Entrepreneur Matt Siracusa was inspired to found a startup after working with the homeless in Hartford, CT. His company, WEWOOL, is on a mission to provide warm socks to those who need them.
WEWOOL is participating in the 2017 reSET Impact Accelerator, which is designed for entrepreneurs in the early stages of business development.
Matt told Innovation Destination Hartford about his startup and the ways it is making a social impact.
INNOVATION DESTINATION HARTFORD: Tell us about WEWOOL.
MATT SIRACUSA: WEWOOL is a wool sock brand that sells merino wool socks made in the United States. We are a one-for-one brand that donates a pair to World Vision for every pair sold. By March, we will be launching a collection of shirts, mugs, phone cases, and other items that will benefit an organization called Love146.
Watch a video to learn more about WEWOOL.
IDH: When and why did you start the company?
MS: I started WEWOOL in the middle of 2016. The motivation behind WEWOOL is due to my experience with the ministry I started in Hartford, CT. Every Saturday morning, Sparrow Ministries serves breakfast to hundreds of people experiencing homelessness in Hartford.
I noticed that a lot of the homeless men and women needed socks, but nobody was donating them. I have a desire to donate millions of socks all around the world without forgetting about the communities all around us here in the United States.
IDH: How did you develop the business concept?
MS: The business concept came from a question in my heart: How can I get millions of people socks? The answer was to give the everyday consumer a chance to be a hero. When consumers buy a pair of socks from wewool.org , we donate a pair of socks. It not only allows people to help the world, but it also hold us liable as a company to give back no matter how successful we become.
IDH: What makes your startup unique?
MS: Our startup is unique because we are offering the finest quality merino wool socks for the absolute lowest price. We are providing a product that mostly anyone can afford and as a result we are giving back to the world.
IDH: Describe the ways your company is making a social impact.
MS: We have already donated more than 1,000 pairs of socks to World Vision with a goal of 1 million socks donated in the next four to five years. The socks that were donated went to homeless individuals, single moms, veterans, and people overcoming mental health issues or drug addictions.
IDH: Why are you participating in the reSET accelerator?
MS: Through reSET I am able to connect with many mentors who have direct connections to resources that I need to grow.
IDH: Any advice for entrepreneurs or startup business owners?
MS: My advice would be to throw away the fear of failure. If you have an idea you believe in, do not be afraid that it might not work out. I would rather go 1 for 6 than 0 for 0.
IDH: Where do you see your company one year from now?
MS: I see WEWOOL socks on the shelves of large retail stores such as Target, Bass Pro Shops, or any other large corporation that has a desire to make this world a better place.
Learn about 2017 reSET Impact Accelerator participants:
- Hopewell Health Solutions – Social Impact Startup Provides Innovative Health Treatment Solutions
- Impact Mart — Social Entrepreneurship Startup with a Mission to Solve Global Issues
- Kulture Magazine — Social Impact Startup Fosters Innovative Youth Kulture
- Supply InSight, Inc. — Social Impact Startup Provides RFID Solutions