Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
That’s when his brother reminded him of an idea he had as a 9-year-old for reversible socks. Christmann quickly recognized the reversible idea wasn’t going to work, but the idea of a sock company stuck in his head.
“I really wanted to do something in the startup space, but didn’t have an idea I loved,” he said. That’s when his brother reminded him of his sock idea. “Socks are endlessly creative. It’s a nice, low-cost product with limited risk to test it out with a bunch of different patterns.”
The socks aren’t reversible, but Christmann said they are all made in the U.S., with a cotton, nylon and spandex blend in a manufacturing plant outside of Philadelphia. He’s banking that the designs — which he created himself — the material and what the company stands for will resonate with Kickstarter investors and, one day, customers.
Along with being made in the country, Christmann plans to donate a dollar from every purchase to a charity dedicated to helping homeless veterans with jobs, training and housing. His full-time job is in digital marketing for Capital One, and he’s applying many of the principles he learned there, and in business school, to Boldfoot.
“I tried to build the company around passion points,” he said. “It’s American-made, they’re designed in school and team colors, and we’re pro-veteran. It’s about finding how to promote your company in a very targeted way.”
Originally, Christmann said he was “adamant I wasn’t going to use Kickstarter. I wanted to do it the old-fashioned way.” He took several of the designs he created to different manufacturers, all of whom told him his company and his orders would be too small for them to produce.
He said the reality check of the difficulties of finding a manufacturer was something he expected, but not to the degree he experienced.
“I didn’t know the manufacturing was going to be that tough,” he said. “It was like they’ll work with me when they have nothing better to do. It wasn’t until I shelled out two grand to make some samples I had any sort of agreement.”
The designs for the samples Christmann made came from random places of inspiration. He would walk down the street and see a brick pattern on a building and take a photo to turn it into a sock (far left in the above picture). Because of the patriotism imbued in his company, he made sure to have several red, white and blue designs.
“I had a three- or four-month period where everywhere I went, I saw patterns,” he said. “I’ve never had any formal design training, but I’m good enough at Photoshop to be dangerous.”
The Kickstarter launched at 9:00 a.m. this morning, and as of 11:45 a.m., it had raised $2,945. Christmann set his goal at $10,000, the minimum order his manufacturer required to partner with him. He’s gladly abandoned “the old-fashioned way.”
“If it falls flat, so be it,” he said over coffee at Northside Social last week, near his home in Clarendon. “I have tepid, baited enthusiasm. I’ve invested a few months of my life into something I’ve truly enjoyed.’
Christmann envisions Boldfoot socks being carried in some small- to moderate-sized local stores within a year. In the future, he has ideas of partnering with teams and schools for branded socks, making compression socks for athletic activities. If he can achieve that, he knows his vision will have been validated.
“If it gets $10,000, I would be just as ecstatic as if it got $100,000, because it means there’s a market,” he said. “This is the ultimate test of seeing if I know what I’m talking about.”
This past week saw 24 homes sold in Arlington. The least expensive condo, single-family home or townhouse sale over the past seven days was $264,000 while the most expensive was…
There has been a mini-spate of deaths and reported suicide attempts among Arlington Public Schools students in the last month, ARLnow has learned. A middle schooler died after Christmas and…
Arlington County is applying for regional funding to run buses every six minutes between Fairfax County and Amazon’s second headquarters in Pentagon City during peak hours. The Arlington County Board…
Next month, Arlington County will hold a community event to kick off a three-year parking pilot program that prices parking by demand in a few highly trafficked corridors. This is…
St. Charles offers a play-based curriculum in a welcoming, Christ-centered environment.Our program focuses on socio-emotional development and kindergarten readiness through hands-on and engaging activities. Our programs offer different schedules ranging from 7:30 am-5:30 pm for students, ages 2-5. We feature a full-day Jr. kindergarten class for older 4’s/5’s. Our facility includes a full-sized gymnasium, school chapel, and library. All of our students enjoy music and physical education weekly. Children have an opportunity to participate in enrichment classes such as soccer, basketball, ballet, and science. We offer Summer Camp with weekly themes and twice a week water play, including Fun Friday moon bounce. Please join us for our Open House Feb. 3 at 9:30 am and 11:00 am. Click here to sign-up. For more information or to schedule a tour, visit us at www.stcharlesarlington.org or call (703) 527-0608.
If you are a lifelong learner over 50+ who wants to make new friends, power up your brain, and enjoy a wide-variety college-level courses, Encore Learning is for you. An Arlington based nonprofit, Encore Learning offers courses in the arts, theater, literature, history, technology and more. This semester we offer our most popular course, Global Hot Spots as well as 25 new courses. Courses are presented either online or in-person at George Mason University at Virginia Square and other Arlington locations.
Join the free presentation to learn about courses and meet the instructors. This is Encore Learning’s signature event to highlight the upcoming semester with brief presentations by each instructor.
The Spring Course Preview event is Thursday, February 2nd at 9:30 AM via Zoom:
Casey James Salengo is a NYC based comedian who’s been featured on Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Kimmel Live, This Week at the Cellar, and HBO’s Pause with Sam Jay. He performs at clubs, bars, road houses, carnival tents, erotic book