In the fall, Professor Sweet taught a class endearingly called Internet Content Marketing. In this course, students learned the importance of tailoring content to particular audiences in order to make a profit or showcase credibility. Towards the end of the semester, Professor Sweet asked the students to put their lessons into practice and write articles for this blog. As the editor of this site, I had the awesome opportunity to read all of these articles and choose the ones that I thought our readers would find most interesting. This particular piece is by Abigail Opst, she describes work with a business born out of a Entrepreneurship class. Enjoy!
I am a pretty competitive person by nature. It does not mean I am good at everything I enjoy, but it definitely means I love watching a good match. Even though I am not in the Entrepreneurship E-Commerce class—or an Entrepreneurship major at all for that matter—I have heard and learned a lot about it through my friends who are currently taking it. And the competition bit really piqued my interest. Over the course of a semester, the class has students form teams to start businesses and compete in selling products that ultimately support a cause of their choice. They are responsible for delegating duties—assigning chief executive, financial, and technical officers among other things—and they get to pull things together on their own.
Mended Sock Company is just one of the many companies that has come out of the class, Sophia Stangebye and Caroline Parker being my two claims to fame. Mended Sock Co. ties into the organization it supports, A21, and its mission to mend the lives of individuals who have been affected by human trafficking. Caroline explained that A21 organizes walks for freedom across the world, and Sophia added that individuals who walk dress in all black and are silent—but why not wear comfortable socks during these walks, she adds, that also support the A21 mission.
Despite the seemingly obscure class name, E-commerce is just a shortened version of electronic commerce—the idea of commercial transactions conducted over the internet. The course description describes the class as focusing on “e-commerce strategy, target market, analysis, search engine optimization, mobile commerce, social commerce, integrated marketing, [and] web usability” among other things; by “working with an external client,” students have the opportunity to explore these subjects through their own exploration of such “practical applications in the marketplace.” Though each team member takes on a different position, the goal of the class is to master the responsibilities of be each role and ultimately run an online business on your own.
Despite emphasis on eventually graduating to individual independence, the unique set of talents that each girl contributes to this team really allows their business to excel. They are open in collaboration, free from concerns about groupthink or peer pressure and conformity. Instead they can focus on what is best for the business. Mended Sock Co.’s passion for their mission and belief in their product is really attractive—and not only to me. The Dressember Foundation, another organization that aims to stop human trafficking, recently reached out to Mended Sock Co. and plans on featuring them on Instagram next week—a spotlight that has huge potential to both raise sales and thus support the mission but also to propel these girls forward into achieving their goals, supporting their mission, and feeding their passion. The fact that E-Commerce class has given them the opportunity to do this—and to see them have such success with it—is truly inspiring.
So it is time for the plug (just kidding, this was not the main point. But hey…). Not only are Mended Sock Co.’s socks super comfortable and perfect for Grove City winters, but they’re also very reasonably priced—only $8 a pair. The style is simple, delicate, and classy, but more than this, every dollar does go to benefit the A21 project. In their efforts to gain entrepreneurship experience they are also serving a greater cause, one outside themselves, and allowing buyers to get in on it as well. And so, #libertyandsocks for all.