“What if I put positive affirmations on the toes of socks . . . then at least twice a day, the person wearing them would see those words and improve his or her well-being without even trying?” Laura Schmidt asked this question while on a road trip with her feet on the car dashboard, and Notes to Self, LLC was conceptualized. Through market research, Schmidt confirmed that the subconscious mind is most accessible early in the morning and late at night, times when people put on and take off socks. Schmidt designed her first prototype labeled “I am awesome,” and the first pair was sold in August 2011. The growing sock line shares messages including “I am smart,” “I am awesome,” “I am strong,” and “I am perfectly me.” The notes to self® line is sold in over 1,000 retail locations nationwide and online. While they are popular among students, athletes, and adults, Schmidt’s goal has been to get the socks on the feet of those who are not routinely guided by positive thinking. The company has partnered with and donated thousands of socks to nonprofit organizations. The company has grown dramatically since 2011. The operation started as a home-based business, but Schmidt quickly began using a fulfillment company. Last year, Schmidt decided to bring daily operations in-house to gain flexibility. With orders increasing weekly, Schmidt opened “Socks Central,” a warehouse which employs nine people. Recognizing the need for a formal business plan and financial projections, Schmidt contacted the Kansas Small Business Development Center (KSBDC) at Johnson County Community College in July 2011. Schmidt met often with Elisa Waldman of the KSBDC to review issues including cash flow, inventory management, human resources, marketing, and expansion. “There were many times when I was at a ‘Y’ in the road… and Elisa listened, asked questions, and helped me think through whether I should turn left or right. She has been, and continues to be, a huge help to me in my business growth,” said Schmidt. The company’s goal is to get 1 million pairs of notes to self® socks on people’s feet by the end of 2014. “Just think about all the power that could be unleashed by people who are thinking positively,” said Schmidt. While Schmidt’s mission to improve people’s lives through the use of positive affirmations began with socks, she is hard at work developing new positive notes to self™ product lines to be released in the near future. Visit notes to self™ at www.notestoself.com.