It’s probably best to start off my first blog post to say when it comes to business, writing is the area I’m least comfortable with, but in business if you do not make yourself uncomfortable, you do not grow. I welcome your advice and let me know what you think of the first ever Franklin Morrow blog post.
The questions I get asked most frequently are why and how did I start Franklin Morrow? The short answer is I wanted to provide a better quality and more affordable sock than what was available on the market. But honestly, it’s more than that. I wanted to find a way to help men dress better at an affordable price.
I always viewed men's clothing options as being somewhat limited and overpriced. It felt as if everyone was wearing the same type of suit, the same monotone socks, the classic pocket square wasn’t widely worn, and cell phones kept the time, so who needed a watch? Today we have more options than ever before, but more options doesn’t always mean better quality. For socks, this is where I wanted Franklin Morrow to come in.
Prior to launching Franklin Morrow, I read dozens of books, thousands of articles, and spent two years working with 75 different manufacturers to find the right team. It was important to me to find a manufacturer that cared as much about producing quality socks as I did. Once that decision was made, it was time to produce a high-quality, long-lasting, and affordable sock. I spent months researching what materials to use, how much of each of those materials were going to be in each sock, and finally tested the socks for over a year prior to ever bringing them to market. At this point, it would be good to thank all my friends that helped me product test these socks and for putting up with all of my ridiculous questions as we went through the testing process. I also promise not to ask you about your socks or feet ever again. Once we had a sock to my standards, it was time to begin designing some of our first pairs
In March of 2018, I officially launched Franklin Morrow to the “masses”. I’d be lying if I said it all went smoothly and it was just uphill from there. In another blog post I will talk about lessons learned from starting a company, but for now I’ll say that we experienced production and shipping delays that naively I didn’t think would happen.
I assumed starting a business would be like the field of dreams. If you build it, they will come. However, after friends and family supported Franklin Morrow, it was not as easy as I assumed to find new clients. It took time and more reading to determine how best to market a new, unheard-of sock company to a larger audience. Thankfully, there were people that were willing to take a chance on me. I remember walking into several stores and asking to put my socks on their shelves, and to my surprise, after a few questions, a few said yes. It was a surreal moment for me to see Franklin Morrow socks on store shelves and seeing orders roll in. It is still surreal when I see someone I don’t know in our socks.
Another item that was equally as important as the quality of our socks was our commitment to give back to the community. I grew up in a community that preached and practiced the importance of giving back, and I knew from the early days that I wanted to incorporate that philosophy into Franklin Morrow. After some back and forth on how best to impact the community, I landed on donating a pair of socks to a local homeless shelter for each pair of socks that were purchased by our customers. It seemed like a natural fit for a sock company to donate socks.
As much as we enjoy donating socks to a great cause, we knew we could do more. In 2019 we began creating custom socks in partnership with local charities. The goal was to create fun custom sock designs to help those charities promote their cause while giving that charity 100% of the proceeds from those sock sales. Our latest partnership was with Autism Speaks, with the goal of raising $2,000 for all of the great work they are doing in the Central Ohio region. We are almost to that goal, so for a shameless plug, go buy our Kindness Counts socks.
I’ve had the privilege of being in business for three and a half years. It’s been a rollercoaster ride of both emotions and challenges. There are days that I'm on cloud nine after a big deal is closed, and there are days when we don’t make a single sale. I’ve grown to appreciate the unique challenges of running a business and have found myself humbled when things don’t go as planned. Through all of the challenges, our mission is to still provide you with quality socks while attempting to do good in the community.
My hope is to continue to build a trusted brand that gives back to the community. To continue to strive to be the best in the business and grow the products we offer to our customers. We will continue to grow our passionate team of individuals that share in our commitment to all of you.
Thank you for taking the time to read my first blog post. If there is ever a topic you think I should cover or questions you have, please reach out to me at Alex@FranklinMorrow.com.