Ecommerce in India is *still* a lot about selling consumer electronics products online, but eventually, ecommerce needs to go beyond the mainstream category and more vertical/niche stores should come online.
Bangalore based Footsy is one such store that sells socks online. Footsy is started by two designers who want to bring interesting designs to one’s socks. In its current form, Footsy currently is mainly targeting women category and here is a QnA with cofounder, Seema Seth.
Pi: What’s the origin of the idea?
Seema Seth: I, a co-founder of the company, come from a very visual and experimental design school, Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology. I was surrounded by people who had a flair to dress unconventionally. My sock fetish was born in that environment. As students, we loved to intentionally mismatch our socks…wear a red pair with an uncoordinated yellow pair, etc. All this just to make a bold statement. This must have stayed with me at the back of my mind all these years. Nine years after graduating from design school, and one year after setting up my own Communication Design studio, I had the itch to do something more. That’s when I started talking to Pooja about this urge to do a creative and unique product line. Pooja comes from an interesting design-business background, and had also started sharing her desire to do something experimental. She brings the real-world perspective to Footsy. Together, we decided that socks would a great product, and it’s something that’s never been done in India before.
Pi: What design changes do we plan to bring with Footsy?
Seema Seth: We believe that socks are a reflection of your personality. Today, in our world where a ‘uniform’ dominates, socks allow you to show a piece of ‘you’. The corporate world is ruled by well-tailored business suits. Internationally, even CEO’s of large organizations are experimenting with fun socks. It let’s you express! We want people in India to think beyond the conventional grey, brown and black socks. We want them to play a little! (Incidentally, ‘play a little’ is our tagline).
Seema Seth: We actually have socks for kids and men as well! Having said that, our collection for men is very limited at the moment, and we’re working towards expanding that.
Besides socks, we also have leg-warmers (which are a great fashion and fitness accessory today), snugglers and accessories (only shoelaces, at the moment).
Pi: How do you plan to sell them?
Seema Seth: We officially launched Footsy less than a month back. Currently we’re only selling via our e-commerce website. But we’re starting to approach various stores across India where we can showcase and retail our products.
Pi: Future plans?
Seema Seth: Lots of plans! We want to create collections that are inspired by fashion trends – a summer collection, business socks for men, a zoo collection for kids. Socks don’t conventionally follow ‘collections’ but we want to approach things differently. We also want to introduce other product lines that gel with out name (Footsy)…we want to to do a range of pajamas, jewelry for the feet, footwear…but we will only add these once we’ve got a wide and interesting range of socks in place. One step at a time!
Apart from the fact that the site is neatly laid out, the pricing is affordable and in some cases, even lesser than the offline store pricing. Given that there aren’t a lot of big retail brand around socks, it’d be interesting to see how Footsie fares in the crowded ecommerce market, as they are focusing on a targeted niche segment which unfortunately isn’t online yet (Read: Reasons Why There Is No E-commerce Bubble in India [Hint:Women Have Yet To Begin Shopping Online]).
Do give Footsy a footsie and share your feedback with the team.