SokJok’s Angella Goran: Giving Back Through Sports
You have a very athletic background. How did that inspire SokJok?
With over 15 years spent between amateur to elite levels of athletics in rowing, cycling – and currently triathlon, there is a formula to my madness in sport, and that is passion. The passion I have for sport has translated to a passion for others to reach for their own goals and achieve a balance in health and wellness.
In 2008-2009, I founded a company called SokJok Inc., a simple sock with an ultimate purpose. While at my previous job as a Regional Marketing Director for the HBC Run for Canada, we came up with the idea of supporting our Canadian Olympians with sport socks, instead of a standard race T-shirt. A light bulb went off for me – especially when I learned the percentage of funding from this great event that actually went towards our athletes.
It was then and there that SokJok started in my heart. In less than a year’s time, SokJok would be in full swing, with the intent of giving back sales from socks to support our youth and the extracurricular programs in need of funding in our communities.
Skip ahead six years, and our team is now excited to be launching the Cheer 4 Me charity in 2015. SokJok and Cheer 4 Me will work hand-in-hand for a common goal where sock sales become a sustainable leadership tool in supporting our youth programs in schools, teams and organizations.
From participating at high levels in sport, it has been a long-standing dream to be able to create business opportunities that embrace and share the same positive energy that sport has given me.
Tell us about the socks!
SokJok Inc. is a Canadian company that strives for the best quality in athletic performance socks. They are uniquely made with bamboo, and are knit to last. They bring your feet the comfort they deserve and require to perform. Then there’s the mental feel-good factor that comes from wearing a pair of SokJoks: knowing your purchase has gone towards supporting youth in their aspirations toward our company’s four pillars, which are Community, Arts, Sports and Academic programs (C.A.S.A).
We are a 100% social enterprise, built around the values of accountability to our brand and passionate towards our purpose in making a difference.
You’ve branched out with several partnerships – including in-school programming.
Through an established partnership, SokJok Inc. and Cheer 4 Me have created an educational tool for learning – all thanks to a sock. The Socks in the School Program is dedicated to educating our youth through engagement, activities, application and leadership. In addition to the educational benefit of the program, C4M will donate a portion of the sale of socks back to schools and youth in support of extracurricular programs in the four pillars of C.A.S.A.
Why is it important for you to give back?
The question is not “Why is it important for you to give back?” but rather, “Why would one not want to give back?” Philanthropy is a value taught at a young age, and I am forever grateful each and every day to my family, friends, past teachers and coaches for instilling this value in me.
It brings great energy to me to help our youth grow to believe in themselves, their opportunities and in the love they have for one another – simple, just like a sock!
Where can people find your product?
For more on SokJok, check out this video on YouTube showcasing SokJok and Cheer 4 Me: “Socks in the School Program.”
About Angella Goran:
Angella Goran has spent over 15 years as an amateur to elite rower, cyclist, – and currently – triathelete, as well as being a certified top-level indoor cycling instructor. She is the founder of SokJok Inc. and Cheer 4 Me, a new charity set to launch in 2015. The two charities work hand-in-hand, using proceeds from sock sales to support sustainable leadership programs for youth programs in schools, teams and organizations. Angella is also is the founder of Endurance Insurance Brokers Inc., a company specializing in the niche market of endurance sports, as well as a marketing and communications consultant in the areas of health, wellness and fitness – motivating others to believe in themselves and achieve all that is possible.
She leads by example: just one recent feat is her contract to cycle across Canada for the Canadian Wildlife Federation (www.bikeforwildlife.ca). Over 68 days, she cycled from coast to coast with a simple message: Let’s get outside, explore and be innovative!