Young Entrepreneurs Sell 70,000 Pairs of Socks in the Name of Charity
They started their business, Are You Kidding, after seeing an Inside Edition segment about a young businesswoman.
Not only are these preteen brothers introducing America to the world of fun socks — they’re also doing it for charity.
Meet the young entrepreneurs behind the Are You Kidding sock company, 12-year-old Brandon and 10-year-old Sebastian Martinez, of Kendall, Fla.
"You’re never too young or too old to do what you love," Brandon, the CEO of Are You Kidding, told InsideEdition.com.
"And you’re never too old to start a business," Sebastian, the director of sales, chimed in. "You can be 7 or you can be 70."
According to their mom, Rachel Martinez, the company’s president, Sebastian has had a passion for socks since he was 5 years old, and doing fashion shows for his pre-kindergarten class to show off his footwear.
“Everybody that went shopping — whether it was mom, my brothers or us — you went to a store and you saw crazy socks, you’d buy them for Sebastian," Rachel said. "He wound up with a giant collection of socks."
It wasn't until they saw a 2013 segment on Inside Edition, about a young girl who used her passion to design fish-themed flip flops known as "fish flops," that the family was inspired to take Sebastian’s passion for socks and turn it into a business.
"At that moment, I saw how that little girl took her passion and turned it into a business," Rachel said.
Sebastian continued, "And she turned around and said, 'Hey Sebastian, do you want to design your own socks?'"
Thus began the brothers’ creative process, where they start with a paper sock template and use markers and crayons to draw their design.
“First we say, hmm, what would people like? Like, emoji faces, googly eyes?" Sebastian explained.
Once they got started, their sales took off.
They went from shipping out 150 boxes worth of socks from their home, to procuring a warehouse for their supply.
The company also has more than 30 designs for kids and adults.
Not only was business good, but the brothers soon became the talk of the town when they had the chance to pitch their business to a "Shark Tank" investor and a "Good Morning America" anchor on live television.
"They've become very confident in themselves," Rachel said.
The company has also reached into the non-profit sector, selling more than 70,000 pairs in the name of charity, and dedicating a design to the Special Olympics, for which 30 percent of proceeds went to the organization.
Their next step is to work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation in hopes of helping additional kids in need.
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