As shoppers return to the Santa Maria Town Center to get a head start on their holiday purchases, a new business will be waiting to attract families seeking a certain wardrobe staple.
"There’s so many people who just love socks," said Jesse White, owner of Get Socked Up, the Town Center's newest store and only retailer dedicated entirely to socks.
Located next to Whipper Snippers and KT's All-Star Gymnastics on the mall's second story, the store has been under preparation for weeks for its grand opening at 10 a.m. Thursday.
Working formerly in managerial and visual merchandising roles at businesses like TJ Maxx and Target, White was ready to apply his business experience in a store of his own, with hopes of eventually expanding to multiple locations.
"I decided, with this year being not so great, that it would be good to have a new, fun store that people had never seen before," White said. "I had been thinking about it for about two years."
Inside the store, the walls are filled with socks of all sizes and styles, featuring designs from stripes and musical notes to illustrations of honeybees, otters and dinosaurs.
Get Socked Up also offers sets of matching face mask and socks, along with bottles of deodorizing spray to freshen up masks. On Tuesday, White donned a blue face mask covered in sharks, with matching socks to complete the look.
White also collaborated with local businesses like Danielle's Soapery and Boutique to create custom Get Socked Up soaps, and with Sweet Aroma to sell their moisturizing hand sanitizing spray.
"I definitely want to embed myself in the community," he said. "It’s kind of going to have a high-end boutique feel with non-boutique pricing. It's very affordable."
In order to encourage people to make multiple visits, White plans to offer stamp cards, so customers can earn a free pair of socks after buying a certain amount of pairs.
He also wants to hold a photo contest, where customers can submit their best pictures of themselves in their socks to get their photo featured on the wall and win a gift card.
With Christmas decorations up in his store and socks fit onto foot mannequins, White is eager to open to the public on Thursday.
"I think it’s gonna be really crazy," White said. "The Chamber of Commerce is also going to be putting the grand opening out there, and the mall has been promoting it. We’re looking forward to it being a very busy grand opening weekend."
Get Socked Up will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday. The shop is located in the Santa Maria Town Center at 371 Town Center East.