Brandon Martinez, 13, and Sebastian Martinez, 11 Director of sales, and CEO of Are You Kidding Socks

The company was born 5 years ago out of Sebastian’s obsession with patterned socks. He started designing his own and, with the help of their mom, lined up a manufacturer. Brandon stepped in as director of sales. “I just have a thing for talking to people,” he says.

Despite their disagreements, their complementary skill sets make them great business partners. “We’re like a puzzle,” says Brandon Martinez . They’ve built a company that’s sold nearly $1 million worth of socks, moved offices to accommodate growth, appeared on Good Morning America, and introduced Charity Socks, a collection that gives a portion of sales back to charitable partners. But they’ve learned tough lessons along the way. 

“We trusted some charitable partners who didn’t really do what they said they would,” says Brandon. “So: contracts! That’s what we learned. Always have contracts.” 

Next up, they’re looking for retail teammate and exploring expansion. “We want to make T-shirts, hats, shoes,” Brandon says. “Socks and shoes are like peanut butter and jelly. And if you don’t wear them, you’re weird.”

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