Ex Motribe boss starts environmentally friendly online sock shop

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Former Motribe CEO Nic Haralambous is not just taking his share of the profits from the recent sale of the company and travelling the world. Nope, he’s starting an ecommerce sock shop. NicSocks, which officially launched today, is an environmentally friendly online sock store that believes “socks are the foundations of style”.

Haralambous was the co-founder of mobile social network builder, Motribe, which was recently acquired by Mxit for an undisclosed sum. The company was started two years ago with Vincent Maher and was invested in by local venture capital company 4Di Capital.

NicSocks began because of Haralambous’ passion for loud and brightly coloured socks. According to the entrepreneur, he has been “wearing loud, bright, colourful and stylish socks for a few years now and became tired of spending ridiculous amounts of money on imported socks. I decided that I wanted to do it better, for less and locally. So I did.”

The digital native hopes his new venture will fill an empty space in the ecommerce industry in South Africa.

“I think there’s a massive gap in SA and Africa right now for good products with high design quality to enter and make their mark. Men’s fashion is also one of the fastest growing online ecommerce spaces globally, so without a doubt it’s the right place to be,” says Haralambous.

The new company is bootstrapped using funds from the recent Motribe sale.

“I had a little bit of time and a little bit of money from having recently sold my company,” says Haralambous. “So I decided to try something in the real world, becoming a Maker and using the skills I’ve acquired in digital to try my hand at ecommerce.”

Haralambous has partnered with invitation-only ecommerce curator CityMob to launch the stylish socks to the public.

“I decided to use them because they get fashion, design and local. They’ve been fantastic. There’s no involvement other than me running a special on their platform,” he says.

What’s quite cool is that Haralambous has chosen to use locally grown Bamboo as the fabric for the sock (which makes them environmentally conscious), which come in four distinct designs: Mario Blocks, Black Brick Road, Orange Oompa and Barber Shop.

“I decided to go after NicSocks with gusto and see exactly how long it would take me to start a company from nothing, in the real world, with a digital focus. It took me 6 weeks and very little capital. There really are few excuses left for people who want to start their own thing but don’t get to it.”

NicSocks are available worldwide.

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