"If you are bold enough to wear our socks, you can enter into the challenges of life!" -Matthew Clark, Founder & CEO of Step Into Life Socks
Today, we are proud to introduce Matthew Clark, founder of the recently launched American designed-and-made Step Into Life Socks brand, as our first interview-style post and entrepreneurial inspiration. We reached out to Matthew because we know you will enjoy his fresh and optimistic perspective into the "sock world" as much as we do here at The Sock Review. So let's hear what he has to say! Be sure to check out the men's and women's styles online at www.stepintolifesocks.com. See our favorites featured below. ;)
TSR: Who or what has inspired you to get into socks and start your own business?
MC: My introduction to the sock game came a few years ago when I found a fun pair of red and black socks at Nordstrom Rack. I was looking to coordinate an outfit to wear to my eldest son’s graduation from Marine Corps boot camp. I was hooked from that day! There wasn’t a store in the area I didn’t go to looking for fun, wild socks. Not long after that, I found Instagram, and joined the sock community on that platform. From my Instagram account I met a number of fascinating souls (soles?!) who were either sock enthusiasts or in the industry. Little by little, the idea of my own business was germinating in my mind. I come from an engineering background, so the thought of being an entrepreneur was completely new to me. However, my passion for sharing life and spreading joy through bold, fun socks inspired me to "Step Into" the game.
TSR: You recently launched your own brand, Step Into Life Socks; can you tell us a little more about the brand and what it offers?
MC: Step Into Life Socks is a made-in-America sock brand, crafting truly unique and inspiring socks. I’m a life-giver by nature so everything we do is done with that purpose in mind. If you are bold enough to wear our socks, you can enter into the challenges of life! Amazing socks motivated me to "step into life" so that is the inspiration behind the brand name.
TSR: Which is your favorite style and why?
MC: For the last couple of months I had been wearing classics: stripes and polka dots. I’d worn bright and bold for so long that I was ready for a change. I think a well-rounded wardrobe is important for different environments and seasons of life. My soul needed a break from the attention-getting socks so I scaled things back a little. To everything there is a season…
TSR: We love your style names! Is there anything that inspires you?
MC: Why, thank you! I’m inspired by my faith and by life around me. The style names are things that we want first and foremost in our own lives but also to encourage in the lives of others.
TSR: Are there any special features that you would like to call-out about Step Into Life Socks?
MC: Our American-made socks are a cotton blend with a comfort-inducing compression arch, a y-shaped heel contour to help prevent slipping, and a snug, yet pleasant cuff to keep you (and your socks) looking good all day long.
TSR: What do you want your customers to feel when wearing your sock brand?
MC: We hope that our customers are inspired to live life; to step into the unknown, face a challenge they’ve never faced before; to enter into a situation that is difficult with confidence and assurance. Can all of that happen with a pair of socks? We believe it can. As you become more secure in who you are and are more readily able to express it, entering into other areas of life becomes easier. This happens step by step and day by day. Socks were my introduction to self-expression and it opened my heart and life up to what I believe are limitless possibilities! Life! That’s our hope for you!
TSR: Where can we buy Step Into Life Socks?
TSR: Where else can we learn more about Step Into Life Socks?
MC: Anyone wishing to find us on social media can find us on Instagram here, Facebook, and Twitter. We also have a Facebook Group that’s a close-knit community of sock enthusiasts who share photos and other interesting tidbits you can find here. Our newest venture is on LinkedIn, where we are posting articles about sock care, style, fashion and inspiration.
*A special note from The Sock Review; as we are budding entrepreneurs ourselves, we wanted to ask a few questions about the trials and tribulations of starting your own business to help anyone else out there doing the same. We think sharing is definitely the way to go!
TSR: What’s the best advice you ever received?
MC: As an entrepreneur it would definitely be, “Take imperfect action.” My engineering mind wants things to line up perfectly. However as a business owner, sometimes there are "t"s that don’t get crossed and you have to do the best you can with the resources that you have. If you wait for all of the pieces to line up in a row, you could end up waiting forever. I’ve found that by taking one step, the next step is more clear (and it’s not always what I would have thought). The act of entering in opens up possibilities that never existed before.
TSR: Do you have any advice to offer to fellow entrepreneurs?
MC: Go for it! Step into Life! Ignore the negativity of skeptics who say, “It won’t work!” or “You can’t do that!” Heed the wisdom of those who offer genuine guidance and facts. Follow your passion and make your mark on the world (in whatever sphere of life you find/give inspiration). Being an entrepreneur is hard work but it’s well worth it. I’ve often said, “Even if my business ‘fails,’ the journey (what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown) has been priceless.”
TSR: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
MC: Thank you for the opportunity to be featured in a post, Jess. I’m looking forward to your launch of Say Possible Socks!
TSR: Thank you! *We're blushing - and excited to launch early this Spring.
Well, readers, that's a wrap! Hope you enjoyed this Q&A and look forward to the next one. In the meantime, we can't wait to start shopping for some Step Into Life Socks! Our favorite so far is the "Hugs" and "Kisses" pair - the concept of a collaborative pair is quite interesting, and a great gift idea for Valentine's Day! We can't wait to see what is next! Wishing Matthew and the brand great success.
Product photography by Douglas Segovia Photography and Matthew Clark.
-The Sock Review