Did you ever think that Pokémon trading at age ten could lead you to being able to pay part of your college tuition? For Josh Wintermantel ’15, it did. It seems like Josh has always been business-minded and is always trading up.
When I sat down in the Coca-Cola Commons in the DUC, he was dressed casually in an Emory Basketball tee and gym shorts, proudly sporting basketball socks that are custom made by his business, customlitesocks.com. He explained that he had always been interested in trading and selling things to make some money. What began with Pokémon cards on e-Bay moved onto day trading on the stock market, a skill he learned from his dad, and then onto bigger endeavors within the community.
“In high school,” Wintermantel said, as he crossed his legs, showing off a pair of impressively colored basketball socks. “I would sign people [in my area] up for discounted prices for my lawn aerator service and would make $1500.”
This was just one example of business endeavors that Wintermantel saw he could do on his own, make it more consumer-friendly, and still turn a profit for himself. As a high school basketball player (he used to play at Emory, but gave it up to be able to run, not one, but two businesses and maintain good grades) he and his friends dyed their basketball socks orange for their school colors. At the time, Nike didn’t provide a variety of colors, although they do now—Josh had no comment regarding whether or not customlitesocks forced Nike to produce more colors. His socks, with more than sixty color combinations, are cheaper than Nike and give customers the flexibility to choose their own logo to appear at the top of the socks, instead of just the Nike swoosh. The website deals with personal orders, as well as team orders for basketball, football, and lacrosse teams.
Wintermantel didn’t stop there. He recently purchased an Israeli website that also sells socks and other sporting goods. His plan is to revamp the website and turn it around to make it six to seven times more profitable. Although customlitesocks and the new website are his main focus, he has some projects on the side that deliver revenue quickly. He actively deals in affiliate marketing online. This means that he runs an affiliate program with another business, such as another sporting goods site that links to customlitesocks.com; the affiliate site is credited with a portion of the profit for each click that leads to a purchase.
How does he deal with running multiple business, pre-BBA requirements, and living in the SigNu house? “I have an off-campus house with a full-time employee who lives there,” he said. This is where the customized sock embroidering takes place. According to Josh, it’s also a great place to study and sleep if the fraternity house becomes too distracting.
Check out customlitesocks.com for any custom sporting goods needs! HerCampus is very excited to see what Josh does next!