Former East Jordan Foreign Exchange Student Returns to Area to Start Sock Business

From Istanbul, Turkey all the way to East Jordan, a former exchange student is bringing his business to northern Michigan.

Baris Atmaca and his wife recently started a business called Socks Kick in East Jordan.

The store sells socks made in their home country of Turkey in the town that has a special place in their heart.

It was back in 2005 when Baris Atmaca first came to East Jordan as an exchange student. He stayed in touch with those he met and started bringing socks from Turkey.

“I got socks with me, and I showed them around, and they were like oh these are really cool, we could use them here because they really heavy, really warm, really good for skiing,” said Atmaca.

That inspired Baris and his wife to start Socks Kick and a 7,000 square foot warehouse in 2017 to sell the beloved Turkish socks in a town that has become like a second home.

“I just wanted to be close with the people that I like, that I love. I just wanted to come back to East Jordan and get their support because they’ve been supporting me a lot and supporting the idea and the store,” said Atmaca.

And many of their socks pay homage to northern Michigan.

“I decided we should start with northern Michigan, so we came up with an idea, we came up with the packaging with Michigan in mind, so we have the Michigan map on the packaging and we got all the styles and everything was designed with Michigan in mind,” said Baris.

It’s made those who first introduced Baris to northern Michigan incredibly proud.

“It is a good location, the people are warm and friendly and supportive, people have been so excited about Socks Kick. They just are amazed that a company from Istanbul, Turkey wants to come to East Jordan, a one stoplight town,” said Baris’ host mother Debbie Chappuies.

Baris hopes to eventually move some of the production to East Jordan as well.