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Nothing spells “summertime adventures” quite like a set of abandoned train tracks. Add some cuffed jeans and simple sneakers, and you’ve got the makings of a classic coming-of-age story… or perhaps a reshoot of some of our favorite socks for summer!
It was an overcast morning in early September when we set out for a photoshoot featuring A Chevrons down by the river. The first crisp hints of autumn hung in the air, betraying no hint of the afternoon heat which was to follow. As we came upon some abandoned tracks, the nostalgia was almost tangible, calling out to us to follow those tracks. “Here be adventures!” they called.
Not being ones to flirt with danger, we were pretty cautious in how we approached our adventure, staying well off to the side of the active tracks. We managed to find a fully abandoned part of the line, as evidenced by the vegetative growth obscuring some of the ties, and we ventured onto the rails for a moment there. We found a lovely old can and had some fun kicking it around. When was the last time you played kick-the can?
As with every good adventure, we found some pretty cool stuff on ours! We came upon a pile of unused railroad ties and stopped for a rest as we posed for close-ups. We all paused there for a bit and contemplated nature, the human condition, really good socks, and possibly lunch. The abandoned portion of track led us to an old train car which somebody appears to be renovating, using a lovely shade of blue reminiscent of our own indigo headquarters building.
Much like the summer itself, our adventure sadly had to come to an end. We may never reach the terminus point of those tracks, or find out what awaits beyond the next bend, but at least we all made it back from our hike without sore feet.
As business starts to really pick up for the fall season, we’ve decided it’s about time we started a new tradition around here. For 14 years we’ve been showing you our socks and how style them, and while we will continue to do so, we think it’s about time we recognized the style and talents of our amazing customer base!
In case you didn’t catch our latest newsletter, you can check it out here – in it we announced our new monthly contest, guidelines, and gave some examples of the sort of outfit shots we’re looking for.
To sum it up, we’re now taking submissions for next month’s contest, with a theme of Halloween costumes! Please read the following rules; entries that do not follow these cannot be considered.
• Photos are due October 13th and can be emailed to email@example.com; please let us know which products you used, and tell us a little about your costume, including which Sock Dreams product is featured!
• Your costume must feature socks, tights, and/or accessories purchased from Sock Dreams, and they must be clearly visible as part of the costume.
• Photos must be taken for our contest; no photos from past years or photos submitted to other contests.
• Please keep your costume work-safe and free of any offensive subject matter.
• Make sure your photo is well-lit, in-focus, and there is no clutter (or toilets!) in the background.
We will be picking our three favorite winners each month, and publishing them in the following edition of Dreamer Dress-Up, as well as sending each winner a $30 giftcard.
To receive our newsletters, including those announcing the theme for each successive contest, sign up here! We can’t wait to see what you come up with!
Well dreamers, we’ve come a long way since the days of yore, when Mr Natosi (known to friends & coworkers as Bsti) single-handedly ran the shipping department: back then records were hand written on actual paper, if you can believe that. Nowadays Mr Natosi has to spend more time making “Big Picture” decisions with our Officers Department, and it now takes three dedicated shippers to keep the orders moving out the door within 24 hours! This is a story about those three shippers (and we’ll be getting back to Bsti and the other Officers in our next installment of Department Spotlight) and the integral work that they do for us.
The longest-standing member of our shipping team would be Ryan (or “Yon High Chancellor of the Excellent Guild of Packagers” as he apparently likes to be called –this alone is probably more telling of his personality than anything that will follow), who has been with us since August of 2007. He spends his days packaging socks for shipment as fast as is humanly possible while maintaining a high level of accuracy, as well as helping people to track down their socks when packages go missing in the post. His favorite socks are Dreamer Socks — any Dreamer Socks, because in his opinion, these are the perfect year-round sock. The coverage adds enough warmth for all but the coldest days, and the weave gives enough breathability for all but the hottest days. Lastly, if you hate scrunchy, slouchy socks like me, then you’ll be pleased to know that these tend to stay where you put them on your legs. His favorite parts of the job are the inclusive atmosphere, awesome coworkers, pride in great service, invoice drawings (of which he is a master) and lighthearted snark (of which he is even more of a master). That’s a lot of favorites! When asked what advice he would give to our customers, he had this to say: Patience. Insurance. Double check shipping addresses before submitting an order, as autofill has garbled many over the years. USPS is very good at what they do, but if you’re worried about the status of an order, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will provide additional help as we can.
Next up is Sixten, who started less than a month after Ryan. His favorite part of working for Sock Dreams is his coworkers, which is the only acceptable answer (kidding!). Back to the socks: his favorites are Nouvella’s Space Dyed Knee Highs, because like all space dyed socks, no two are alike; but these usually form wild patterns of stripes, rather than just being kind of spotty. The stripes are randomly generated! Within the shipping department, Sixten is the go-to guy for international shipping questions – he’s also the genius who brought you free international shipping during the month of July this summer! His advice in regards to sock transportation: No need to ask for quick processing, every order is shipped out incredibly quickly. If you need socks by a certain day, though, call us and let us know! We’ll work something out so you get the socks in time.
The third and final department member is the incredible Tuesday! She joined forces with us just about a year ago. In addition to the obligatory love of her coworkers, she really appreciates the discount on socks and HEALTH INSURANCE. Her favorite socks are the Long Cuffable Scrunchable Socks, in any color. Why? Because I can wear them every possible way with pretty much any outfit. Tuesday is known for doing two jobs at once with great efficiency; assembling orders with the rest of the Stock Room Team, and then running off to Shipping to package them! Since we ship everything within 24 hours (Sundays aside) that’s both incredibly helpful and impressive. Tuesday advises you to be sure to carefully read your email confirmations for address or order problems so we can catch them before they are packaged up, or worse, out the door!
So there we have it: shipping! As you can see, the common themes in this department are hilarity and a sincere desire to get socks to their assigned feet in the most efficient and timely manner possible. You may now rest assured that your purchases will pass through the incredibly capable hands of at least one of these talented individuals. Should you find yourself in need of more details, check out our Shipping Information page, but as mentioned above, this trio is always happy to help via phone or email!
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!