I’m Aarya Patel. I’m 15 years old and am the CEO of my company 4Ever Dry. 4 EverDry manufacturers and sells 100% waterproof socks targeted towards anyone that doesn’t like wet feet. They are waterproof, breathable, moisture wicking, and machine washable. They are perfect for athletes, runners, hikers, campers, rowers, ski and snowboarders, anyone with a job or hobby that requires them to be outside in inclement weather, etc.
People are always asking how I came up with this idea and what inspired me to start my own company. It’s quite simple really, I had a problem and I came up with a solution. Back in 2013, I was participating in a business class through the YEA (Young Entrepreneurs Academy). At the same time I was also an avid lacrosse player. It seemed that every time I had a lacrosse tournament it would rain all day and the ground would be wet and soggy. No matter what my teammates and I tried we couldn’t escape having cold wet feet the whole day. It made it impossible to give the game 100% effort when all we could think about were our feet.
We tried changing our socks between games or layering our socks, but with no prevail we still ended up with wet feet. Finally I’d had enough, after one of our tournaments I asked my mom to take me directly to a sporting goods store so I could buy waterproof socks. I searched store after store and was shocked that I couldn’t find them. My mom told me if I wanted them I better make them myself. That week I went back to my business class and started working on my business plan for my waterproof sock company. Since then, it’s been a long and arduous process, with many dead ends, but I was finally able to launch my company this past August. Prior to the launch of my company I was lucky enough to have many opportunities to advertise my ideas both in print, news interviews, magazine articles, and a nationally televised TV show called Hatched. Hatched is similar to the infamous shark tank, where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a single billionaire investor.
Although, I didn’t walk away with a deal it was the single most exciting experience I’ve had so far. Being flown out to LA for a week to be featured on a TV show is not how I thought I would be spending my summer before high school. The investors and consumers on the show did provide me with valuable feedback that I used to make a few necessary changes in my company.
So what does the future hold for 4 EverDry? Currently I only have 1 product in 1 color. I am working on a second product to be introduced in January 2017 and hopefully a 3rd product by mid-summer. From there, the skies the limit! The possibilities are endless. I currently sell online (www.4everdrysocks.com), Valenti sports, Parkleigh, MBody and Hunt Hollow. By the end of 2017, I hope to be in at least 1 big box retail store.
Outside of my CEO responsibilities I am the business manager for my school newspaper, I am treasurer for FBLA, I participate in DECA, I am a delegate for Model UN, and a member of Natural Helpers.
I have learned so much from running my own business. First and foremost I have learned how to manage my time and prioritize my responsibilities. Although school, 4Ever dry and my family are my priorities, I am still in high school and love hanging out with my friends. I have also accumulated a wealth of life lessons that you just can’t learn by sitting in a classroom or reading a textbook. Every day, I am faced with a new decision or a new problem that I have to solve.
The best advice I have for anyone thinking about starting their own business is take the risk! You can’t succeed if you aren’t willing to try!
WRITTEN BY AARYA PATEL