Kory Stevens

Kory Stevens is the founder and creator of Taft Clothing, a company that provides high quality no-show socks. I fell in love with the marketing at Taft. A bit later this week Kory will talk a bit about the marketing struggles and strategy.

The Week of Kory Shoes

Q5. How many shoes do you own? Your instagram feed @taft_ is full of amazing shoe inspiration. Literally everyday I get a little more jealous.

Kory- The Taft shoe closet has turned into something we never could have anticipated. Marketing no-show socks is tricky because it's a product that you're not supposed to see. We decided to get really creative with our Instagram account and show pictures of the socks in action - which basically translates to using beautiful shoes to showcase the sockless look.

We've been lucky enough to partner up with some really great shoe companies along the way so on an average day the Taft closet has anywhere from 50-60 pairs of really beautiful shoes.  This comes as a shock to most people, but I almost never wear any of the shoes (outside of photo shoots of course).

Shoes has always been a weakness of mine but on any given day you'll catch me wearing Jack Purcells or a pair of Clarks.

Kory Stevens of Taft Clothing

Q4. Do you have a morning routine?

Kory- My morning routine is pretty simple - I wake up, take some pictures for the Instagram account, hit the gym for an hour, drink my protein shake, shower and get to work. Mixed in with all that I'm answering emails, talking with my wife, and trying to get some good morning playtime in with my son.

Kory Stevens

Q3. What is a big failure that you have had? Has it helped you with the success you have now?

Kory- So I don't necessarily have one major failure that comes to mind but more like a series of smaller failures. Whether it's investing too much time in a project that doesn't turn in to anything, or trusting someone you shouldn't have, starting a business is a series of failures and successes.

One of the biggest failures I learned from came in the first months of Taft. We had someone approach us wanting to help with marketing and it turned out to be a total bust. They didn't know what they were doing like I thought they did and at the end of the day it was just a big waste of money. I learned so much from it, though, so it really ended up being a really valuable experience.

Because of that experience we've learned to trust ourselves the most when it comes to marketing our product and we're so much more cautious about who we work with. One of my favorite quotes from Winston Churchill says "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm," and I've really found that to be true.

Kory Stevens fashion illustration

Q2. A question I'm sure you are often asked and I have to know is where did the name 'Taft' come from? It's not too common but it just seems to fit perfectly.

Kory- Coming up with the name "Taft" wasn't a simple task. Naming a company is really tough because you know that it will be the first impression for a lot of people and you want it to be a good one.

We spent hours brainstorming and tossing ideas back and forth. We knew we wanted something simple, classy, and easy to remember. When we finally settled on "Taft", I couldn't believe we didn't come up with it sooner. "Taft" is our son's middle name and it only seemed fitting to name the company after him.

It's a simple and sentimental name and really, that's what it's all about.

Kory of Taft Clothing

Q 1. You are the founder/creator of Taft. What was the inspiration for starting a sock company?

Kory- The inspiration for Taft came when my wife and I were traveling around Europe together. I saw so many guys rocking the sockless look so I think it was just sort of at the back of my mind the whole trip.

I remember really vividly being in Florence and watching a cobbler create the most beautiful shoes I'd ever seen and it just didn't seem right to ruin such high quality shoes by going sockless. I knew I loved the look but I didn't like any of the no-shows on the market.

I started doing tons of research on no-show socks and when I couldn't find what I wanted, I knew I'd need to just create them myself. So I set out to create the best, highest-quality no-show socks on the market and I've been doing it ever since.

Check out the Taft Clothing illustration on the Sunflowerman Blog.
Featuring my favorite vintage monks.