Tag Archives: Knee High for Haiti

Giving Makes Us Glow

I’m sure you know what I mean when I say that giving makes us glow. There is something soul-satisfying about taking something that belongs to you and giving it away, just because you want to. Not because there is a tax deduction, and not because you’re told to. But because you want to share what you have with folks in need.

Over the years, we have really enjoyed lending our love and support to organizations that help educate and enrich lives. Here is a brief snapshot of the hearts and organizations we have given to. We hope you check them out and get involved, too! And remember: whether you have a single jacket to give away or a huge stack of books, the beauty of giving is priceless.

  • YouthCare (Seattle, WA) – With a mission to get homeless youth off the streets and prepared for life, YouthCare builds confidence and self-sufficiency for Seattle’s homeless youth by providing a continuum of care that includes outreach, basic services, emergency shelter, housing, counseling, education, employment training, and basic needs – like socks!
  • Campfire USA (Kansas City, MO) – With a heart for youth, Camp Fire USA creates an environment for youth to have life-enhancing experiences, and develop assets that are essential to their future. Children and families engage in all-inclusive, coeducational programs that build service and leadership skills, strengthen communities, and push youth to learn about the environment around them and what they can do to preserve it.

  • >The Girls Rock Camp (Portland, OR) – With a year-round music institute plus summer camps for teenage girls and weekend day camps for women, this nonprofit uses music and performance to build self-esteem and confidence in women. In their mission to encourage social change and the development of life skills, they provide workshops, technical training, leadership opportunities, and a supportive community of peers and mentors.
  • >Transition Projects Inc (Portland, OR) – As the beneficiary of a Sock Drive hosted by the city of Portland, this organization aims to serve people’s basic needs as they transition from homelessness to housing. Serving more than 9,000 people each year, they seek to see change as well as stir community awareness and compassion.
  • Mangrove Fund (Portland, OR) – Supporting sustainable development in Haiti years before the 2010 tsunami took its devastating toll, the Mangrove Fund ultimately seeks to equip and empower already established organizations that pour love and resources into impoverished Haitian communities and the thousands of orphaned children that reside there.

 

Happy Birthday to us!

It’s hard to believe, but Sock It to Me has been around for six grand years now. SIX! Even though I know the story of how it all began and where we came from, I am still wowed when I hear Carrie’s stories of the “olden days,” when she literally did everything herself. When I say everything, I mean everything. From purchasing to packaging, including boxing up orders and writing out shipping labels by hand, Carrie saw every order from start to finish. It’s a great story… so great, in fact, that we decided to share it with you.  🙂

It all began on October 4th, 2004, when Carrie returned from South Korea with two suitcases of socks and a plan. Her start-up plan was to sell at the local Saturday Market in Portland. With its well-loved collective of local and import goods, and its central location along the train tracks in Old Town, Carrie invested in a tent and a table, ready to take on some traffic.

We found a picture of Carrie’s very first day at the market – her first day of sales ever:

When I see where SITM is today, it’s hard to believe that she did this for several years, setting up and tearing down… rain or shine. In the midst of it all, she found favor among Portland. It was just enough favor to encourage Carrie to approach a hip boutique on Hawthorne Blvd called Naked City. She laughs about it now, saying she very awkwardly asked them about selling SITM socks. But they agreed (naturally) and became her very first wholesale customer.

Now Sock It to Me has hundreds of retail customers across the globe, but I love that Carrie started from such humble beginnings. You hear that phrase all the time, but I guess I better understand it now. She really built this business from the ground up.

Today, when you look at the website and see photos of the socks, they were photographed on a manaquen leg by a real photographer. But back in the day, Carrie used to lay out the socks on her kitchen floor, and shoot in-home snaps from her point-and-shoot (with Rocko’s help, of course):

That’s about when I moved in with Carrie. We both worked from home, and while she would take orders for Sock It to Me, I would write and research… both of us cozied up in our jammies and slippers, often spazzing over Carrie’s cat, Rocko. “Look at him, look at him!” Carrie would squeal. And I’d coming running over to ooh and ahh over his cuteness, all tucked into a drawer of her desk or curled up in the recycling bin.

Yeah, we were a bit consumed with Rocko’s adorableness. My mid-day breaks often looked something like this:

When Carrie landed her largest ever customer, she took a photocopy of the check (priced over $47,000) and realized it was about time to search out an actual warehouse space… in lieu of cramming it all into her single-car garage, which stored hundreds and hundreds of socks lined floor-to-ceiling.

As luck would have it, she found a warehouse just a mile from her home. So the transition began, and Sock It to Me moved into its first professional venue. As popularity grew, so did her product. It didn’t take long before she had to move into a larger warehouse space, then a third larger space. As she collected more employees, she saw the need for an office, as well. So she rented an office space adjacent to the warehouse space, called a graffiti artist to doctor up the walls, and viola: Sock It to Me headquarters were born.

Right about then, she sold her Saturday Market tent and started showing at more trade shows. All of the sudden, Avril Lavigne’s stylist was calling and Janeane Garofalo was seen sporting SITM Ninjas. Not to say it happened overnight, but suddenly… success. It wasn’t a secret anymore. People knew.

From there, Carrie’s customer list grew – nationally and internationally – so she started running an annual Design-A-Sock Contest to include the local fans in on the glory. After all, it was Portland who first loved Sock It to Me, and Portland who helped SITM grow. Now the annual contest draws a thousand-plus Portlanders each year, all vying for the $500 Grand Prize and their design’s inclusion into the line-up of Sock It to Me styles on the market. With a nod to Portland coffee culture, this year’s winner rocked our love boat, for sure:

All in all, it’s been quite the journey for this Portland-based biz. It’s gotten even sweeter within the last two years, as we started doing some fun new events, like a super spontaneous Knee-High for Haiti rollerskating benefit

…and then our first-ever fashion shoot at Buffalo Exchange…

… and that pretty much brings us to the present. Of course, there is so much more to the story. After all, it’s been an exciting six years. Above all, myself, Carrie and the SITM gang all thank you for joining us in the journey! We hope you celebrate with us as the years go on. xoxo

Thank you to our sponsors!

Thank you to all of our super sponsors who helped make our Knee High for Haiti fundraiser such a hit. We heart you all very much! All in all, we raised $4, 250 for Haiti relief efforts via the Portland-based Mangrove Fund, whose selfless aid (all board members volunteer!) has been strengthening impoverished communities in Haiti since 2007. Keep on rockin’ the love, Portland! xoxo

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Roller Skating + Sock It to Me socks + Haiti love

We love spreading the love. And Haiti, above all, needs some love. So we’re throwing a fundraiser. What’s funny is that we really just whipped it together in the course of a few days, but it’s going to be epic. Because Portland has come through, and people are excited. Truly excited. (How can you not be? It’s roller skating!)

With the help of the Portland-based Mangrove Fund, we’re happy to say that 100% of all ticket sales will go to organizations leading relief and recovery efforts in Haiti. And we are also donating 100% of the proceeds from Sock It to Me sock sales during the event. (Yep, we’ll be there with a fully stocked booth!) What’s better: wear your SITM socks or buy a pair at the event, and you’ll receive raffle tickets to win some fantastic prizes. Think socks, tees, one-hour massages, amusement park passes, gift certificates to Portland hotspots and more (they keep rolling in!).

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Here’s the scoop:

What: “Knee-High for Haiti” Roller Skating Benefit {sponsored by Sock It to Me & Oaks Park Amusement Park}

When: Saturday, January 30, 2010 {10 pm—12:30 am}

Where: Oaks Park roller rink {7805 SE Oaks Park Way, Portland}

Cost: $7—$10, sliding scale {includes skate rental}