Fifty-one-years "young", Tina Rivett lives on a farm on the edge of a small village in the middle of the County of Norfolk, on the east coast of England with her husband of 29 years, Peter. She's a Superintendent Registrar of Marriages and most recently an entrepreneur, creating luxury plus-size socks for women whose feet fall outside the standard 4-7 range. Let's talk thox, I mean socks.
Moe: How many children do you and Peter have?
Tina Rivett: I have two children, Becca (22 years old) who is in her last year at University studying E-Business and Marketing. However, she wants to go into shoe design and has decided to sign up for a course to study this in October; it seems the family want to major in feet! Tiffany (12 years old) is at Secondary school and loves music - she enjoys singing and playing the violin (a sparkly lilac one).
Moe: What is your background?
Tina Rivett: When I left college I was a Travel Agent for a family company for 12 years and a manager at one of their shops in a small market town. I worked with two lovely girls and we had a lot of fun together. I left when I had my daughter as I knew I couldn't work full time with a young baby. However, I am gregarious and missed the social interaction I had had both from colleagues and customers. A year after Becca was born I saw an advertisement for a job in the Registration Service which I applied for and was lucky enough to be offered. It was only a day and a half a week and I had a very supportive and wonderful mother-in-law who looked after Becca for me. My district is local to where I live and I have worked with the same colleague, who is also my closest friend, for 21 years. As a Superintendent Registrar of Marriages my main occupation is marrying couples. I have always felt it to be a great privilege to share a very personal milestone in their lives, it is a special time and I am often affected by the emotion.
Moe: What year did you start Thox?
Tina Rivett: I had the idea for Thox in October 2005 and started to develop it seriously in January 2006, starting with the name and logo; it has been a very exciting process. The website was launched about two weeks before Christmas and we had some good local press, radio and TV coverage which really helped. We were able to get the socks to customers in time for them to be given as presents.
Moe: Why did you start Thox Sox?
Tina Rivett: My friend and I were discussing feet (for some obscure reason) and she said she was a UK size 9. Knowing most socks were only a UK size 4 - 7 I asked her where she got her socks from and she said she wore her husbands! I then researched this a bit more and found there was very little for women who had above average sized feet. If you have a UK size 7 foot you are on the very end of the size range and so the sock does not fit, particularly after washing when very often there is shrinkage, particularly in the cheaper 'value' range of socks. There are unisex socks but they have a masculine bias and tend to be a bit too thick for women. I wanted to offer a good quality product which was feminine and comfortable.
Moe: Each pair of socks you create has a cute little flower on the toe? Is this your trademark?
Tina Rivett: The flower on the toe is in a way my emblem. Ever since I was seventeen I have signed my name with a flower, instantly recognizable as me and because it is quite 'girlie' I thought it made an ordinary sock quite distinctive. One of my friends who wears mainly black socks has no trouble now sorting which are her socks in the washing basket and which are her boyfriend's.
Moe: How did you come up with the name The Thox Company?
Tina Rivett: My daughter Becca has always given each of the family pets a voice, even the hamster. For some reason she gave Mollie, our Jack Russell terrier a lisp. When asked what we should call the new company, the dog replied 'Thox' - yes I think we're completely mad!
Moe: How do you balance business and family life?
Tina Rivett: Juggling business and family life is not always easy. My office (Registration) is open for three mornings during the week and the work on weekends depends on what ceremonies have been booked. As my Company is web based I can fit this in at any time around my day (or night). Peter is always ready to help and I can always rely on him to take the pressure away, even the most minor of things he does frees me to do other things.
Moe: Thox is really in the early stages of development, when will you be introducing new styles?
Tina Rivett: I will be introducing trainer liners in February and I hope to introduce more styles for the spring/summer. I have lots of ideas and designs buzzing around in my head and hopefully there will be an increasing demand for my product.
Visit The Thox Sox Company.