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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!
Wow. Last June we were finishing up plans to say goodbye to our old headquarters. And a month later we were at our new HQ. Even though it’s just been a year, it feels like we’ve been in this pretty purple building always!
We’ve been spending the last year making this place our own (in between serious sock business, of course). Even though a lot of it has been arranging, rearranging and then re-rearranging to find the best way to fit things (if you’ve ever made a big move, you know the complicated dance we mean!), lots of fancier touches have been put in place to make us feel at home.
Our conference room is now super slick, with old sock blocking forms kickin’ it on the wall. There’s even a big, beautiful whiteboard where all those great sock graphs get cooked up.
The lovely folks of Customer Service re-painted their department, and the one bazillion teal and off-white paint chips we all looked at were totally worth it! Though, I am starting to suspect they were purposefully trying to match this Swashbuckler’s Ball poster. . .
One of the newest and most fun additions to our space is a decorated break area. One of our pretty transit ads decorates the wall behind the new couch.
Maybe you’ve noticed our new couch in pictures already! Or, if you follow Niq on Instagram, you’ve noticed it a couple of times.
Just like at our old place, bits and pieces of where we are sneak into our product pictures. I’m personally in love with the purple of the outside of the building and love putting other purples against it, like in this shot for the Leg Avenue Striped Tights.
We have a big bay door by our break area, and it often becomes an impromptu stage for pictures.
But I think the thing we’re most in love with shooting on, by and around right now is our new, velvety, leopard-print couch and gorgeous hand-painted floor in the break area! Niq made great use of the floor in the shots for the new Tie Dye Ripple OTKs.
And I was like, “who says plaid and animal print don’t go together?!” when I got the pictures of the Plaid Printed Tights.
Clearly, we’re loving our new place! And we couldn’t have made this move or been so happy about it without the support of wonderful customers like you! You folks just make our day and keep on making it. ♥
Sock Dreams has been a proud sponsor of the “Filmed by Bike” Film Festival for the last 4 years. This year the organizers allowed the sponsors their very own 45 Second spot that will air between shorts during the festival.
For more information on the Filmed By Bike Film Festival go here.
…There are a bunch of Sock it to Me socks featured, with the Striped Bolt knee highs in the starring role. The Gumball Poodle Geek socks costar. Here’s a blog post on the filming of this spot from the Rose City Roller girl… Shaolin Spocker who is prominently featured wearing the above mentioned Bolt socks.
Three years ago today we opened up the tiny lobby space of Sock Dreams HQ to local sock shoppers. It was a soft opening, we didn’t know what to expect. Would we have customers (it’s not easy to park at SDHQ, there is a very busy thoroughfare right next to us), would we have enough space for customers? Even though it was a soft opening, there was quite a buzz gathering. As Niqkita posted the day before our quiet little opening, the excitement from future customers was “both hugely flattering and just a wee bit scary”.
Then, the October after the store’s first birthday, we had our grand opening at the new shop site! Instead of a little lobby at HQ, the shop graduated to a whole building, an adorable little historic house in the heart of Sellwood. Though our primary business is selling online, our storefront lets folks from Portland (and all around—we’re always touched to hear that people have us on their see-while-in-Portland vacation to-dos!) check out a selection of our top-selling styles in person.
There’s no way we can fit everything we have have online in our shop, but we do make sure that everybody’s favourites are well-stocked, like Tabbisocks, Leg Avenue, Sock It To Me and our Extraordinary and DreaM Stocking styles.
What’s especially special about the store is that we’re able to offer boutique styles and special brands that we can’t order in the amounts we need to sell online, or that we’re testing out in the shop before we bring them to the website. So, there may be socks that you see online that you can’t get in the store, but there are lots of styles at the store that you can’t get online. It’s a pretty good trade-off.
A few of the things we have just at the storefront are a wide range of wee baby and kid socks and tights, gorgeous Swan Clothing Garters and a giant selection of SmartWool.
I love going to visit and seeing how our shop-folks have transformed the lovely pieces of antique furniture into vibrant rainbow sock displays.
The fun banner there is by another lovely vendor whose work we’re able to offer at the store (though these ribbon banners are all ours!). You can also get a peek of the coat hanger draped with socks for folks to test the stretch of.
More things special to the store and some panoramas of the inside after the jump!