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Wayne Law student putting best foot forward in world of entrepreneurship

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January 31, 2017

SocksFor Jaspreet Singh, business is just plain fun.

The third-year student at Wayne State University Law School is getting a lot of media attention for 5 Water Socks, a company he recently started.

When Singh has an inspiration, he automatically starts considering how to turn it into a business — it’s just how his brain is wired.

Take the sock company. The inspiration came when Singh was taking a class on public speaking at the University of Michigan, where he earned his bachelor’s in neuroscience. He was running late and was unprepared for the assignment, which was to pitch some sort of product. As he dashed through a puddle on his way to class, his feet got soaked. Seizing the opportunity, he stood before his classmates and ad-libbed his way through a pitch for water-resistant socks.

He decided those socks really were a good idea and began to do some research in his spare time. “I had no background in apparel, textiles or anything like that,” Singh said. He went to a fabric store to see what was out there. “That didn’t work too well,” he said.

Jaspreet Singh“I started calling around different places. I ended up with a fabric manufacturer in Seattle. They had a lot of waterproof fleeces. I took those fleeces and worked with a place in Hillsdale to make socks. That didn’t work too well.

“I had to learn how socks were made. I started talking with sock mills. Socks are made from yarn, not fabric. I had to find a way to make the yarn itself repel water. I spoke with a lot of textile engineers and finally partnered with one, and we fused hydrophobic nanoparticles with natural fibers. Those fibers were then spun into yarn.”

With a product he thought could be manufactured and marketable to many people, Singh needed capital to get the business going. He received intellectual support from WSU's Blackstone LaunchPad and turned to Kickstarter for funding. He ended up with more than $20,000 in donations – but not solely by luck.

When Singh has an inspiration, he automatically starts considering how to turn it into a business — it’s just how his brain is wired.

“I spent months and months doing promotions and getting many subscribers excited about our launch,” Singh said. “I had early-bird discounts. It was my first time launching a product-based business, and I really had no idea how much people would pay for socks. We ended up hitting $10,000 in two days.”

Singh is currently distributing socks internationally, and the company is also wholesaling. In the near future, 5 Water Socks hopes to have a distribution company of its own.

Over the coming months, look for videos, stories and events that feature some of the many Wayne State initiatives and passionate individuals committed to impacting their communities through innovation and entrepreneurship. This content is part of WSU's Warriors in Action campaign highlighting how Wayne State is making a difference.

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