When we think about raising awareness for social issues like racial injustice for health conditions like cystic fibrosis, we usually don’t think about socks. But John Hendershot (M.S. ’09, M.B.A. ’14) is not one to think inside the box.
Prior to 2018, Hendershot spent most of his career in finance. After being CEO of DIG-IT Inc. in Hastings, Mich., and then vice president of finance at Partners Relief and Development, Hendershot felt God was calling him to something greater.
“This was a period in my life that I began an inward journey to hone what I wanted my life to say on several fronts,” Hendershot said, reflecting on the divisive 2016 election in the United States. “I felt convicted that we as a world—especially Christians—were focusing on the wrong things. Our allegiance should be for God alone.”
In May 2018, Hendershot, along with business partners Attah Obande (M.B.A. ’11) and Sean DenHerder, launched iNFable Socks. Their company was founded to create a sense of unification among Christians and raise awareness for social issues. The name came from the word “ineffable” and communicates the impact Hendershot wants to make.
In 2018, Hendershot donated $2,700 to local and national charities and gave away over 1,000 pairs of socks to help spread iNFable’s message of hope, love and gratitude. Hendershot’s college-aged son, Courtland, created the first two designs to hit the market, one to raise awareness for foster care and the other for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, two causes that are close to Hendershot’s heart.
“Socks are not the message,” Hendershot said. “Our message is that God created you just as you are—with gifts, talents and distinct purpose. Socks show that there are not many degrees of separation between humans, regardless of the labels we try to fit people into. The whole point in tying socks to medical and social justice causes is to prove that these issues transcend socioeconomics.”
In alignment with its mission, iNFable sells unique, colorfully-designed socks specific to charities, medical conditions and social justice movements. Each pair is meant to be a tangible reminder of what people around us may be quietly struggling with and what brings us together.
“To me, everything we do is a mission,” Hendershot said. “As Christians, we have to ensure we are representing Jesus with our whole life, not just our lives outside of work.”
John Hendershot (M.S. ’09, M.B.A. ’14) launched iNFable socks in 2016. He is also a freelance business coach and is a business development director at Rende Progress Capital. He and his wife, Rachel, live in Holland, Mich., with their two young daughters.