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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!
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!
Time is so strange. Somehow it feels like our headquarters have been stationed at the Indigo building forever, but it also seems like just last week we were on Powell and just starting our brick and mortar store in the lobby.
The first year we were in Indigo HQ was a time of settling into a new space. The second year has been one of exploring the little neighbourhood around us, finding great places to eat and fabulous places to take pictures!
I’ve got my favourite places nearby, but mostly I stick close to home, wandering at most across the street to the better shade (and often nicer grass).
I have started wandering a bit farther, mostly to some lovely steps Niq has found. They have a sweet flagstone seat next to them that I’m sort of enamoured with.
It’s Niq though, since this is her neighbourhood, who finds the best little spots! For the M45s she took several of us to a little spot where one of the roads end in a sort of cul-de-sac by the river (or stream? I don’t know the taxonomical classifications of bodies of water), that is just utterly verdant.
And she’s found this little path area that is super charming by the currently-under-eternal-construction-park.
Niq has tried to tell me where some of these spots are, but with my terrible sense of direction they may as well be magic shops only accessible if I’m the protagonist in a fantasy story who is being chased by bullies. I mean, check out some of these weird, fun little spots!
And thanks to Zaffie (who you may also know as our Tumblr Fairy) we’re getting even more shots in more fun places, like nearby businesses! I like that these two Gumball Poodle shots were Niq shooting Zaffie (on the left) and then vice-versa (on the right)!
As time goes on our little pool of fun places to shoot nearby will expand, another wonderful gift as the Indigo building turns 2 this year!
Every so often we have a chance to do something truly meaningful as a company (or individuals). These opportunities aren’t always the happiest of occasions though — in fact it is usually during the truly dark times that we are called upon to step up and lend a helping hand, and this winter was no exception. One of our coworkers has spent this last season undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma, and as many cancer survivors can tell you, the financial burden of treatment on top of being unable to work can be the most stressful thing about the already unpleasant experience. Even with temporary unemployment and the great healthcare that we Dreamers receive, we knew it wouldn’t be enough. That’s when we decided to ask our community for help on our coworker’s behalf.
We decided to use our collective personal time and money to put together a raffle basket. It immediately became clear that everyone here really really cares, as the donations consisted of some seriously great stuff: hand crafted items, gift certificates (including a 45 minute massage!) and some generally luxe products started pouring in!
The most beautiful moment of all came when we posted this photo of the basket to our shop’s facebook page, and within 24 hours it had over 30 shares and some incredibly heartfelt notes! Since we kept ticket sales to our shop in Sellwood, it was largely our own neighbors who came in to buy tickets, raising enough money to make a serious dent in our colleague’s medical expenses!
At the end of business hours on December 30th Dreamer Gelsey drew our winning raffle ticket! We left a voicemail for the winner, and in the following days a few different people came in to claim the basket, to our vast confusion. As it turned out, several workers at a neighboring company had all bought tickets under the same name, just because they thought it was a good cause (and hopefully they’re enjoying the basket, too)!
Many many thanks to everyone who helped us out on this project! Nothing has warmed our hearts this winter quite like this — even a really good pair of socks can’t compare with the kindness of our community.
Nestled in a turn of the century house in the historic Sellwood neighborhood, recessed from busy 13th street just off of SE Nahalem is the Sock Dreams brick and mortar store. Here, you’ll find many of the items we sell on our online store, as well as several other shop exclusive styles. People as far away as Eastern Europe have been known to make pilgrimages to the shop, while visiting the Portland area, but the busiest time for our little shop is always the Holidays.
From Black Friday until almost the New Year, our shop is a bustle with folks getting warm, cozy, kitschy, fashionable, soft, funny and cute socks, tights and other accessories for their loved ones. The Sock Dreams shop team is four people strong and they do their best to help our customers find the perfect gift.
Pictured here, is our shop crew wearing some of their favorite socks.
First up is Rose, who has been working with us since August 2012 and, like many of us, has noticed a drastic change in her wardrobe-Waking up each morning and planning a whole outfit around my socks is awesome. Best dress code ever. Socks Dreams has filled me with so much confidence in my body/legs that I went from wearing a dress or skirt once a year to weddings to wearing them every day.
Rose is wearing the Sock It To me Dinomite knee high- I’m the weird one; I’ll just start with that. Every day I layer and mash weird colors together to make my personality jump out of my socks.
Rose spends much of her time at the shop picking out shop exclusives and helping customers.
In terms of tips on shopping for the holidays- Shop early! We have a few select holiday styles that are shop exclusive and they will be going fast.
Next is Gelsey, the Assistant Shop Manager, Gelsey has been with Sock Dreams since August 2010.
When asked what her favorite part of working here is- Hands down: the people. I love being friends with all of my coworkers. Best. Coworkers. Ever.
Gelsey wears Sock Dreams own brand of cotton slouch sock- I like wearing my socks scrunched down around mid-calf high boots, and I love the Cotton Slouch Socks because they actually hold their slouch rather than slowly sliding down to the bottom of my foot during the day.
Her tip for holiday shopping- The store and web site sometimes have different items. If you’re coming in for something you saw on the web site, make sure to call ahead so we can hold it at the shop for you.
Then there’s Laurel, our vivacious Shop Manger. Laurel has worked for Socks Dreams since August of 2008 and also loves all her co-workers.
Laurel is wearing a brand that is new to Sock Dreams, and we are all totally in love with- I really like the Sockwell compression knee highs because I’m on my feet a lot. They stay up great without being too tight at the top. They have a nice, cushy foot that’s great for boots and a toe seam that’s not very noticeable. They’re warm, they’re cute, and I’ve worn and washed them several times and they hardly show any wear. I especially like them when I go to the Timbers game and stand on cold concrete for 90+ minutes. Go Timbers! The Timbers being Portland’s pro soccer team.
We’re also part of a fantastic local network of shops where you can earn points to gain rewards- Sock Dreams is proud to be a part of the Supportland network. With Supportland, the customer has one card (or a phone app) that they can use at a ton of rad locally-owned businesses to earn rewards. With more businesses joining the network all the time, you can earn points every time you shop, and then turn around and use those points for coupons, gift cards, and other free stuff!
Last, but by no means least, is our newest shop employee Sabrina! Sabrina has been with us since July of this year and is a fantastic addition.
Her favorite part of working at Sock Dreams, so far, is- Helping customers find the perfect pair of socks!
Sabrina wears another house brand favorite, the O Dreamy’s in Heliotrope- They’re super soft, have a great texture and are subtle, yet visually interesting.
Sabrina’s holiday shopping tip- When it comes to returns, I would suggest calling us at the shop with any questions regarding what is acceptable for refund/ exchange. Also, I would suggest asking about a certain pattern/design they may not see in the store. We keep track of all customer product requests and try to meet them when placing orders for future stock.
These ladies work really hard to make your shopping experience effortless; they’re always happy to help you find the perfect thing. If you’re in the Portland area, come on by and say hello!
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