Everyone wants to do something great and make a dent in our universe. What's stopping them? Usually, it seems people are trying to first find that genius idea. If only they had a brilliant insight that could change everything...
However, the best ideas are actually found by first diving into the field.
This is what happened to our wonderful rebel, Adina Lichtman. She is the founder of Knock Knock Give A Sock, whose initiative is collecting socks for those in need and encouraging community members to work together to help those experiencing homelessness. Before you ask, yes she loves individual-toe socks but please do not donate them.
The secret is to just START.
A few years ago Adina was handing out sandwiches to the homeless community in NYC when one man approached her. "It's great that you're giving out sandwiches,” he said, “but one thing we really need is socks -- especially as winter approaches."
“Here I was, sandwiches in hand, startled by his suggestion. I quickly realized that the best way to help a community is by listening to what they need.” Adina said. Sounds just like the journey of Mariette. We only found the demand and desire for a direct-to-consumer spirit because we had already launched traditionally and listened to our rebels.
Knowing what action to take in the moment.
But of course, that idea is just the beginning. Don’t forget about the execution and follow-through. Because you’ve already been in the field, you know what to do with your spark of inspiration.
When we made our own discovery about vodka preferences, we knew it was worth taking all our bottles off store and bar shelves immediately and spending a year and a half (on top of several years of prior R&D) to figure it out. And Adina?
“That night I went door-to-door in my NYU dorm asking fellow students if they had a pair of socks to donate. After knocking on the doors of just one floor, I had 40 pairs of socks.”
Does action pay off?
To date KKGS is on over 20 college campuses with students knocking from door-to-door and has collected over 90,000 socks.
“We have had collection drives at Deloitte, WeWork, Alston and Bird Law Firm, Toyota, Rockin' Jump, Facebook NYC offices, Sugar Foods Company girl scout clubs as well as several other offices. And have partnered with a few sock companies in the past including Bombas, ToeSox, United Legwear and PlanetSox with a large percentage of our total sock donations coming from these companies.”
Knowing what’s possible.
Being experienced will also reveal to you what is possible. For KKGS, the ultimate goal is go beyond just fulfilling the need of getting socks, but actually breaking down barriers between people and breaking the stigma of homelessness.
“I truly believe that these sock drives are how we get our ‘sock’ in the door. It’s the first step towards opening up a conversation about having ‘Meet Your Neighbors’ dinners where we bring together offices/students/community members and people who are experiencing homelessness to sit side-by-side for a dinner.“
And what’s in store for Vodka Mariette? SO MUCH! But you’ll have to wait and see...
Just get started, stop waiting.
As Adina put it, “find what’s missing and create it.” And you usually find it by diving into the field first. No better time to start than the present!
Make sure to follow KKGS and keep up with Adina's incredible work!