Images Gregor Rohrig We chat to Nicholas Haralambous, creator of quirky new sock company NicSocks, about his business venture. When did the concept of NicSocks come about? It came about two months ago. I was in limbo after having sold my company and had some time on my hands. I wanted to mix things up and do something in the real world while I waited for the deal to go through. Can you tell us a little about your passion for socks? I’ve been wearing loud and crazy socks for a few years but I’ve become increasingly irritated with the cost of the socks that I’ve been wearing. I decided that I could and should probably do it better myself. So I did. I managed to find a local manufacturer as well as local bamboo. The socks are environmentally friendly and proudly South African. What did you do before and how did this prepare you for starting up this new venture? Three months ago I was the CEO and co-founder of Motribe – a mobile internet startup company. We sold the company to Mxit. I’m actually a degreed journalist so I’m not exactly sure how that all ties in, but hey, it seems to be working. After working on a digital product, what’s it like to work on something tangible? It’s amazing working with a real product. There’s a fair amount of scope for mistakes and failure but ultimately it’s been quite rewarding. The movement towards real product is being called the Internet of Things by some, I like this angle and think that we need more people making more things and using digital as a medium to distribute, not as the product only. What is the inspiration behind the current range? I really just designed what I wanted to wear. I’m going to continue to do so in the future too. What are the socks made from and why have you chosen this material? The socks are 100% bamboo. I chose bamboo primarily because of the feel and comfort levels. An amazing added bonus is that the bamboo is grown in a sustainable way and is good for your feet too. Do you have plans to expand the range? Yes – the key for NicSocks is that the socks are limited edition, so that means I’ll continue to produce new designs with limited availability. The next four should be coming out in a month or two. We see you offer a sock subscription. Can you tell us a little bit more about this service and why men should consider signing up? I’m trying to help men give themselves the gift of socks. I want men to look at dressing, fashion and style as something great to do. Subscription socks is a convenient and simple way to get rad socks at your doorstep every few months. What kind of buyer do you expect NicSocks to appeal to? I think the kind of customer I’m targeting is quite varied: Moms looking for gift ideas for their sons, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends looking for gifts for their partners and men who know what they want, and prefer the finer fashion things in life. How should NicSocks be styled and incorporated into an existing wardrobe? To be honest I think that’s a very subjective question. I like to match my socks with an item of clothing that I’m wearing but I know men who go all out and mix it up entirely. Just wear what’s comfortable, and that should be good enough. NicSocks are priced at R99 per pair and can be purchased online at nicsocks.com.