UT alumni sock company barks up the right tree

Kenzie Kowalski

University of Texas class of 2014 alumni Bruno Veiga and David Nam always wanted to leave their mark on the world, and found their niche in an unexpected market.

BARX SOX was founded in 2017 and produces socks of high quality and material featuring printed images of dogs. The company appeals to a wide variety of customers, from UT students to professionals in the workforce.

Best friends for many years, the co-founders attended high school together until Veiga and Nam went to UT while co-founder Roshan Gowlikar went to A&M. Veiga, a computer science alumnus, said once they reached out to one another about their business idea, BARX SOX came into existence.

“We all had this kind of business mindset, and we were just like, ‘What’s the simplest product that we would use ourselves that we can make a little bit more unique and kind of fun?’” Veiga said.

None of the founders knew how to start their own sock business, but after weeks of research, they were able to come up with a game plan.

“I would say it was mostly just searching up how to do each step and kind of taking it day by day … I got in contact with tons of manufacturers, had to get samples, then wait weeks while socks were being done, and then (the) first box was designed 100 percent by ourselves,” Veiga said.

Since launching in October 2017, BARX SOX has already had a return on investment and sextupled their revenue.

The partners attribute some of their business skills to what they learned as members of the Hispanic Business Student Association.

Linda Pinzon, marketing junior and director of public relations for HBSA, said many people who were involved in HSBA have gone on to start successful businesses.

“We give them the tools to be able to achieve those things, such as networking and how to do different things on their own,” Pinzon said.

Veiga said joining HBSA was truly formative for him, and Nam said that he was able to learn a lot about supply-chain management, talk to entrepreneurs and benefit from the diversity of majors and ethnicities in the organization. Veiga also said he benefited from his time in HBSA, and although he was a computer science major, he was able to learn a lot about business from HBSA without having to take on a double major or business minor.

Veiga encourages all students to believe in themselves enough to start their own business.

“The best advice I can give them is to jump right in,” Veiga said. “You don’t know what you don’t know, so cross that bridge when you come to it.”

Nam said he agrees that the best way to start your own business is to just get started.

“I know it seems like a really long and hard endeavor,” Nam said. “But as long as you just get started and do something, it will expose you to different opportunities and give you that experience to start something.”