Friday, December 26, 2014

An Interview with the Creators of Cool Socks Bruh

By Roger Tino Morales in Chicago/Vivelo Hoy

The Art of Capturing the Daily Routine in a Product

CHICAGO - The simple, the interesting, the funny, the popular around the world, is what we try to capture in each product launched on the market Ricardo "Mouse" Rivera and Tim Nicholson, co-owners of 'Cool Socks Bruh' .

Both established the company in January last year and say business is booming because their customers identify with their pieces, which simply reflect the natural, normal culture in which they are immersed.

From socks to mugs or candles the image of either a rapper, or late singer Selena Quintanilla or the Chicago Bulls, they all give life to 'Cool Socks Bruh'.

Tim Nicholson and Ricardo "Mouse" Rivera, co-owners of 'Cool Socks Bruh'. ROGER MORALES / TODAY

In each product, Rivera and Nicholson trying to capture not only the inspiration of his own, but that of those around them. Childhood experiences when playing Nintendo; adolescence when one tried smoking, and even dreams of having a Rolex.

Rivera and Nicholson say that creativity has been part of their lives for so long.

Rivera has worked for years in the boutique Saint Alfreds in Wicker Park, and Nicholson has years dedicated to graphics for video games; But not everything comes from there, much of his inspiration he says he gets from his friends, the sensitivity surrounding painters, musicians, fashion designers, and it reflect on his label, and the designs of their products.

A candle designed by 'Cool Socks Bruh' with the image of a rapper named Cam'ron. ROGER MORALES / TODAY

How did the idea to establish the business come about?

Ricardo J. Rivera: It was an idea that Tim and I started. It all started when I took a pair of socks with the image of the rapper Camron. Not made with the idea of ​​selling them, I made them for me, I showed them to my friends and it all started when I put them on the internet.

Where does the passion come from?

Rivera: I am creative, it's cultural, it comes from inside. (It's about) what one sees every day, the music plays, television shows you see, to be on the internet all day. I want everything you do in your daily routine to be integrated into our creation.

Tim Nicholson: The passion and inspiration comes from many sides, of different things. The people are what really inspires me (because) everybody does something creative, music, photography or painting. All that inspires me and helps me create.

A most famous pair of socks designed by 'Cool Socks Bruh' was the replica of a bag of Hot Cheetos. ROGER TINO MORALES | TODAY

And when how do you handle when times get tough?

TN: Things are not easy, but we are fighting to establish a brand and starting from scratch. What you invest is what you get back

RR: When the going gets tough usually what I try to do is stay positive as I can. That comes from my mom and dad who were immigrants when they came here, they had nothing. Now when I do business, patience keeps me serene.

Socks designed by 'Cool Socks Bruh'. Tino Roger Morales | Today

What distinguishes your brand?

TN: Fun. Life is short and we must make it pleasant, we want to create and inspire people because we were also inspired.

RR: Our creations make different homes shine. (Consumers)acquire items with which they identify with.

A cup of coffee with a designed created by 'Cool Socks Bruh' which was inspired by Nintendo video game Street Fighter. ROGER TINO MORALES | TODAY

What have you learned from your business?

TN: That any thought you have, you can make it happen when you put your energy into it.

RR: I learned to be more serious, to be patient, to be a little more cautious, answer timely and to be punctual.

How does it feel to receive orders from all over the world?

TN: We think of the borders and lines that separate countries; and that people like the same things as us; indeed the first store that sold our products were in Japan!

RR: Seeing that our brand is consumed by the (Japanese) culture teaches us that we also have followers there. We're just trying to get ahead. Art is universal and what we bring is better.

A lighter with the logo of 'Cool Socks Bruh'. Tino Roger Morales | Today

How do you take advantage of social networks?
TN: They play a huge role, that is how we have expanded. One reason why many people knew of us was because our friends Curt and Josh (Flosstradamus), were posted us in their social networks. Then other friends shared photos of our products on Tumblr and Instagram and we got exposure among his followers.

RR:The internet was a crucial way to promote the company. You don't necessarily have to go to you can go to Instigram, Facebook, or Tumblr or any of these networks (and that were you'll find us). It is a way to grow.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

TN: People use social networks for fame, but fame will not pay your bills. You must find a balance, know how and when to use them.

RR: Give attention to the people who have turned their attention to you. Take care of the people who have been interested in your product; it will help you before you get lost in the world of social networks, which is actually very small.

Copropoteriors of 'Cool Socks Bruh' Ricardo "Mouse" Rivera and Tim Nicholson. ROGER TINO MORALES | TODAY

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