been providing Australia’s leading national retailers with a collection of bespoke options that are designed from within Melbourne. Some of the most notable retailers include David Jones, Myer, and youth streetwear retailers Universal Store and General Pants. Additionally, Foot-ies Socks is unmatched in the industry due to the founder’s ability to remain grounded and innovative whilst forming and maintaining relationships with its partners, including retailers, staff, and licensed brands. For Foot-ies Socks, this is integral to the company. “We like to listen and learn, and we love working collaboratively with like-minded people who value and share our vision. Of course, like any business, we want the bottom line the look good, but we don’t make things we don’t believe in to achieve a number.” Thus, Foot-ies Socks creates unique collections of high quality goods that ensure that every person can be comfortable regardless of occasion or time of day. Furthermore, the company made a significant change in 2021 that encompassed the idea of sustainability. “Our impact on the environment is always top of mind but we don’t use it as a selling point because we think it’s a given, that every company should be adapting too”. Additionally, Foot-ies Socks noticed a rise in sports-inspired sneaker socks, which Lincoln explains further, saying, “Leading into and during Covid, we saw a big trend. With people working from home and wearing casual attire or being a little more active, it provided a perfect opportunity for us to create a fusion ‘sneaker sock.’ We took design ideas from our novelty socks and combined them with a technical sports sock. This also translated well with our licensed partners, including the NRL, AFL, and CUB beer partners.” Currently, for Foot-ies Socks, the company is excited to announce a new pending collaboration in the back half of 2022. In Lincoln’s word’s “I can’t let the cat out of the bag just yet but let’s just say, it’s with Australia’s most iconic beer brand”. But, for now, the company is actively looking for international partners in key global markets, expanding to South Africa as well. For Foot-ies Socks, the team is humbled and appreciates being recognised for its innovative efforts and is graciously thrilled that the success has been steady and increasing, all thanks to the critical roles that each member of staff and their families have had in the establishment of the company. With national accreditation, the brand of Footies Socks is charming the world. One thing will always remain “our passion for surfing and mateship and we still love a cheeky beer with family and friends – that’s where some of our best designs ideas come from!” Company: Foot-ies Socks – Part of Seven7 Group Licensing & Distribution Ltd Pty Name: Lincoln Neill Email: [email protected] Web Address: Most Innovative Sock Brand 2022