The PopSmoke Show

Veteran Steps into Luxury Sock Industry (PS017)

Meet Josh Steinman


Josh Steinman, co-founder, Penance Hall.

Josh’s a recently transitioned Naval Officer. Prior to transitioning out of the military, he worked with the CNO’s Rapid Innovation Cell.

He holds a degree in History from the University of Chicago and a Masters in International Relations and National Security from Georgetown University. He also studied Imperial History at the University of London.

In 2007, he completed the NOLS Desert Survival course.

Currently, he’s the founder of Penance Hall.

I met Josh at The Defense Entrepreneur Forum event in Annapolis (DEFxAnnapolis), hosted by Michael Madrid and fellow Naval Academy Midshipmen.

About Penance Hall

Penance Hall — Veteran-owned American made luxury socks.

* Special 15% discount for PopSmoke listeners; use promo code POPSMOKE here at *

Show Notes

In today’s episode, Josh Steinman answers:

  • What sparked the idea for starting a sock company?
  • What was a mistake you made when starting your first business?
  • What’s a challenge you’re experiencing right now?
  • Would you do this full-time if you have the ability to?
  • What’s the timeframe for making socks?
  • What’s one thing you’re doing well right now?
  • What’s the best piece of business advice you received?
  • Who are the other people in your company besides your three co-founders?
  • What’s one thing that helped you accomplish your Kickstarter goal?
  • Did you have a backup plan if Kickstarter didn’t work?
  • What’s a great habit you have?
  • What did you learn at the Commit Foundation?

Key Topics discussed:

  • Seven-part supply chain to manufacture a product
  • Raising money with a Kickstarter Campaign
  • The best day to start a Kickstarter Campaign
  • Going full-time as a veteran entrepreneur

Apps and Articles Mentioned

  • COMMIT Foundation: COMMIT’s mission is to change the way Veterans and Americans think about military transition.
  • Slack: Collaboration app that UniteUS uses to communicate internally. Mentioned in Episode 13.
  • Shoeboxed: Turn receipts into data. Organize and track your personal and business expenses.  We’ll both receive 10% off for one year if you sign up here.
  • Stripe: Highly recommended service to accept and manage online payments.
  • Asana: Move work forward. Team productivity software that helps your team get work done.
  • Expensify: Expense reports that don’t suck.
  • Clerky: Incorporate a company in less than 3 hours.
  • Andreessen Horowitz Podcast: Software is eating the world.
  • Stanford Entrepreneur Forum: Free online archive of entrepreneurship resources for teaching and learning.
  • Haro: Public reporter resource. Marine Corp Veteran Rob Dyer (Winner on Shark Tank) mentions HARO in Episode 3.
  • South Park Underpants Gnomes:  It’s all about Step 2!

Favorite Weapon

  • Squarespace: Whatever your idea, build it beautiful.

Favorite Read

Favorite Quote

Hard work’s hard work. ~ Josh Steinman

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