By our 20s, most of us have experienced bureaucracy in some way, shape, or form. We've lived it at large corporations, seen it cripple decision-making within organizations and government, or at the very least, watched it play out on primetime television.
Today marks the beginning of a new adventure. Sure, some might say that Unfettered Socks launched back in March when we set our Kickstarter campaign live. Some might even say we launched when we signed our operating agreement back in 2013. But to me, today marks the beginning of a new company - a real launch - because today anyone can go to UnfetteredSocks.com and order a pair of their own. Today is the day that all of our work and preparation starts to matter; the day that represents the point of no return. Today is the day that there is no going back. We are entrepreneurs again, and we are ready to take on the world. I'm ready to do it better this time around; to learn from all of the mistakes I made on my first try. Starting over offers a renewed sense of excitement and motivation, but it also presents a new set of fears: if I fail this time, then what? I used to believe that entrepreneurship meant living a few years of your life the way others won't, so that you can spend the rest of your life as others can't. I now believe that entrepreneurship means living your life on a roller coaster: it's a fun ride, but that doesn't make it any less scary.
I've promised myself that the way we operate will be different this time, and I believe I've taken my own advice. We've worked strategically with our CFO to make sure that expenses don't exceed revenue; we fully understand that projections are simply projections, and have intricately valued the cost of acquiring consumers; we have a realistic plan in place to scale and grow our business. With hard work and dedication (and maybe a little luck), the results will be a reflection of the means.
So here I am, three years later, ready to do it again. I'm ready to take the e-commerce world by storm, pull all-nighters to launch new products, and pull my hair out when vendors make empty promises. As much as I hate real roller coasters, and as crazy as entrepreneurship may be, I'm ready. Let's do this!
Just as the downfall of my first business began to wrap up, I stumbled upon a new opportunity. Being that failure is really just a fancy word for experience, I took advantage of what I gained from my first venture (lessons learned, connections made, work ethic established) and began fleshing out a friend's idea for a business sock. I finally felt comfortable getting back on the horse. Chris is a passionate salesman with a busy job. He's on his feet all day dashing between work, business school, and family. He and his friends share the sentiment that the current offering of business socks simply don't meet the needs of business professionals. He was enthusiastic about rocking the boat within the industry, but he needed help. So he asked his brother Tim and I to launch the concept with him since we had run businesses before and brought other unique skills to the table.
For months we laid the groundwork: we contacted sock mills, spoke with retail and e-commerce professionals, crafted a brand identity, and studied sock materials and lingo. We vowed to be selling socks in 2014.
Two weeks ago, we launched a Kickstarter for GoodFoot to raise the funds for our first production run. It made sense for us to crowd-source the concept as a way to simultaneously validate the need and establish a presence. It has been a great learning experience in utilizing our networks, creating digital reach and virality, and building relationships with our consumers.
A month from now our campaign closes, and we hope to hit the ground running with our first production run shipping out in June! It's going to be a whirlwind for a few months, but I, for one, am ready to take on the challenges and the roller coaster that is entrepreneurship. I've missed it.
Welcome to SarahHaselkorn.com and thank you for taking a look at my site! I will be using this as a forum for sharing my thoughts on entrepreneurship, startups, and early-stage investments - my first foray into the world of personal branding. I've been involved in entrepreneurial endeavors since I was a kid - selling lemonade, crafts, and anything I could think of out of the back driveway. I really hit the ground running with startups during my sophomore year of college when I left school to work with the two cofounders of a mobile analytics company in Boston called Media Armor. Eric and Liz taught me what it meant to show passion through business, and that really fueled my entrepreneurship.
When I left Boston, I began to raise money to open a fast-casual restaurant near campus in St. Louis. That fall I launched Green Bean, a sustainable salad shop that became the first true venture that I founded. For two years I learned the ins and outs of running a brick-and-mortar business, and dealt with the struggles that come up in that industry.
In May, I graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in Systems Science and a minor in Entrepreneurship, and began a rotational management program at Anheuser-Busch InBev. I've been traveling around the country training and doing projects within every part of the business, from supply to sales to IT support. The corporate perspective has certainly increased and enhanced my business knowledge.
Please feel free to contact me through the contact form on the Connect tab, and to connect with me via social media. Thank you again for visiting my site!