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Natalie Lerch Sudit : “Be kind and help the people you come into contact with”

Take time to do something that makes you smile. I think many women have a difficult time doing this. We wear a variety of hats each day and often put ourselves last on the list of things to do. But, if you take time for yourself, you see things from a fresh perspective and can […]


Take time to do something that makes you smile. I think many women have a difficult time doing this. We wear a variety of hats each day and often put ourselves last on the list of things to do. But, if you take time for yourself, you see things from a fresh perspective and can avoid that ‘burn out’.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Natalie Lerch Sudit. Having begun her career as a photographer and graphic designer for clients including Ben & Jerry’s, Joe’s Stone Crab Restaurant, Miss Universe®, and The Oscars®, Natalie is utilizing her creative eye to make a statement in the athleisure industry.

Following a difficult pregnancy and the birth of her son, Natalie turned to an environment with which she was familiar — dance. She found herself spending more time in the ballet, Pilates and Barre studios as it gave her a sense of peace and strength. It was during this time that she came across the desperate need for a hygienic and functional mesh-grip sock that didn’t sacrifice fashion over functionality. Other mesh-grip socks on the market were bulky and seemed to serve one purpose — exercise. It was clear, these socks could not be worn as a fashionable accessory outside of the workout studio. As a result, Natalie subsequently designed and patented a very unique sock concept that combined fashion with function and the SHASHI journey began. Natalie now finds herself at the helm of SHASHI, LLC, trendsetting and establishing new standards for mesh-grip socks. SHASHI’s unique features bring a combination of performance fabrics and fashion to the forefront, producing not only a functional but also a gorgeous sock. The mesh and breathable fabric allow instructors to see their clients’ feet (similar to being barefoot) and correct their form. COOLMAX® moisture wicking fabric technology keeps feet dry from sweat ― not clammy in winter or overheated in summer. The patented SHASHI sock has become a significant component to completing any wardrobe in or out of the workout studio and is at the forefront of foot fashion and the athleisure movement. The sock is shaped to fit the feet — no extra bulky fabric where toes don’t go. SHASHI socks can be worn with everything from sandals to high heels and booties — either as a hidden layer of comfort or a visible fashion accessory. The brand even offers a selection of bridal-themed socks, as a unique accent to a wedding or formal gown. Natalie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual and Performing Arts from Syracuse University in Syracuse New York. She is a resident of Boca Raton. In her free time, Natalie can be found in the workout studio, riding horses or on the beach surfing and paddleboarding with her family and Great Dane named Mavericks.


Thank you so much for joining us Natalie. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I enjoy a good workout and I love fashion! I found myself spending more and more time in the ballet, Pilates and Barre studio yet couldn’t seem to find the right socks — they didn’t fit my foot correctly, they were unattractive and they were not performance-driven. I decided, this needed to change and subsequently designed and patented a very unique sock concept that combined fashion with function and the SHASHI journey began.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started?

Close to the start of my SHASHI journey, a young woman called to tell me that she was ill and dying. She said that the sock I designed was the only sock that gave her the stability to walk when she could. Even when she was in a wheelchair, when she looked at her feet, she smiled.

Whenever the going gets tough, I try to think of this moment. If all I accomplish is that I helped this one person, it would all have been worth it.

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?

You can laugh at the mistakes you make in hindsight but some mistakes can be costly and have lasting effects. I think the funniest mistake I’ve made is that I literally thought I would make this patented sock, sell the batch and then make more! I have learned a lot about manufacturing since then and oftentimes laugh at my naiveté.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Our core value is integrity, which I’ve realized many people lack these days. When you remember to be kind, and you operate that way, it sets you apart. One story that comes to mind is one day, we were contacted by a yoga instructor who teaches yoga at a women’s prison. Her idea was that when they left prison, they would have something peaceful to take with them — their yoga practice. We’re proud to say we ensured these ladies had SHASHI socks to take with them on that journey.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Take time to do something that makes you smile. I think many women have a difficult time doing this. We wear a variety of hats each day and often put ourselves last on the list of things to do. But, if you take time for yourself, you see things from a fresh perspective and can avoid that ‘burn out’.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

We try to bring a little goodness to the world each and every day. One story that stands out is when a mom called us one day, letting us know that her daughter with autism loved SHASHI. After that call, we made sure that we stocked her sock drawer with SHASHI. It’s always fun for us to spread happiness, one sock at a time!

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?

I don’t have a favorite quote but I do love JK Rowling and admire all that she’s overcome to accomplish what she did!

Do you see any fascinating developments emerging over the next few years in the fashion industry that you are excited about? Can you tell us about that?

The rise of the sock! The sock has long been a forgotten piece of the wardrobe, especially for women. I think the progression of the sock becoming a detailed accessory will be key to the fashion industry.

What are your “Top 4 Things Needed to Succeed in the Fashion Industry”. Please share a story or example for each.

  • Be determined — this business is tough. Believe in what you do and stick with it.
  • Listen — you may learn something new or change course.
  • Enjoy what you are doing — it is hard work, but rewarding.
  • And a little sprinkle of good luck.

Every industry constantly evolves and seeks improvement. How do you think the fashion industry can improve itself? Can you give an example?

I think fashion can feel unattainable to many. I think there has to be a way to make fashion ‘friendly’ and inclusive to all.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start 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.

Be kind and help the people you come into contact with. Smile — the world would be a better place.

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