Monday, February 25, 2013

Spotlight on Mom: Hayley Mullin of Sockprints



"Sockprints is the only direct-on-sock printing company in the U.S., printing custom socks by the pair.   We provide personalized, printed socks that can be customized using direct-on-garment printer technology.  Create your very own custom sock design using our socks as a "blank canvas". We specialize in unique and original sock designs that get people talking!"

Have you ever wondered if you could print on socks?  Well, that is what this week's Spotlight Mom wondered, just before she started her business sockprints.  Hayley Mullin perfected the direct to garment printer techniques to turn plain socks into a fun socks.  I love how Hayley lets you turn any knee high designer sock, novelty, athletic or sporty sock into your very own customized socks.  And, once others see you sporty your sockprints, they will want a pair for themselves.  I know as I had people stop me and ask me about my sockprints socks recently in one of the mommy and me playgroups I was participating in, and was sporting my sockprints.

In three easy steps, you will be able to turn a plain pair of socks into a unique sock that you will love wearing.






Please enjoy my Spotlight Mom interview with Hayley Mullin of Sockprints, and make sure you head back here on Friday , when I will review a sampling of their socks they created especially for me to try out, as well as offer one lucky reader a chance to win one set of 3 no-show or crew socks.


Name:     Hayley Mullin
Company Name/Product/Service:  sockprints
Company Location:  Redondo Beach, CA
Company Website:  www.sockprints.com
Facebook URL: www.facebook.com/sockprints
Twitter Handle: @sockprints
Pinterest Board:  http://pinterest.com/sockprints
Instagram: www.instagram.com/sockprints
Age of Company:  Founded in 2009 by two soccer moms
Favorite Inspirational Quotes:  "I've never scored a goal in my life without getting a pass from someone else."  - Abby Wambach


Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How many children do you have?  What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.
I am a mother of two awesome kids!  Both are active athletes playing club soccer in Southern California.  My daughter is a senior in high school and heading off to play collegiate soccer next fall and my 13 year old, goalkeeper son is in 7th grade.  I'm a volunteer on the Board of Directors for my kids' soccer club, South Bay Force, and I also manage my daughter's club soccer team.  I am my kids' #1 fan and love to be involved with their activities.  


Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?
Sockprints was founded in 2009 on the sidelines of a Southern California soccer field by two soccer moms.  After printing some custom t-shirts for my daughter's club soccer team, one of the moms who is an expert in the hosiery industry asked if I could print on socks.  Our first experiment was printing personalized socks for the soccer team with the player's name, number and action photo.  They turned out great and the girls loved them.  We knew we were on to something and what started as a conversation on the sideline of a soccer field developed into sockprints. 


What is a typical work day like?
A typical day starts off by getting the kids off to school and then settling in to see what's in store on the sockprints front.  I check on new orders, email, social media, general office stuff and then I get to print socks! 

What has been a struggle while starting up your company?
When my business partner presented me with the idea of printing on socks I knew we had to come up with a method to print more than one sock at a time or it would take forever just to print one pair!  We spent the first few months in product development testing the best socks for printing and we also created a patent pending method for printing multiple pairs of socks at a time.  Our initial investment of time and labor paid off because we have perfected the custom sock printing process!
 

What did you do in your past work life?

Since 2007 I have owned and operated a direct-to-garment apparel printing business.  My experience printing t-shirts is what sparked my interest and partnership in sockprints.  Before the apparel business, I worked on a college campus in Los Angeles for 14 years.  I started working there while I was a graduate student pursuing a Master's degree with the goal of landing a job working with sororities and fraternities.  I ended up selecting a job as an academic adviser on campus, but my sorority experience is coming back into play as sockprints is an official Greek licensed vendor.  We have a separate sockprints website dedicated to selling custom sorority socks (http://sororities.sockprints.com).  I'm having a blast combining my custom sock venture and my previous collegiate life!


What have been some of your major successes?

I'm really thrilled that we have taken a common apparel item, socks, and created a whole new product for the marketplace.  Never before have custom socks been available like they are at sockprints.  I'm proud of our accomplishments to date and look forward to the future of sockprints!


What have been some of your major challenges?
See above - struggle while starting up

On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
Our logo and tag line, "custom socks for happy soles" always makes me smile and reminds me of how lucky I am to have the opportunity to be a mompreneur and own my own business.  Another thing that keeps me going is believing in our product.  We have created a product that is not found anywhere else.  When people recognize what they can now do on a pair of socks, they're thrilled.  Sharing the news is exciting and keeps me going.

What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
I have no secret answer to balancing family life and business!  It's definitely a challenge.  While I don't need to share every little detail of my business with my family, I do try to let them know what's going on.  My kids are old enough to understand what I do and they're very supportive when I let them know that mom has a busy day/week ahead.  I also try to get them involved with different aspects of my business.  My two teenagers are some of the best social media consultants I know! 

What is next for your business?
We have some exciting things in the pipeline at sockprints.  Over the next few months we are working on an affiliation with a leading product customization site which we think will expand our customer base as well as product visibility.   

Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?
Don't be afraid to ask for help.  There are many resources available to women who want to start a new business.  I am always amazed at the wealth of knowledge my mom friends have about different aspects of business.  I recently met a friend for coffee one morning and was reminded of her expertise in human resources.  A conversation later that day with a different mom friend unveiled her experience in marketing.  Utilize your friends' expertise and knowledge.  They like to hear what you're up to and they'll be thrilled to support your new venture!

1 comment :

  1. This is a super cute idea for a birthday gift or Christmas and I love that it is so easy to do.
    heather hgtempaddy@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete