Photo credit: citymob.co.za
NicSocks sells limited edition socks designed, sourced and manufactured in South Africa.
“I've been passionate about socks for years and have grown tired of spending crazy amounts of money on a pair of socks,” Haralambous told HumanIPO. “I decided that I could do it better, for cheaper and support the local industry too. I was able to do all of that.”
Haralambous said he conceived of the concept while waiting for the Mxit acquisition of Motribe to be completed. Following the deal, he decided not to make the move to Mxit and instead focus on new ventures.
“I'm an entrepreneur and I felt that being inside of Mxit wouldn't really cater to my entrepreneurial goals,” he said. “They were kind enough to give me the option to leave without restraint, so I took it.”
He says the main delays have been caused by VAT and obtaining a Company Registration number, but the company is fully operational and sold out its first 800 pairs of socks in ten days last month.
“The amazing thing to me has been the speed at which it's all been done,” he said. “I set out to try and do this new thing as quickly as possible as a case-study for others and what I found is this: You can set up a fully-fledged ecommerce business is South Africa in six weeks if you really want to.”
NicSocks does runs of 200 and 100 pairs of certain designs, with new designs often in the pipeline. Haralambous is also taking the time to help the South Africa tech startup scene develop, having joined the Silicon Cape Committee.
“I think the startup scene in South Africa is small,” he said. “I think we need to multiply our growth massively before we can be a force to be reckoned with. There is a swell happening but it needs to happen faster.
“That's part of the reason I've joined the Silicon Cape Committee. My portfolio is Startup Relations so I intend to dedicate a chunk of time next year to helping entrepreneurs launch more companies.”