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The hardest part of evangelization is just starting the conversation.
At least that’s what Scott Williams found in his 10 years working in Catholic youth ministry.
Today Williams isn’t working in ministry directly anymore, but he’s still spreading the light of Christ in a different and broader way.
He’s an entrepreneur running a company you might have heard of — Sock Religious, maker of fun (and extremely colorful) Catholic socks.
By opening the door to conversations about faith, Sock Religious socks are intended to lead to potentially powerful moments of inspiration and conversion, creating moments of encounter that reach hearts and minds.
“We like to say we develop joyful products that start conversations,” Williams said in an interview with Aleteia. “The socks give us an opportunity that is really kind of the catalyst that gets us over the hump and allows the Holy Spirit to work within us.”
Where did these Catholic socks come from?
The story of Sock Religious started at the National Catholic Youth Conference in 2017, when Williams had the idea to bring Pope Francis socks to sell. He cut the initial order in half, from 1,200 to 600, not thinking he would need so many socks.
But to his surprise, they sold like hotcakes! He and his wife Elisabeth found themselves selling socks at the rate of one per minute.
“We found out that we had a target market of Catholics that take their faith seriously, but not themselves,” he said.
From that humble beginning of 600 socks in one design, today Sock Religious has over 100 unique designs and sells hundreds of thousands of socks every year, all manufactured in the U.S. at their facility in Indianapolis.
They’ve grown enormously, but the most powerful part of the story is how many souls they’ve helped along the way.
A tangible sign of faith
Countless Sock Religious customers have found joy, comfort, and inspiration in these simple socks that are a tangible reminder of God’s presence and love.
“There are so many people that have just loved being close and walking with the saints,” he said, “whether to rely on the strength of the saints for comfort in a time of difficulty, or even to celebrate.”
One customer wears his St. Peregrine socks for all his wife’s cancer treatments, while another wears St. Joseph socks for big meetings at work.
Many people have been married in Sock Religious socks, both brides and grooms—“It seems to be a big groomsman gift”—and people have even been buried in them.
In times of joy and sorrow, Sock Religious helps people remember that God is with them.
“We really want to inspire people to authentically live out their faith and not be shy about it,” Williams said, “to truly live it out and to do it with a sense of joy and happiness. There’s a lot of joy that comes with being a Catholic.”