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STZY Footwear, Socks with a Future

STZY Footwear

Our youth are our future.

Anthony Cosby, the founder of STZY Footwear believes this at his core, and he’s on a mission to help student athletes around the globe. After serving more than 20 years in the United States Navy, Anthony had a dream to create a brand that just meant more.

Now, with every STZY purchase, a student athlete in need is provided aid, and soon STZY footwear is going to be a household name.

Tell us about your military career

Anthony: From enlisting at the age of 17 into the U.S. Navy, and retiring as a commissioned officer 21 years later, my time in the Navy was unforgettable. I was born and raised in Alabama, and was sent to the beautiful Charleston, South Carolina for my first duty station. I had a blast there.

After a few years, I had a group of people really pushing me to put in a package to become an officer. I finished up a ship tour and did exactly that. I put in my package, was selected to do ROTC at Auburn University, and commissioned as a Surface Warfare Officer.

Over the years, I spent time in Mayport, Florida, and Newport, Rhode Island. I was hand-picked for a job at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and let me tell you how fun that was! The Midshipmen were winning all of the football games back then.

I finished it all out in San Antonio, Texas, as a recruiter for the Navy. I was the #1 recruiter in the nation, helped run the recruiting district there, and I met my bride…I lived the best of both worlds. It was fun and I was able to retire by 40.

Where did the idea for STZY (pronounced STEEZY) Footwear come from?

Anthony: My first job after the Navy was at the University of Texas – San Antonio. I became a career coach at their career center. I love helping people reach their goals and dreams, and that job was incredible for that.

After my time at UTSA, I had the opportunity to work at the D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) and helped build Syracuse University’s “Onward to Opportunity” program at multiple military base locations. This program helps Veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses transition into civilian life. It helps people understand the landscape they are navigating and provides some structure during what can be a scary time.

In 2012, I was able to see a 60 minute episode about entrepreneurship for Veterans… and now I’m working for the IVMF’s founder, Dr. Mike Haynie, of that! In 2019, I was selected to go to the “Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans” at Texas A&M. I loved that program and it really gave me the tools I needed to dive-in and start my business.

I had a drop shipping company before the pandemic, but that didn’t work out. What I did learn during that time was that socks were super popular. It made me realize I wanted to make the comfiest socks on the planet.

I grew up in cotton socks as a kid in Alabama, and I wanted to create socks people wanted to wear… and that’s just what I did. Our STZY socks sold out in the first 40 days and I knew we were onto something.

How have you grown the STZY brand?

Anthony: During the first couple weeks after launching, I reached out to every athlete I could find and asked nothing in return. I prayed about it and a few weeks later, I had agents, athletes, and influencers reach out due to our amazing marketing. As we continue highlighting the integrity of our business and where we come from being veteran-owned, black-owned, and heavily involved in communities around the country, people are wanting to be involved with STZY.

We now have college athletes, professional athletes, and influencers wearing our brand and promoting it online. As cool as it all is, nothing makes me prouder than seeing STZY socks on our youth.

What’s your hope for the future of STZY Footwear?

Anthony: I’m only 51 and STZY is only three-years-old. I truly believe we’re one of those companies that is going to sneak up on people. We have big name athletes who love our products and are buying-in on our products. As we continue to help large youth organizations around the country, our product is going to become the #1 sock brand in the world. I want people to say “our sock is STZY…” I would love the sock to be the official sock of the NFL, MLB, youth sports, and more.

We are super authentic for what we do. The hope and prayer is that we can help young athletes understand that when you have to sacrifice or go through tough times, it’s not the end of the world.

As we continue to provide socks for some youth programs nationally, provide financial help, and even buy uniforms for teams, I want our vision of helping youth in America to continue to grow. It is just really, really cool being able to see our socks in action.

Any advice for someone looking to start their own business?

Anthony: Starting your own business is the opportunity to do something different. Being an entrepreneur is scary as hell… sometimes you have rough times and persevere through them. The military taught me the “can-do” attitude. It’s the Keep. Pushing. Forward. mantra which actually became the tagline for our company.

Surround yourselves with folks who have done it. Folks who know and love you, and are willing to pour into you. You can be on an island and that’s not good in business. I believe someone else has to pull you to the top, one person can help elevate the brand like nobody’s business.

You can learn from so many people. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Veterans especially don’t like to ask for help – I implore veterans, spouses, just ask for help. It’s okay.”

Anthony’s vision for STZY is big, daring, and very exciting! If you’d like to follow his journey, check out STZY on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.

Ready for your own pair of STZY socks? 

As a proud supporter of veterans, spouses and first-responders, you can find STZY products on Spouse-ly or visit their website here.

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