Fancy Feet: Rummel student socks it to the business world

Fancy Feet: Rummel student socks it to the business world

A Rummel High School senior is socking it to the business world. Randy Gervais had a wild idea a year ago to become a designer. Now, he's selling his creations in high-end stores and building a brand.

Randy is one of hundreds of students in the halls of Rummel, but administrators say he stands out.

"Randy definitely has a distinct style but he is always dressed to the T," said admissions director Casey Cadella.

But Randy is all business

"I was hanging out one night. I was on a website trying to buy some socks, and I said I want to design my own, and the idea just came to me," said the teen.

Checkerbox USA is his brain child. A sock company with slick designs and an edgy appeal. He pitched his dream to his parents at the tender age of 17. They took his passion seriously.

"I had over 100 drawings of socks, and they said he really wants to pursue it,"

Randy says he takes his drawings to a graphic designer and they collaborate on the final product.

"You don't expect that from a junior at the time coming into your office and saying, 'Hey I have this big idea,'" said Casey Cadella.

The young mogul says finding a manufacturer was the hardest part.

"There are so many mills around the world, and we'd get samples in from Turkey, China, Italy, Mexico, the states everywhere," he said.

He and his parents settled on a mill in Turkey, and the rest is recent history.

His creations are born in a studio in Metairie.

"This right here is how I pick colors for each sock," he said, pointing to a palette of shades.

Randy grew up surrounded by color. His father was a jockey and raced horses.

"So I was at the fairgrounds, and I saw the silks on jockeys, and I guess my color pattern came from there."

He made a pair of pink socks with jockey silks on them as a tribute.

Walk into the Roosevelt Hotel, and Randy's image and socks are prominently displayed in the Emporium Gift Shop, one of several local stores selling his designs.

"Just so you know, we're doing really, really well," said Sarah Buchman with the Emporium. "We had a lady coming in from Toronto today who bought four pairs and then she came back and bought three more pairs."

Sales numbers look good, but Randy has other numbers to worry about as a senior at Rummel: algebra. When it comes to homework?

"I fit it in late. I run on little sleep. I usually study around one in the morning," he said.

Randy's future comes in pairs and he predicts it won't take long for the world to catch on, too.

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