How Sokisahtel | BestSockDrawer was born

First store in Tartu

How did Sokisahtel | BestSockDrawer all began?

It was the year 2009 and it should be noted that for most people, socks were still an emotionless necessity, a piece of clothing that one simply had to wear for one reason or another.

One day, three women met through mutual acquaintances. First of them had an idea about how to change the meaning behind wearing socks to something more than a bare necessity, second one had the necessary set-up capital. Third one, having recently returned from the US, came up with a name for the prospective company.

Sokisahtel, sounds catchy, is pleasing to the ear and has a memorable subtext. The beginning of Sokisahtel | BestSockDrawer seemed promising!

Colourful socks

The very first sock order

The very first socks were made in Italy and the founders of Sokisahtel soon found ways to sell them in larger stores across Estonia. It was not long until they realised, though, that each pair of socks had a character of its own. New socks came with an added value in the form of a personal, heartfelt, or sometimes funny story. Since it was impossible to pass these on to customers when selling socks in supermarkets, the idea was born to open our own Sokisahtel stores.

Pattern socks

Contrasting visions

Differing from the rest of the team, one of the three founders was not a fan of this idea and she decided to leave the crew. She left with no drama, it was rather a simple case of different people having contrasting visions and that’s how life works! The two remaining founders Maarja and Piret officially registered Sokisahtel as a company in 2010 and that’s how Sokisahtel was born. In the beginning, we only had two stalls at shopping centres – one in Lõunakeskus, Tartu, and the other in Lasnamäe Centrum, Tallinn. Sokisahtel‘s socks and tights turned out to become very popular amongst Estonians and tourists!

First stores

First Sokisahtel | BestSockDrawer stores

We opened our first 15m2 Sokisahtel’s store in the Lõunakeskus shopping centre in Tartu. The first stock consisted of our innovative and colourful socks from Italian producers. Thanks to a growing interest in our socks, we were lucky enough to soon be able to expand our business. By 2015, the number of our stores had grown to 16. Most main shopping centres in every larger town and city had their very own Sokisahtel‘s store.

First sock model

Growing staff

The expansion of Sokisahtel naturally meant an increase in the number of staff as well, and by 2015 we had nearly 40 employees. Today, we have 20 stores and over 50 people working together as a big team. 

We are very pleased that many of those who started the journey of socks with us in 2010 are still with us at Sokisahtel today. Our beautiful sock model Kärol, who has probably tried on more pairs of socks than any other Estonian, has also been with us since the very beginning in 2010.

Stores in the beginning

Diverse product line

Since we are in touch with the people working in our stores on a daily basis, we have been able to look at the specific needs of each shop when choosing products for them. For instance, we sell socks with plane patterns in our airport store, offer more options with Russian writing in our store located in the largely Russian-speaking Lasnamäe district, and so on. Products have been picked from the models offered by our partner factories, but today we have reached a level where manufacturers also consider our needs when producing socks and other hosiery.

Polka dot socks

New challenges

Our sock patterns are designed by ourselves in Estonia, inspired by ideas submitted by our customers and employees, but also largely influenced by our travels around the world. 

We have travelled far and wide in the past ten years thanks to socks and Sokisahtel. We are probably the best ‘sock travellers’ in Estonia and have had the chance to visit the majority of Italian and Turkish sock and hosiery manufacturers. The fingers of two hands are not enough to count all of them, and even adding all the toes will not suffice. 

We are hard-working girls, and although our first attempts to collaborate with Chinese manufacturers did not bear fruit due to their shock that female entrepreneurs would offer to partner with them, we still have strong plans for continued expansion.

Classic Sokisahtel | BestSockDrawer’s socks

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