WATCH | Putting your best sock forward

A Cape Town sock retailer is using her wares to support a township chess team – one pair at a time.

12 December 2018 - 06:00
By staff reporter

Socks are not normally associated with chess but a Cape Town sock retailer is using her wares to support a township chess team – one pair at a time. Designer and entrepreneur Chelsey Wilson, co-founder of Feat.Sockco, sells chess club members socks at wholesale prices so that they can use profits to fund chess club activities, such as trips to local chess tournaments.

The Sibanye Khayelitsha chess club is just one beneficiary of Wilson’s ‘Feat Hustle’ project.

“The concept is that all these ‘hustlers’ out there are trying to make things happen for themselves, but often companies won’t really sell direct to them but rather to a shop,” Wilson said. “Our concept was that anyone could sell our socks to raise funds for cool things.

“In South Africa, for young people, there is quite a lot of opportunity but it’s about being willing to take the risk and really working hard to get to where you want to be.”

Wilson started out studying fashion design but soon learnt that accessories and illustration were where her strengths lay. She now runs a shop in Muizenberg.

The partnership with Sibanye Khayelitsha chess club came about due to a fortuitous meeting with chess club founder Brian Qamata at an Activate youth development course in Cape Town. Qamata told Wilson about his chess group and how he wanted to sell socks to raise funds for the team. Wilson loved the novelty of it and decided to help.

Qamata uses the profit that he makes from selling socks, to help with transport and catering when the team has matches.

Both Qamata and Wilson say one of their biggest challenges is getting people to pay but she feels that there are a lot of untapped markets in South Africa. “Although there is a lot to juggle, it’s also really exciting,” said Wilson.

* This article was published in partnership with ACTIVATE!, a network of young leaders equipped to drive change for the public across South Africa.

* Video produced by Content Lounge