GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — “You only have to be right once, so here we go, I think I’m going to be right.”
It’s sayings like this that Jane Keeffe bases most of her life decisions around.
“I like change, I’m a risk-taker, here I am,” Keeffe says. Here she is, in Greensboro. Keeffe moved to the Triad last November after selling everything she owned in California to start her dream company, Soxeeze. She believes that Soxeeze is the next big thing. They’re socks without feet, made of nylon and Spandex. She designed them to hide varicose veins and, of course, to show off the style of whoever’s wearing them.
Keeffe says Soxeeze are for anyone, “girls from 7 to women of 70.” She’s designed a variety of colors and patterns for all tastes. The socks are 100 percent made in Central North Carolina — Keeffe says she opened up shop here because of the region’s long history in textiles.
“I’m trying to boost the American economy and specifically where it really is. The textile industry has suffered terribly here and I am trying to bring it back,” she explains.
Like any decent start-up company, Keeffe runs her business out of her home and in an extra room she’s labeled “the garage.” The one room houses her distribution center, warehouse, stock area and strategy-centered corporate office. Keeffe says she’s not concerned about overseas competition, which is often blamed for the industry decline in the Triad.
“The sock industry is a $24 billion industry, I’m not worried about China and the fact that I’m in North Carolina making it here makes it all the better.”
She launched her online store in July. She hasn’t made the big bucks yet, but she says she’s off to a good start.
“People have, of course, told me I was crazy, but I think everybody that doesn’t have this vigor and enthusiasm for life always tries to drag you down.”
Keeffe has done her homework. She’s got a registered trademark and a design patent. She’s also hiring a University of North Carolina at Greensboro intern to help with her marketing and social media campaign.
For now, she’s the CEO and mail room clerk until she gets her big break.
“It’s just getting out there, it’s all going to come, I can feel it I can feel it, I can feel it. Cause it’s what I want. It’s my hugest desire is to make this happen.”