Parker Burr and Taylor Offer wake up every morning, put on a pair of custom-designed FEAT socks and get excited about their day ahead. The most important step is the second. Burr and Offer created FEAT Socks for this very reason – to inspire everybody to live every single day like it’s the weekend.
“All of our friends who are working their corporate jobs hate the 9-to-5,” Offer explains. “And from 18-years-old to, like, 26, we have this idea that you go to school, work hard, then you get a job and the first five years of your job suck because you’re paying your dues. You get drunk on the weekends to forget about your week, and your week sucks, but I hate that model. We want to inspire our friends to live like this. Wear every day like it’s the weekend. Enjoy every day.”
FEAT began in 2015 on the University of Massachusetts-Amherst campus. After an entrepreneurship class on the first day of class in his senior year, Offer was telling other kids in the class that he had sold over $20,000 in custom t-shirts the previous semester. “I thought I was this big shot,” he says now. But then, out of nowhere, came over a very reserved Burr. “Oh, that’s cool,” Burr told Offer. “I make custom stuff, too. I make custom lacrosse uniforms.” Offer admittedly brushed Burr off until Burr quietly mentioned that he had made over one million dollars in sales. That got Offer’s attention, and Burr further explained that along with custom lacrosse uniforms, everybody wanted custom socks to match. That was the moneymaker.
“Dude, let’s go sell those on campus tomorrow,” Offer suggested.
“We can’t sell them on campus. We’ll get in trouble.”
That night, they went around to local retailers to buy plain white socks to press designs onto. The next day, they started selling custom socks on campus at $10 a pair and made around $2,000.
“We figured if we could sell socks to (poor college students), we could sell them to anyone,” Offer says. “Senior year, we sold 20,000 pairs out of our backpacks, hustling around campus.”
Feat Socks as it’s presently known was officially born when Burr started searching for words that meant “adventuring and accomplishing things.” The word “feat” immediately showed up, which not only means “an achievement that requires great courage, skill, or strength,” but works as a double entendre for a sock company.
Six months after graduation, Burr and Offer partnered with David Falk, who is best known as Michael Jordan’s former agent, who helped FEAT land gymnast Aly Raisman just before the 2016 Rio Olympics. Through Raisman’s sock line, “We saw the power of social media,” Offer says. “And I was like, we’ve got to work with more kids with big followings. So, I direct messaged anyone on Instagram with over one million followers, and all the people who responded were all these kids from Vine, these YouTube kids, and they all lived in the same building in L.A.”
In August 2016, Burr and Offer officially moved FEAT to Los Angeles. Specifically, they moved into the same building as the social media personalities that Offer had flown to L.A. to visit. FEAT wanted to be closer to those social media influencers that had messaged Offer back on Instagram, to be closer to potential influencers of any background.
FEAT partners with various influencers: athletes, musicians and social media personalities who embody positive characteristics and seeking fulfilment in all areas of life. An important qualifier for any influencer, too, is how engaged his or her fans are on social media.
Most recently, FEAT partned with The Chainsmokers for a sock that was officially launched at the duo’s San Francisco Pop-Up Shop and sold among The Chainsmokers’ Memories Do Not Open Tour merch. Another celebrity campaign is with social media personality Christian Pierce, whose sock collaboration is a prime example of authentically promoting FEAT’s overall message. Pierce has a sock called “Peaks”, which are described on FEAT’s website like this: “Peaking is a lifestyle. Inspired by Christian Pierce’s favorite word, these socks will help you peak.”
“We are social media kids at heart,” Offer says, “so it’s very authentic. We are also a social media company that sells socks. We put resources, time and energy into our content. Our Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.”
It started with socks, the business is socks, the tangible product is socks, but the socks are simply the messengers. Offer notes that he is more dedicated to the social movement and the meanings woven into the thread.
“Our socks are a reminder every single day, even if you’re doing something you don’t like, you can wear crazy socks and enjoy it. Our socks, you can wear them anytime, anywhere. If you have to wear a suit and tie every day, wear some crazy awesome socks if you have to, to be like, ‘Hey, at least I have these socks on.’”
FEAT hears plenty from its customers, who are actually better described as fans, about how custom socks make their days just a bit better and inspire them to make their lives much better. Lots of people send Snapchats to FEAT’s official Snapchat account wearing FEAT socks with a suit and tie before work, saying something like, “My socks are the one thing I have going for me today.”
“We’ve had so many people say, ‘I’m inspired every morning when I put my socks on,’” Offer says. “That’s how you start your day every morning. So, you can start your day and you can through the routine and be boring, or you can start your day with a smile. On the side of our socks we write things like ‘wear the weekend’ or ‘make today awesome’ or ‘smile.’ People put that on first thing in the morning, and that’s motivation to get out there.”
Words by Megan Armstrong