(Filed Under wholesale Hosiery News). Socksmith, a producer of colorful hosiery, has introduced a new bamboo collection. “The Magic show happened the week before the product arrived in the warehouse, and was the first time that we had shown it in any sort of major way,” explained Ryan Dineen, a sales manager at the firm.
Since the launch there has been “Basically nothing but positive response. The graphics turned out great, the hand feel is undeniably comfortable, and we’re selling at a great pace. It’s near the top of where our expectations were, that’s for sure.”
The bamboo collection, part of the firm’s much larger line, is offered in a variety of attractive color combinations. The women’s knitted designs depict such things as red foxes, terriers, deer, Alice and a Cheshire cat, a Day of the Dead skull. Anchors, golf bags, bulldogs and stripes are used to decorate the men’s line. “Women’s novelty crew bamboo are $10 retail, men’s are $12, and women’s knee-high are $13,” according to Dineen.
Owners Ellen and Eric Gil got into the sock business when they opened a 450-square-foot sock boutique in 1988 in Santa Cruz, California. According to Dineen there are now five retail locations, including one in Santa Cruz, “LEGS, a lingerie and hosiery store right next door; Sockshop Haight Street, on (surprise!) Haight in San Francisco; Sockshop Telegraph, on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley; and Body of the Sheep, a T-shirt shop also on Haight in SF.”
In 2007 the retailers opened Socksmith Design, Inc., as a separate wholesale firm, producing its own designs, and, in 2008, began selling to other stores. Today the company counts about 1700 retailers among its customers. “And business is growing fast every year!” according to the sales manager. “The majority of our business is selling to retailers and other resellers - the retail side of things is definitely growing at a comparable rate to the wholesale, but on a much smaller scale.”
Sales are divided “about 70/30 women’s/men’s, with no kids socks in the line as of yet. We’re extremely happy with the performance of our men’s line in an industry that is often dominated by and geared toward women.” In all, there are hundreds of choices in terms of material, colors, styles and different patterns.
While there has been a dramatic increase in the number of companies offering a vast array of colorful, amusing designs, Socksmith stands out. “Our company is named “Socksmith Design” because that is always going to be our focus - as a design company FIRST. Our graphics are a cut above the rest, especially when you consider that our MSRP is equal to or below many other novelty sock brands,” offered Dineen. “We try never to cut corners - our extremely talented (and, proudly, entirely in-house) designers spend copious amounts of time meticulously crafting every image we use; we use high-quality materials that don’t wear out (seriously, I have some socks from 6 or 7 years ago that I’ve worn fairly regularly that haven’t even thinned much).”
“Basically, whatever someone else does, we try to do it better, and with more fun,” he concluded.
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