Community//

Edward Davis: “Know How to Speak to People”

Socks are one of the most needed articles of clothing for individuals experiencing homelessness and are therefore one of the most requested items by charitable organizations that serve that population. Socks can offer everything from warmth, to comfort, to sanitary value for the recipients. When we seek charitable organizations to receive our donations, we always […]

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Socks are one of the most needed articles of clothing for individuals experiencing homelessness and are therefore one of the most requested items by charitable organizations that serve that population. Socks can offer everything from warmth, to comfort, to sanitary value for the recipients. When we seek charitable organizations to receive our donations, we always look for those that are affecting positive change in their communities. We value organizations that are not only supplying needed goods, but are a true resource for valuable connections to education, health care, and other services that are needed to improve quality of life. We often respect their missions so much that we are able to further contribute to their cause beyond our initial sock donation.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Edward Davis. He was born in Detroit, MI and moved around a bit as a child with time spent in Florida and Illinois. Edward grew up as that kid who challenged everything. If you told him he couldn’t do it, he was going to make it happen whether it was working at the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World or dropping everything to go on tour with musicians ! Due to his parents insistence on getting a college degree, he fell into teaching as a means of story-telling and spent many years in education in both Illinois and Las Vegas, NV where he currently lives.

However, in recent years he felt he needed a change and left the classroom to work full-time on making CRU SOX a reality.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

All three of us have always been in positions that depend upon connections with people. Whether teachers in a classroom or a musician in front of a crowd, you find that your success depends heavily upon your ability to communicate effectively with your audience, convey your message, and allow them to feel and believe they matter. If you truly know how to build those connections with people, then you can’t help but become very aware that there are people with needs in every classroom, crowd, and community that you encounter. We all have that desire to be able to contribute and give back to the needs of others, that’s what led us to develop CRU SOX. Through this brand we not only get to apply our creativity and style to develop quality products for our customers; but we get to do our part in communities by donating “give back” socks for each pair sold. While donating socks won’t magically serve all the needs of the world, it is a place to start and hopefully inspires others to think about what needs they could meet in their communities.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

Our most interesting story to date is probably how we came to be the trifecta that we now are. Growing up as avid concert-goers and music-lovers, our husband and wife team of Edward and Angela Davis had been long time fans of the band Biohazard. They had the opportunity to meet and chat with Billy Graziadei of Biohazard/Powerflo/BillyBio at a show right as they were forming the concept and products to launch CRU SOX. When they shared their idea with Graziadei, he loved it and wished them well on their new endeavor and shared his own stories about starting new projects. Once the Davises were ready to launch CRU SOX, they sent Graziadei a box of socks as a thank you for his earlier support. Graziadei fell in love with everything about the brand, contacts were made, and we formed our current triple threat powerhouse! Proof again that the connections you make with people can lead to the most pleasant surprises and unexpected partnerships.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

We might not call them mistakes as much as learning opportunities, but our first attempts at designs and manufacturing we can definitely look back on as “funny” memories now. We actually keep a box of old sample socks in our office to remind us of how far we have come to arrive at the quality products and designs we are proud to call our own today. These early experiences definitely taught us to stay the course and not settle until we achieved our goals.

Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?

Socks are one of the most needed articles of clothing for individuals experiencing homelessness and are therefore one of the most requested items by charitable organizations that serve that population. Socks can offer everything from warmth, to comfort, to sanitary value for the recipients. When we seek charitable organizations to receive our donations, we always look for those that are affecting positive change in their communities. We value organizations that are not only supplying needed goods, but are a true resource for valuable connections to education, health care, and other services that are needed to improve quality of life. We often respect their missions so much that we are able to further contribute to their cause beyond our initial sock donation.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

We will never forget how great it felt to deliver our first donation socks to an organization the embodies everything we seek in a charitable partner! With ties to education in all of our families, we know first-hand the struggles that so many disadvantaged high school students endure as they try to navigate their adolescent years. Project 150 is a non-profit organization in Las Vegas, NV that is dedicated to helping homeless, displaced, and disadvantaged high school students. When we went to drop off our donation socks, they were so appreciative and gave us a tour of their entire operation complete with a learning center with computers and free workshops for students to get their school work done, a boutique of donated clothing that students can “shop” in, a fully stocked food pantry, and a bulletin board proudly displaying the many scholarship recipients that will receive college assistance due to Project 150. We fell in love with it so much that we voluntarily distributed food for them once a week for the entire summer! It is moments like this that we feel like we have made it. We are doing more than just selling some cool socks on a website, we are becoming true partners with these organizations that offer so much good.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

From our perspective, some of the root causes contributing to homelessness include lack of access to educational, mental health, and job resources. When politicians are addressing homeless issues in their communities, it would be helpful if they could continue to lobby for the funding and placement of such resources in order to address the roots of the problem. As for society, we are guilty of becoming wrapped up in our own circumstances or feeling like problems are too big for us to make a difference. We would love to see an increase in social awareness in which everyone takes a moment to assess the needs they see in the community around them and consider if there is anything, no matter how small, they can do to help. Most simply, we would just like to remind everyone to be kind. In today’s world, you honestly never know what someone is going through.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

We believe in leading by example, which means never asking or expecting something of others that we are not willing to do ourselves. For example, if we think back to some of our earliest work experiences we can all look back with respect on those managers that were willing to sit down in the floor and unpack shipment boxes with us at the retail stores or who were willing to sweat it out in the warehouse fulfilling orders with their staff. However, we can also recall the frustrating examples of administrators who were quick to give directives without the ability to explain how to carry them out or the willingness to dig in and help find solutions to the problems of their employees. Although we have all served as leaders in our classrooms, families, or bands before, CRU SOX allows us to exercise leadership in a new way. We hope to serve as an example that illustrates ways in which all individuals and businesses can give back to others to make the world a little better place.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

First and foremost, we wish someone had reassured us that a business with a charitable give back model could work. When we first developed the concept of CRU SOX and our give back mission, we sought the consultation of some local business mentors to assure we were handling the formation and filing of necessary paperwork for the business correctly. We were absolutely crushed when they scoffed at our business model and told us to make our money first, then we could give back. What? This was contrary to our entire purpose behind forming the company. While we appreciated the need for careful financial planning, we knew we had worked out a system that could sustain our charitable giving so we stuck with it…and it works!

In addition, we wish someone had shared with us the ups and downs of social media. Due to the fact that we are an online company with no physical location, a great deal of our connection with our audience comes through social media. Social platforms can be such an amazing networking tool and lead to wonderful positive conversations and connections. However, they can also breed negativity and become taxing if you begin to equate your worth with followers and likes. Our suggestion is to use your platform to put out as much positivity and support as possible but know when to discard the negative and leave it behind.

Furthermore, you can learn anything! Do not allow the fear of not knowing something to place limits on your goals. All you need is desire, motivation, the ability to ask questions, and maybe a little help from YouTube to get to where you want to be. Every partner in this company has risen to the challenge of learning new skills outside of our original career paths. Nothing is impossible!

Also, we wish we would have listened to advice given in our younger years and studied more business in school. As we gain more experience in life, we realize that everything involves business! As an artist, that’s the furthest thing from our mind as we are cultivating our skills but it’s probably the most valuable asset an artist can have.

Finally, success is based on how you handle challenges. Throughout every new step in our company’s journey, there are challenges that arise. It is how we respond to those challenges and turn them into winning opportunities that we accomplish growth. There are no problems, only challenges.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

We would like to challenge all businesses, big and small, to give back to their communities in some way, shape, or form. Whether it is through products, monetary donations, or just volunteering time as a staff; select just one organization aligned with your core values and ask what can be done to help.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

We have built CRU SOX around the “Three Keys to Success” that our partner Edward always taught his students in the classroom.

  1. Know How to Work Hard: Give 100% at all times, be the hardest working person in the room and remain persistent in the face of challenges.
  2. Be A Good Person: Treat everyone with kindness, the more you give the more you get.
  3. Know How to Speak to People: Say “please”, “thank you”, and “I’m sorry” when needed.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Warren Buffet would be a wealth of information. A sit down with him would change our lives and help us change many more. Honestly though, we are always eager to talk to anyone who is willing to listen and collaborate on ideas for promoting positive change.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

www.crusox.com

IG: @crusox

FB: @CRUSOXLLC

TW: @cru_sox

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