VC sophomore makes 'Socks with Soul'
May 21, 2014Sixteen-year-old Cole Striler, a sophomore at Valley Center High School, is following in Ken Block's footsteps by furthering Valley Center's reputation as an incubator for young entrepreneurs.
Two decades after Ken Block founded DC Shoes, Cole Striler founded Xuxa Socks. Xuxa (pronounced "Shoo-Shaw") Socks are designed in Valley Center and sold online all over the United States.
"Most of the socks are sold at races," said Striler, who travels across the western states with friends to set up a booth at popular motorsports venues.
They have already traveled to the Mint 400 in Las Vegas, the Lucas Oil Off Road Races in Phoenix, and the Regional Off Road Races at Glen Helen and in Lake Elsinore.
"We sponsor David Mason, Jr., one of the point leaders in the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series.He's from Valley Center, too," Striler said. "David's a top contender for the championship this year."
Mason, a professional Pro Buggy racer who drives the LoanMart #65 Pro Buggy, swears by the socks.
"I wear them for everything I do – racing, dirt biking, and snowboarding. There's nothing more comfortable than Xuxa socks," Mason said.
Comfort is what makes the socks unique.
Red Bull racer and Supercross legend, Ricky Johnson agrees.
"When I put on my Xuxa socks in the morning, I don't think about them until I take them off at night. They don't slide down, they're not too thick and they're not too thin. They're just right. Make sure you get yourself about 10 pair. Nothing like a new pair of socks," Johnson said.
Striler says the reason Xuxa socks are so comfortable is the blend of fabrics.
"I went out and bought the most comfortable socks I could find – a lot of socks – and then designed Xuxa socks using a combination of fabrics that I took from the best of the best of all the other sock brands," he said. "They're mostly cotton, though, about 85 percent, but with some stretchy material for a better fit. Everyone says Xuxa Socks are the most comfortable socks they've ever worn."
Striler, who started a hat and T-shirt company in 2012, called Xuxa Wear, learned quickly that everyone sells caps and tees.
"After a year of competing with all the other brands in the market, I realized I had to specialize, so I decided to focus on socks. Only socks. Socks with soul. I make some caps and tees to give away for marketing, but we don't sell them anymore. That's why I changed the name from Xuxa Wear to Xuxa Socks. The new name is more specific," he said.
The "we" Striler refers to are his family and friends. Striler is the CEO of Xuxa Socks, while his dad and grandpa are the investors. The three of them co-own the brand.
"That way, when we disagree on something, we vote. Two out of three wins," Striler said.
Striler's best friend, Dylan Sessions, is the company's director of sales. Sessions, also a sophomore at VCHS, has been to most of the races with Striler, while Maddy and John Larson have also helped.
"Lorenzo Gomez, who's on my wrestling team at the high school, has sold a lot of socks. He's a great salesman," Striler said.
And the sales team is only part of it. Striler has put together an impressive list of racers who support the socks. In addition to David Mason Jr. and Ricky Johnson, other pro racers and champions who wear Xuxa Socks are world-famous drifting and rally champion Tanner Foust, seven-time Supercross champ Jeremy McGrath, nine-time four-wheel champion Mitchell DeJong, K&N's Bradley Morris, Metal Mulisha's Monster Truck driver Todd LeDuc, Rockstar's Ryan Beat, and Funco's Chad George.
"We have racers in a variety of motorsports," says Striler. "It helps that my dad is in the racing industry."
To support the local community, Xuxa Socks will display at Western Days and give away free stickers. All locals will receive 30 percent off M.S.R.P. at Western Days.
More information about the company can be found at www.XuxaSocks.com or by connecting with Xuxa Socks on Facebook or Instagram.