From that moment when their first sale rang in, nearly six years ago, little did Joanna and Alex know what they had just begun. Since then, Irish Socksciety has bloomed into a thriving enterprise with quality, community and sustainability as its essence and some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet at its forefront.
We recently had the amazing opportunity to sit down and chat with one of the inspiring women behind it all - Joanna Ciezka.
The positivity, friendliness and welcoming nature of the Irish Socksciety brand has led to a huge wave of support, followers and happy customers, and in speaking to Joanna it’s only too easy to understand. The love is very much mutual. The cheerful, funny messaging on the socks appeal to soles from all walks of life, and Joanna is grateful to see people enjoy not only the socks they produce but the brand as a whole; “We just learned that people really enjoyed the brand and that they kept coming back not only for the product but for the vibe.” Joanna says, “we’re really lucky that the people around the product and the brand are like pals. We may not know them personally but we become friends because they keep coming back and showing up and sharing stories.”
The design of their socks are a natural result of the daily chats, craic and experiences of Joanna, Alex and their team. “I absolutely love Irish conversations, I really do, so it's an easy one to come up with new ideas. It's just to make sure they are appropriate to a certain extent and that they fit the brand,” Joanna says.
Similarly to all other creatives, the Covid years required Irish Socksciety to adapt what they were doing to ensure their own survival and yet despite all obstacles, Joanna and the rest of their team managed to provide some fun for all their followers through the creation of the Howya face masks. “People bought them because they were making them laugh and that was wonderful feedback and the highlight - that we had in some way helped people in some way to chill slightly around those tough circumstances.” Joanna explains. “What I really love about Ireland is that you are so open, welcoming and chatty and I just hated when face masks came people stopped the Howya - it just wasn’t happening. So, we needed to do something to help continue on the Howya.”
Each year for Irish Socksciety’s birthday, they work alongside a local artist to create something unique in order to introduce new designs to the business, as well as to promote and showcase the artist. This collaboration gives Irish Socksciety the chance to continue to grow creatively while also opening the door to new ideas. With this same aim, Irish Socksciety has also teamed up with other brands to bring customers a range of recognisable and beloved themed socks, including; Bosco, TAYTO, Flahavans and the Westend local Kai restaurant. These partnerships even extend beyond brands to charities both locally and further afield. Speaking on this, Joanna says; “for me personally I’ve always done charity work since I was a small kid so it’s an essence of my character to give that back if I can. I believed if we were able to create a platform that was a profitable business - it’s not enough to run it for the sake of making money. It’s just not enough.” Thanks to this determination, Joanna and Alex have created a company that continues to achieve just that. By starting the conversation, they are able to help educate on important topics such as sustainability and encourage their customers to embrace and promote use of the Irish language. Joanna says;“I don’t do this for the business, I do this because I love this country so much. I want to make sure that the language has a platform in a contemporary context where it can exist and grow.“
Two of their continuous charity partnerships are the ‘I’m Perfect’ campaign, which donates 50% of profits to organisations supporting women in Ireland. In 2022 the company transferred 9.812.85 euro to National Women's Council of Ireland and Cope Galway. Working alongside Down Syndrome Ireland, Irish Socksciety have created the unique ‘The socks 21’ from the sales of which they donate 21% to the organisation. For more information on these two partnerships and to shop these socks, tap here.
The positive influence Irish Socksciety has had, grows exponentially each year. The people they have met, worked with and shared stories with, has made every moment of the journey special. “I’m so happy to wake up in the morning and go to work,”says Joanna. “Work itself is wonderful. I just love it. It is challenging and tough at times but it’s just class.”
Looking ahead, there is loads of excitement still to come for Joanna, Alex and Irish Socksciety. With many more designs to be created, awards to be won (they have recently won the prestigious Guaranteed Irish Business Awards in Best Gift Category), and artist collaborations to keep your eyes out for, there truly is never a dull moment. If you are not already following them, pull your socks up and head over to their website at https://irishsocksciety.com/ to find out more about the amazing Irish Socksciety.Published on Updated on