Hippy Feet saves time and money on Facebook Ads using market trends


For as long as they can remember, Sam Harper and Michael Mader dreamed of opening a sock company. Then, one fall day in 2016, they learned that socks are the most requested but least donated item at homeless shelters.

Driven by their entrepreneurial spirit and desire to make a positive change, Harper and Mader started Hippy Feet as a social impact business to help homeless youth.

Initially a “buy one give one” model, Hippy Feet donated 20,000 socks in its first few years. And in 2019, after seeing the same faces on the streets month after month, Hippy Feet decided to tackle the problem at its core by providing jobs and training for homeless youth aged 18-24. It teaches them work and life skills and provides them with resources to make it independently in the world. The program is now the backbone of Hippy Feet and has employed 160 homeless youth to date.

Minneapolis, Minnesota


“Facebook & Instagram are natural customer acquisition channels for us,” Sam Harper, the co-founder and CMO of Hippy Feet told us. “With its emphasis on content, especially video, Facebook is a platform where we can tell our story. ”

In trying to reach new customers, Sam regularly tests new audiences. But he explained that “evaluating results can be tricky. Acquisition costs sometimes go up, and I’m not sure if it’s because I didn’t choose the right targeting, or if costs are going up for everyone else too.”

“If I conclude that my targeting is off and I’m wrong about that, it can cost us. I need to research new targeting options, and after setting something new, it takes days for the Facebook algorithm to adjust,” Sam told us. “If I do that when I never had a problem with my targeting to begin with, I wasted time and money for nothing.”

In response, Sam said “I walk down the hall and ask a friend at another company if their costs are rising too. But just asking one friend isn’t reliable, and there’s nowhere online to get real-time Facebook market data.”


“With Varos, we’re able to see the real-time average cost trends for a lot of similar companies to ours. That’s much better than asking one friend down the hall if their costs went up or down,” Sam told us.

“Varos has a completely new and different type of data compared to anything I’ve seen before” Sam exclaimed. “Whenever I see a downtrend in any of our metrics, the first thing I do is check Varos to see if it’s happened to other companies too.”

The costs and other KPIs Sam sees in the Varos dashboard are pulled directly from Facebook for Hippy Feet and hundreds of other companies. All data is anonymous, and tagged by Vertical, AOV, Spend Level, and more, so Sam can benchmark against companies like Hippy Feet.


Sam explained that “By using real-time market data, I’m able to save hard-earned money for the company, which we’d prefer to go to furthering our social mission.”

“Now, we don’t have false positives by thinking we have poor targeting, but are really doing fine. We can change our ad set configurations less often, and as a result we spend less time waiting for Facebook to optimize to new targeting settings. Also, we usually wind up getting good results from the initial targeting we set up; It’s just a matter of waiting out the storm a little bit,” Sam told us.

“Since Varos, we don’t walk down the hall and ask our friend how his ads are doing. He’s using Varos too,” Sam concluded.

“By using real-time market data, I’m able to save hard-earned money for the company, which we’d prefer to go to furthering our social mission.”

Sam Harper
Hippy Feet CMO

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