All posts by Sock Robot

From sketch to sock….

Hey y’all,  Happy Cinco de Mayo!

One of my favorite parts of this business is the actual design.  As you’ll see in the example, I am not good at drawing……at all.  But I still appreciate the creative aspect, the color choosing, the mash up of imagery, and just seeing a design and instantly knowing, “yep, that’s the one.”  To show you some of the steps involved I’m going to use our Monkey sock as an example.  I first started with a sketch.  I knew I wanted some sort of monkey hear no evil, see no evil type of thing.  Some cute monkey doing something that everyone recognizes, and everybody loves listening to music, right?  So why not a cute little monkey face wearing headphones?  I drew a couple sketches, got out my colored pencils to notate out some specific colors, and came up this:

Step 1 to the design process

Then I sent it to a professional designer, many of which are from right here in Portland.  They redraw the imagery in Photoshop or Illustrator and make something that looks like this:

carrie_monkeys2

From here we make a couple changes to pattern density, add or subtract details (in this example we added knobs to the outside of the headphones so they looked more like headphones and less like ear muffs) or we mess with the color until we come up with something we are happy with.  Once we have all the details finished, we assign each color with a special number that tells the manufacture which specific color to use and, voila!  We have a finished product:

Step 3

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Pretty cool huh?  Now this isn’t the only way it happens, but its one of the ways.  Maybe in one of the future posts I’ll show you examples of designs that didn’t turn out so great.  Since designs are stitched into the fabric there are some limitations and therefore can’t be as complicated as say a 7 color screen printed t-shirt.

Happy looking and if you’re out there could you drop me some kind of hint?  Like just type a period in the comment box or a simple word that has nothing to do with the post.  I’m curious to see if people are reading this, if not, there is no point for me to continue.

Happy happy day!

Carrie

Meet the Sock it to Me crew!!

Ever wonder who puts those socks neatly in those little packages you receive?  Or who you talked to on the phone when you called in?  Its little ole us!  See what kinds of things we like to do outside of socks, as well as stuff we like about socks.

Carrie:

Tell us your life story in haiku form:

Little kid Midwest
Later roamed around all over
Now checking it out

Pets:

One kind of mean, but cute baby tiger errr… cat (Rocco)

#1 Food item:

Kraft Mac and Cheese from the box. I usually eat it once a week.

Pick One: Ninja/ Pirate / Cowboy

Ninja, duh! They are like totally the best.

Super power:

Raw celery radar! No me gusta celery, it has a really strong flavor, so I can pick it out in even the smallest amounts. So don’t you try slipping any diced celery into my chicken salad, I’ll catch you!

Cheese of choice:

For nachos and grilled cheese sandwiches, American is the way to go. I’m telling you….it melts so much better than the rest. (Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve bought and consumed at least one loaf of Velvetta this year.) For munching down on just some regular cheese I like extra sharp cheddar, smoked gouda, muenster, and mozzarella string cheese sticks are a couple of my favs. I’m not a fan of the stinky, moldy stuff.

Weeks ambition:

Make some progress on the art space in the garage, get some sun, hang out with cute boy.

Carrie

Favorite Sock:

Hmmmm, I really like the simple 2 color stripped socks we carry for everyday wear, argyles look great w/a skirt for a classy look, and my current favorite pattered sock is our Dear Deer. He’s such a cute little guy.

What kind of tree are you:

The big old kind with really thick and textured bark that only big old trees can have.

# of socks in your sock drawer:

Uhhh, you mean sock drawers plural?? Well, I don’t have an actually count but I’d guess somewhere in the neighborhood of 200-250 pair that are actually in use.

_____________________________

Amber:

Tell us your life story in haiku form:

Kona. Oregon.

New York City was neat. But

Portland is home.

Pets:

Nibbler Cupcake Monster Kaipaka-McMannis the First. He’s a ferocious killer! 3 kitties that are really fat. 1 rock my mom gave me.

#1 Food item:

Salad Dressing. Not by itself. I eat a lot of lettuce and could not handle it without a different dressing every time. I have a rack of salad dressings. My favorites are balsamic vinegar and jalapeño ranch. I don’t need croutons or any of that crap but if there isn’t a good dressing on it, I’m giving the salad to my dog.

Pick One: Ninja / Pirate / Cowboy

Cowboy! I fancy the idea of riding horses while shooting people.

Amber

Super Power:

Mind control. I would not be noble with this power and would totally abuse it to make everyone on my block paint their houses neon colors and  buy ponies to stick in the front yard for my amusement.

Cheese of choice:

Dill Harvarti preferably not moldy. My guilty pleasure is buying a really good loaf of fresh bread at the bakery, some havarti, an avocado, and some turkey and then making the best sandwich ever. I then sit on my couch eating it until nothing else will fit in my belly.

Week’s Ambition:

To drive a tractor. It could happen.

Favorite Sock:

C12. I love me some turquoise. I am looking forward to the crew socks because my fattie legs don’t fit some of our knee highs well. I’m sure I will have a new favorite soon!

What type of tree are you?

Eucalyptus because it smells.

# of socks in your sock drawer:

I have more socks than all my other clothing combined. If I could sew well I would make a sock jump suit.

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Kisa:

Tell us your life story in haiku form:

Hippies for parents

Write screenplays in my spare time

Karaoke for fun

Pets:

A black lab named Baxter and a calico cat named GoGo

Kisa#1 food item:

Steak. The bloodier the better.

Pick One: Ninja / Pirate / Cowbow

Super Power:

I can leap short fences in a single bound.

Cheese of choice:

Cake. Does cheesecake count?

Week’s Ambition:

To drive a moving van down Portland’s narrow streets without killing any cyclists or destroying parked cars.

Favorite Socks:

Monkeys

What type of tree are you?

Wisteria- A twisted little tree, but smells nice.

Number of socks in your sock drawer:

37

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Nibbler:

Tell us your life story in haiku form:

Drool. Lick. Eat. Poop. Pee.

Love Love Love Love Love Love Love

Nibbler hearts sleeping.

Pets:

Amber, Shawn

#1 Food item:

Liver is oh so good!

Pick One: Ninja / Pirate / Cowboy

Pirate for the booze.

Super Power:

Rubber Feet

Cheese of choice:

Any that falls on the ground.

Week’s Ambition:

To chase a cat or maybe fall asleep outside.

Favorite Sock:

Partial to leg warmers.

What type of tree are you?

I eat trees!

# of socks in your sock drawer:

If I had a drawer, I would put my dog treats in it. Not socks.

Nibbler



Hey there!!

Hey loyal readers!!  Actually, I really don’t think there are any of you out there.  There are so many things vying for our attention out there, let a lone the numerous other blogs, why would you spend any time reading this?  Maybe family and a few friends.  I’m sure there are a couple interested parties out there but I’m guessing its in the  single digits.  Well for those few, this is for you!!

Today I’m going to talk a little about sock mechanics.  I constantly get asked if I can make a person or team a special sock.  I had one father ask if he could make a special pair of socks for his daughter’s birthday, numerous teams call in to ask for a special team sock, and I have to turn most of these people away becuase of minimums.  The factory that I order all my socks from have minimums and I can have any sock I want made as long as I buy 1,200 pair of that one design.  Smaller quanities like 500 pair could be negotiated but at a much higher price.  I am very sorry, I can not make your special sock unless you are in the market for 500-1,200 pair of that particular style.  The way that these manufactures make their money is through quantities.  They have to set up the machines differently for each style, threading each individual color, and then they have to by thread colors by the ton.  So if I send them a desgin that requires a cherry red, they then have to go to the thread supplier and buy one ton of that cherry red color. On top of that, all the product then has to be shipped overseas and is much more economical if shipped with a bunch of other stuff, say antoher 60,000 pair.   So, as you can see its not so easy to create 200 or less pairs.  I will continue to look for manufacturers who make smaller runs, but until then its kind of tricky.

Alright, that’s it for today.  Gotta get back to work.  Thanks all.  C-ya,

Carrie

Blog, blog, blog!

Ehhhh, getting a little better at keeping this blog updated.  It’s not quite Monday but its close!  Sooo…..  What’s new in the sock world?  After placing my big fall sock order, now its time to work on the mechanics of the business, keep an eye on the tradeshow planning, there is a logo/rebranding project in the mix, sales, and lastly, we have to prepare a happy home for our new arrivals that will be here at the end of June.  A full plate and I really like the future planning aspect of the biz, so I’m in luck!

While perusing through some old pics the other day I came across some funny pictures that I think you the prospective entrepreneur, or just curious customer would like to see.  One picture is the very first day Sock it to Me was open for business. It was at a booth at the local Saturday Market here in Portland. The other is a picture taken last August at a tradeshow in Las Vegas.  Quite the difference, huh?  What a difference a couple years and some hard work can make.  I would have never guessed at the start that I would have made it this far.   Time is a crazy thing……..

First day of Sock it to Me sales! 10/23/2004
First day of Sock it to Me sales! 10/23/2004
Tradeshow Booth, Las Vegas, 2008
Tradeshow Booth, Las Vegas, 2008

I’ve come a long way.  I used to pack the orders myself and then hand address all the shipping info.  Now I have a team of people to help and many of the steps are automated. It’s really fun to see the progress and I couldn’t have done it without all the great people I have on the team helping.  Would like to get some of their introductions here on this thing in the future.

Well, that’s it for now.  Not much to say but lots to do, so I should get to that.

Arrivederci!

Carrie