Hello friends, Chelsey here. I’m the owner and artist behind ‘FEAT. by Chelsey Wilson’, formerly known as ‘FEAT. sock co.’ My brand has undergone quite a lot of change over the past year and I’m here to chat a bit about those changes and what you can expect going forward.
I think most of us can say that Covid19 and all the lockdowns that ensued worldwide, left us feeling anxious and unsure of the future. Global economy took a knock and small business owners like myself were forced to dig down deep into hustle mode (as if we weren’t there before) to find ways to pivot our businesses and stay afloat in one of the toughest financial climates this century has seen. To top it off, the lingering fear of catching the virus and infecting our loved ones, and possibly even losing loved ones, added an extra nip to an already harsh season. Here in South Africa, a hard lockdown was instated from 26 March 2020, forcing everyone home and indoors for what started out as three weeks, but later increased a couple more.
Given that socks understandably weren’t classified as a necessity over this period, my shop and any deliveries of parcels via online sales had to completely shut down until certain restrictions were loosened. I am so grateful to each and every customer who ordered over this period, not knowing when their parcels would even arrive. Without you all, I don’t know where ‘FEAT’ would be right now! Thank you!
I decided to take this initial three week lockdown as an opportunity to slow down (partly because I had to) and reevaluate what and why I do what I do. Certain realities became apparent - 1) there was no need for me to have a brick-and-mortar store anymore, 2) I needed to focus more and more on boosting my online sales, and 3) I had become impatient where my creativity was concerned and really desired to be creating more than just fun socks... I wanted to expand my horizons a bit and grow my product offering.
That said, I moved out of my shop in Muizenberg at the end of May 2020 and have focused on online sales in a huge way. And that last point about expanding my creative horizons is why I’ve named this blog ‘Chel Will Make’, after my separate Instagram account under the same name. You can follow me HERE
. This is where I’ll be sharing more of my art and crafting pursuits. I wanted to link this to my online shop via my blog because I truly believe that each and every creative thing we dive into begins to inform all other areas of our lives. For me, creative side-projects inform product development for my brand, but they also impact my mindfulness and openness to change and vulnerability in other areas of my life. These themes, and more, I will begin to unpack right here. I can’t wait!
Here’s a little illustration I created for my ‘Chel Will Make’ account, featuring my little wire-haired fox terrier, Teddie, who is always up in my business.
The name ‘Chel Will Make’ comes from a high-school nickname. A bunch of my friends used to shorten my full name (Chelsey Wilson) down to ‘Chel Will’, so I created this play on words by adding ‘Make’ because making/creating is something I’m all about.
And to cut a long year’s story short, my then-fiancé-now-husband Johan left his career in hairdressing to join me in the business in August 2020. Johan is managing the wholesale and custom ordering side of the business while I focus on product development, the online shop, social media and more. It’s so fun working together! And I should also add that Johan is super creative himself, and will be contributing artistically into the business more and more as we go along. He already designed our very popular Swimmer sock design which you can see HERE
(and below). We got married on 9 Jan 2021, in a ceremony which shrunk down from just under 50 people to just 11 (due the reinstating of level 3 lockdown rules over the festive season). It was so special and we’re so happy we went ahead with it. You can see a few weddings pics below too :)
Thank you for reading. I look forward to sharing more with you soon... especially about some of my new products which I am so thrilled about.