Young entrepreneur offers a ‘stink-free guarantee’ with odorless socks business

Matthew Tesvich wearing a black pair of Ox Sox. He is laying on the floor next to his first set of orders. (Courtesy of Matthew Tesvich)

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, selling and buying online has boomed. And in an interesting twist, it has allowed young entrepreneurs to enter the business world more easily and cheaper than traditional brick-and-mortar shops.

Matthew Tesvich is walking through the bottom floor of the Student Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. Here, young business owners – students and former students – work in their office spaces.

The 23-year-old spends his time curbing a smelly problem. “I always had the idea that my feet stunk,” said Tesvich. So in 2022, he started his own business here called Ox Sox.

Two people standing next to each other wearing black socks.
Matthew Tesvich (left) standing next to fellow UGA entrepreneur Jack TerHaar wearing his company’s signature socks. (Marlon Hyde/WABE)

They’re made of cotton and nylon with an antibacterial blend that helps neutralize odor-causing bacteria. “We offer ‘the stink-free’ guarantee,” said Tesvich.

The idea came from his childhood. “I dreamt as a little kid to play professional baseball at night and be a CEO during the day,” he said.

He played baseball all the way up until college, and postgame, his feet were ripe. “So necessity is the mother of invention, right,” said Tesvich. Then, a spark of inspiration.

“So, one day, my roommate came home with this towel that let you wash your hands without soap. So you can cut raw chicken, wipe your hands on the towel, and your hands will be clean,” he said. “And so my first thought went to my feet.” He became the company’s first client.

“So, necessity is the mother of invention, right.”

Matthew Tesvich, owner of Ox Sox

“I’m like, if this can kill bacteria from raw chicken, I wonder what it could do to stinky feet,” Tesvich said. He took his idea to over a hundred manufacturers, and after 18 months, Ox Sox was born. And it may have popped up at the right time.

E-commerce has boomed during the pandemic. According to data from Shopify, global online retail sales are expected to reach $7 trillion by 2025. But it required Tesvich, who was still a student and just 21 years old, to be disciplined.

According to data from Shopify, e-commerce sales are expected to reach $7 trillion by 2025.

“Friday nights, you know, I’m not out with friends. I’m head in the computer, head in the books, and working on the phone with customers,” said Tesvich.

He has competed in several pitch competitions to help fund his business. He said the Small Business Development Center and UGA’s Entrepreneurship Program helped him get his idea off the ground.

“The Ox Sox, I was an early adopter and love them. They do work, and they really are stink-free,” said Megan Henning, the Entrepreneurship Program’s manager. “It’s exactly what the program is here to do: launch businesses and get students up and running. So from that standpoint, I would say [this is] absolutely motivating, inspirational, all of those things.”

As for Tesvich and his young company, he said, “We’re gonna continue to expand our sock lines, for sure. So, we’re focusing on socks now. And then I see this completely transforming the apparel industry as a whole.”

Tesvich said being young and running a business is dynamic, and he is still learning to balance. He is thankful he started early and that there is plenty of room for him and Ox Sox to grow one step at a time.