How did your company get its start?
Supplier Sock Club (PPAI 692671) was founded in May 2012 in Austin, Texas. My business partner and I stumbled upon a Forbes article about a sock subscription service sending black Italian dress socks to customers monthly. We thought everything about the service was great . . . except for the plain socks being sent. So, we decided to create a similar service, but with more interesting socks.
Two years into running the business, we had assumed strong control over our supply chain, remaining focused on our mission to provide the world with the greatest socks possible. One of our customers asked if we could help them design custom socks for an event after they had a terrible experience with another vendor. We made it happen, providing excellent service and a superior product, and just like that––a new sales channel was born. That first custom order led to three additional new clients asking for the same thing, eventually building into a steady stream of custom business opportunities.
Since that first custom client, we’ve developed an expertise in short-run sock production and design. Sock Club provides a turn-key solution, providing customers a platform for developing quality, fully custom socks to use as promotional products and gifts. We’ve invested greatly in improving every part of the Sock Club experience, and we proudly offer the shortest lead times in the industry with the industry’s best sock design team.
What led your company to enter the promotional products market?
Entering the promotional products market was not initially a part of our plan, and we consider it a happy accident-turned-strategic decision for our company. Our mission to make quality, well-designed socks combined with our experience in running a subscription business helped us develop a core competency in textile design and short-run sock production. The success of that first custom order was the catalyst that led us into the promotional products market.
As we got further into the custom sock business, we learned a few key facts from our clients: most sock vendors are not easy to work with, lack a consistent customer service experience, and produce sub-par products using cheap materials. We saw an opportunity to bring our quality American-made socks, with the finest materials and impeccable customer service to a market that was in desperate need of an alternative provider. We feel that we fill that gap in the marketplace by providing a superior product, the best sock design team available, and the fastest lead times in the industry.
What’s your favorite thing about being in the promotional products industry?
The clients we have met in the promotional products industry have presented us with many different use cases and scenarios where we can get creative within the knitted medium. We enjoy opportunities to push the boundaries of textile design to create truly unique products that would not typically be produced in a traditional retail fashion environment. The products and experiences we create for our clients are unique, and we regularly delight our clients with unexpected solutions to their promotional product problems. Additionally, there’s creativity involved on the operations side, and we’re regularly required to think innovatively to improve our processes, provide faster turnaround times, and meet every client’s specific needs.
Why did you join PPAI?
We joined PPAI to immerse ourselves in the promotional products community. As the custom sock part of our business has grown, we’ve found ourselves working more and more with distributors and other PPAI members. We feel being part of the strong PPAI community will only further our mission to provide excellent products and experiences for our clients. We look forward to learning from others in this industry, as well as making valuable connections that we hope will lead to future opportunities for collaboration.