Business Reader Contributed

Harc and SockStarz Mark First Anniversary with Impact Report

Interior of SockStarz at 18 LaSalle Rd. in West Hartford Center. Courtesy photo

The Impact Report being released Friday will highlighting the community support, financial influence, and opportunities generated by the social enterprise organization that also operates a retail store on LaSalle Road in West Hartford Center.

SockStarz has opened at 18 LaSalle Rd. in West Hartford Center. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)


Social enterprise novelty sock shop SockStarz, celebrates its first anniversary with the release of its first annual Impact Report. Compiled by Harc staff, volunteers and board members, the document – which will be released to the public on Friday, March 27 – illustrates the smashing success of the project in its first year, both as an additional revenue stream for its parent organization Harc, and an additional workplace for the organization’s participants.

Harc founded SockStarz in the spring of 2019 after participating in the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving Social Enterprise Accelerator program in October 2018. The goal of the program was to support local nonprofits like Harc in building a social enterprise as an additional revenue stream, helping to bolster funding efforts that typically derive from state grants and generous donations.

Some of the socks are tied to a specific cause. SockStarz has opened at 18 LaSalle Rd. in West Hartford Center. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

“It’s been an exciting year for Harc since the launch of SockStarz,” said Harc Board Member and SockStarz General Manager Patricia Kinney, “The color, vibrancy, and joy surrounding this business has reinvigorated the entire organization, deepened our engagement with key partners, and increased donor interest in all that we provide the community.”

With a mix of online sales, pop-up experiences, and the opening of their first local boutique in September at 18 LaSalle Road in West Hartford Center, SockStarz has driven over $173,000 in revenue in its first year. Doubling down on their goal of supporting Harc’s work in providing essential services to adults with special needs, 75% of the products stocked by SockStarz are from mission-focused manufacturers including notes to self and Conscious Step.

“SockStarz has allowed us to get our message out to more people and gain even more support for our participants and their families who depend on our group homes, day programs, transportation, and life enrichment services,” said Harc’s Interim CEO, Annette Hargrove, “but the impact of COVID-19 has hit our community especially hard.”

Last week, Harc announced the closure of its day programs at its 900 Asylum Avenue location by order of the Department of Developmental Services to keep within mandated occupancy limitations. With a dedicated staff, Harc has been able to run a limited day program within the residential homes. Job coaches are stepping up at our supported worksites to ensure those employers’ needs are addressed and Harc participants have a job upon return.

 “Our programs need community support more than ever and every purchase from SockStarz shows your support and spreads that joy we feel every day,” added Hargrove.

SockStarz’ will release the 2019/2020 Annual Impact Report on Friday, March 27 to their entire mailing list. To get your copy, please visit sockstarzusa.com/pages/contact to subscribe now. SockStarz also will continue to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Day – which was March 21st – all month long, extending their 25% discount offer with code AWARE on all online orders.

About SockStarz

Founded in 2019 as a social enterprise of Harc, Inc., SockStarz is a purveyor of novelty sock styles and fun gift items with a mission in mind. All profits go back to Harc, supporting essential programs for adults with special needs throughout Greater Hartford. The social enterprise also provides meaningful employment for more than eight Harc participants and growing. SockStarz spreads its signature sass and style with pop-up experiences, a flagship boutique in West Hartford, CT, and an online shop at www.sockstarzusa.com.

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