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One of the really cool things about the sock business is that we have a slow season, and although it’s rather less slow these days than it used to be, it does give us time to take field trips to some more exciting photo locations! We recently showed you the new Gelato cart behind our shop, and now we’d like to share another great reason to come visit Sellwood: Oaks Park!
A lot of Portlanders don’t even realize that we have our own wee amusement park down in Oaks Bottom. If you live in Sellwood, though, there’s no mistaking the sound of children screaming (with joy!) that fills the summer air. What’s really special about the park is that many of its buildings have been there since it opened in 1905, advertised as “Portland’s Coney Island on the Willamette”. The oldest remaining ride was built just a few years later, in 1911. In fact, that’s just the ride we chose for this photoshoot – the Carousel!
We were lucky enough to be let in before hours by their lovely and highly knowledgeable manager, Mary Beth, who told us a little bit about the carousel. It’s called a menagerie carousel, because it is comprised of various animals, including a few that are quite unusual! An all-horse carousel is called a Merry-Go-Round, but the hand-carved creatures on this one go above and beyond!
We had so much fun with this shoot that we’re going to have to go back! If you ever find yourself visiting our shop in Sellwood, be sure to check out Oaks Park. It’s a place of wonder and nostalgia for all kids, even if you’re only a kid at heart!
Hello, and welcome to our latest installment of Department Spotlight! This week we’re shining the spotlight on our own department – Public Relations! We love relating to our public, and we’d like to think that we’re pretty good at it. We pride ourselves on our word-of-mouth reputation, and on keeping all of our promotions body-positive. As a company founded and largely run by women, we feel that the world has more than enough advertising telling us that we need some product to be a complete or attractive person. Here’s a little secret: you’re already complete and attractive (and so many things that are more important than being attractive), with or without our socks. But hey, no harm in having adorable legwear to go with your adorable self! Allow me to introduce you to the talent behind the marketing…
Rae is the newest member of our team, but she was actually part of the original dream team back in 2006! She went her own way and became a massage therapist for a time, but now she’s back with us and we couldn’t be happier about it! This season she’s picking up the torch on our events, which is no small task. Events are a really important part of outreach for us – it’s when we get to travel and meet people who have never heard of Sock Dreams before. She’s also taken up the gauntlet of writing some of our newsletters, and is doing a fabulous job. Her favorite thing about working with us (and you know she means it because she came back) is the culture of our workplace – kid friendly, dog friendly, individuality friendly, and she gets to do creative work with her little sister (our CFO, Kori)! Rae’s favorite socks so far are our Dreamy Knees. She loves the color combinations, and especially the way their bright stripes easily pair with neutral outfits, and draw attention to one’s legs. Her current favorite is watermelon – an excellent choice indeed. Rae also has some sound advice for you – sign up for our newsletter! Not only is it generally pretty adorable, but it’s the best place to find out about sales and seasonal items!
You might already know Zaffie from our social media – she runs our tumblr and twitter accounts, and helps out with our facebook page. In fact, chatting with all of you is her favorite part of the job! Zaffie started in February of 2011, and actually interviewed for a position which had been filled by the time we met her. No matter – she was obviously wonderful, so we hired her. Good thing we did! She is now our fulltime graphic designer – if you’ve seen any of our ads in recent years, or banners at events, she probably designed them! And those buttons and stickers that we give away? While our logo was designed by artist Echo X many years ago, each new version is recreated by Zaffie, much to Echo’s delight! But Zaffie doesn’t just make stuff pretty – nope! She also figures out sponsorships and donations, because giving back to our community and other worthy causes is very important to us. Her favorite socks are Diamond Rib Knee Highs (she designed our water bottles in their image) because of their beautiful but understated pattern, their great fit and comfort, and for the fact that she can wear them with fancy heels, or wear them to bed on cold nights! Since Tumblr gets a lot of submissions, Zaffie advises dreamers who wish to have photos published to clean up the backgrounds a bit. It’s easy to forget that pile of laundry, or toilet in the background. When it comes judging contests especially, these details can make the difference between participating and winning.
The third member of our team is yours truly – Rosalind’s the name. I started at Sock Dreams back in October of 2009. I manage our Pinterest, Google+ and Youtube accounts, and run our Facebook with Zaffie. I have the ultra-fun job of keeping track of what models have what socks, which involves watching my coworkers’ faces light up when they get to choose a pair to model. I model a certain number of socks myself (as we all do), but my very favorite thing that I’ve modeled and worn a lot is not even socks – it’s the Long Cuffable Scrunchable Leg Warmers, which are basically a footless version of one of our favorite socks, which I also love. I prefer the leg warmer though, as it allows me to do gross things like wearing them for months on end without washing them. That simply would not fly with socks. This year I’ve been writing quite a few of our newsletters and Latest News stories, and we’ve all been generally sharing more of the writing fun. I also answer a good percentage of the questions left on our website, and approve reviews. A very common question that we get is “What size are these socks?” and while we’re very happy to answer these questions, it’s also worth noting that we do list sizing on every product page! Many people overlook it because there is a very alluring “free shipping” banner above the Sizing Tips section, but if you keep scrolling they’re there! We try to measure our socks for stretch too, so that you can measure your leg and decide if they’ll fit. Most fashion retailers use universal sizing charts, rather than providing this kind of product-specific sizing, so while it might be unexpected, it’s definitely worth checking out!
While most Dreamers are pretty darned happy about their jobs, our PR team goes a bit above-and-beyond the usual levels of enthusiasm. We are essentially sock cheerleaders, after all! While having access to an amazing selection of socks is a pretty awesome job perk, it’s the people that make our jobs truly satisfying, so don’t be shy about saying hello, whether it’s to Rae at an event, or to Rosalind and Zaffie on social media. For us, these interactions are what it’s all about!
Big news for Portland locals and visitors: our brick and mortar location just got even dreamier! Now when you come down to Sellwood to check out our socks, you can get yourself some delicious gelato, from the Atlas Scoops cart, which is now located on our lot, right behind the shop.
Those of you who may recall that we used to have a neighborhood gelato shop will be glad to know that the new cart is supplied by the same company – Staccato Gelato! We’re indescribably happy to have gourmet gelato from locally sourced ingredients, in our own backyard.
Needless to say, this is great for morale. If you’re not familiar with gelato – it’s basically a fancy type of ice cream from Italy. It’s typically a little bit smoother in consistency, and is traditionally made with milk instead of the cream which is used in normal American ice cream.
Not only is the gelato delicious, but it’s turned our back lawn into a lovely outdoor sitting room! We chose this location for our shop because we love the Sellwood/Moreland neighborhood with its family-friendly atmosphere and pedestrian accessibility, so it’s really an honor to host our friends, neighbors and visitors as they enjoy some sweet treats. We hope to see you there!
As you may have heard, we’re currently offering free shipping to most of the countries we can ship to, so we should be busier than we would be on a typical Thursday in July…. and yet this morning an assortment of technical difficulties very nearly made our work impossible!
Our phones were down, our internet was turning on an off, and our morning orders couldn’t be assembled because we didn’t have access to the systems we needed to deal with them! Since many of our jobs are internet-based, we were even starting to get bored — so what did we do? Well, first we played a board game! That’s right, we had some fun with a homemade, neon version of a classic party game, then picked some matching socks and took photos of the game play!
By the time that fun was over, we thought for sure we’d be able to put together some socks orders….. but we were wrong! Morale was dropping quickly, so Brenna suggested we stage an emergency petticoat intervention, in which we put on all of the petticoats that we keep on hand for photoshoots. Flouncing and fluff is always good for morale! And since there were more petticoats than Dreamers this morning, some of us had so much foofiness going on that even Scarlett O’Hara would have been green with envy!
By now our phones are back up, our internet is behaving itself, and all of the socks have been pulled and packaged, so fear not! All of your orders shipped out today! Just know that they were packaged with even more glee and love than usual.
This past weekend, Sock Dreams was the proud sponsor of GearCon 2014.
What a weekend of wonders! From classes on actually executing your own version of Around the World in 80 Days, to intricate devices, there was truly something for everyone. Here’s just a little taste of what our neighbors were offering in the Market Room:
While we did not vend this year, Dreamer Rae and myself were standing by with a truly special discount card and a fun raffle for socks and gift cards. Congrats to all the winners!