Design-a-Sock Contest: The Beginning


Today, our Design-a-Sock contest receives thousands of entries each year from all over the world (including submissions from Canada, France, Serbia, Portugal, Germany, New Zealand, Poland, and Algeria this year!), and the entire office looks forward to opening up the mail each morning and voting on all of the amazing designs we receive.

But it didn’t start off this way.  Picture the very first Design-a-Sock contest – only Portland residents were allowed to enter, submissions were mailed to (or dropped off at) Carrie’s personal home, and the judges consisted of 8 of Carrie’s closest friends.

Have you ever walked into a restaurant hosting a coloring contest with a ton of coloring book pages tacked up on the wall?  Inspired by these contests, Carrie decided to start one of her own to stay fresh on design ideas by getting feedback from all walks of life, but mostly just to get the community involved.  After 2 days with no submissions, Carrie had all but given up.   Soon, the entries started flowing in (and of course they were awesome with all of the creativity in Portland!).  On the last few days of the contest, Carrie remembers parents driving across town to drop off their 4-year-olds drawing, or little kids ringing the doorbell to submit their designs (how adorable!).  Because of the success of that first contest, Carrie immediately knew it would be a yearly tradition.

Then, Carrie and a bunch of friends gathered in her living room to choose the first ever Design-a-Sock winner.  Everyone took 2 pennies and cast their vote until the official winner was decided.  Check out these pictures from the first ever judging contest!

Each year, we receive more and more entries, and the designs get crazier each year too!  (Have you checked out our Facebook for some sneak peeks at designs from this year?!  And – don’t forget – voting starts soon!!)  Even with all of the off-the-wall designs, we see a bunch of ideas that reoccur every year, like strawberries, watermelons, wood grain, and umbrellas.  More recently, we’ve seen a ton of squid and octopus (yay for the sea creatures getting some love!).  We also see a bunch that look like shoes on a real leg or a zipper opening to reveal something weird and unique underneath.

Check out some of our oldies but goodies from past contests!


By J. Avery


By K. Schluter


Mother Mary by Missy Scott


Still one of Carrie's favorites!


By S. Gallegos


Hidden in Plain Sight by Cora Veltman


Only 1 more day to get our Design-a-Sock submission in!  Last call at 5 PM PST tomorrow, March 23rd!  Get ’em in quick!