Mitscoots Member Spotlight
While volunteering along the streets of Austin, the (soon-to-be) Mitscoots team came across an important realization. Next to food and water, there was no greater request among the less fortunate than a clean pair of socks. So, they set out to build a company that not only produces high-quality, super uniquely designed socks--but also a company that gives back in a big way. We had a chat with one of the founders, Tim, and learned more about what makes Mitscoots tick. Enjoy the interview and don't forget to put them on your holiday shopping list.
Why socks? What were the reasons that led you to start this particular type of company?
We went with socks because it's what those on the street were asking for. Through our volunteer work, we would always get it as the number 3 question. "Food, water, and oh hey, do you have any socks?" It just seemed like something that shouldn't be an issue when an individual is struggling with the other larger challenges of homelessness.
We understand that employing those in need is also a core component of your business. Can you tell us a bit about why you think that's important as well?
The company idea started as a simple one-for-one giving model, but we really felt that didnt go far enough. It takes care of an immediate need but didnt do much for the root issues. So, as we grew and found all these manufacturing needs we immediately thought, "hey, we know a ton of people that want work but cant find it." Boom, the employment aspect of our model was born. It's an awesome thing getting to see the pride that comes from our team.
For every pair of socks someone buys from you, an identical pair of socks is given to someone in need (incredible!). Can you talk about the selection and distribution process a little bit in terms of deciding where the gifted pairs of socks go?
Well they arent identical any more and that's actually a better thing. When we first started, we only had a few styles and that just what we had to give out too. Same stuff, equal quality, good deal for everybody. But as we started to offer newer styles like say a houndstooth, we realized that wasnt what was always the most needed on the streets. So, we went back and decided on what the absolute best sock option would be for someone in those conditions and went with a super solid, cozy, thick athletic pair. Now when we are giving, we know that they are getting exactly what they need most regardless of what designs are the most popular. Every decision we're making is for the benefit of those in need. It's kinda our litmus test for doing something as a business. If it helps them: Yes. If it only helps us: No.
Why did you choose to be a part of the This Good World community and share the good things that you do?
What we're doing isn't just making socks. We're also creating a community and accountability structure for those in need. Often just say a friendly "hello" can have a huge impact on someone from the streets that might not have even gotten eye contact from another human in days. It's a lonelyl world out there and we love to be part of bringing together people from all walks for the empowerment of those in need. This Good World is a community of caring and it's right up our alley.
Are there examples in which you work with or gain inspiration and ideas from other businesses or organizations?
Any time a business decides to make the hard choice for the benefit of others at cost to their bottom line, we are inspired. There are a lot of ways it can be done and it should be a standard. We love to see the right choices being made and not just the easy ones.
Are there any specific "good" initiatives out there that you've really found yourselves drawn to, either as a business owner or a consumer?
I'm always on the look out for social good products and honestly it's hard to keep up. I would consider that a great thing and I'm loving the discovery of all this amazing stuff each day. I think the one area that's lacking a little though is through consumer tech. I guess it's just such an expensive business to get into, but it would be amazing to see the impact that industry could have on the world. So, any time I hear about someone new in that arena trying to do it right, I get pretty excited.