With the advent of the popular Happy Socks in 2008, the sock industry has changed dramatically. Here’s the story of Happy Socks by Happy Socks:
“Happy Socks started in the spring of 2008. Two friends had a vision: to spread happiness by turning an everyday essential into a colorful design piece with a rigid standard of ultimate quality, craftsmanship and creativity. A concept now brought to perfection by the Happy Socks collective of creators.Today Happy Socks are sold in more than 70 countries and on every continent.Happy Socks features an almost endless variety of models and designs, using a broad spectrum of color combinations and original patterns. Simply put: there’s a pair of high-quality socks and underwear for every occasion, mindset and style.”
Today, there is a tremendous amount of competition in this part of the sock industry, including Little River Sock Mill. It is now run by Gina Locklear, dubbed the “Sock Queen of Alabama” by the New York Times:
“Nine years ago, when she was 27 and unhappily selling real-estate, Gina Locklear went to her parents with a proposition. She wanted to make socks. Not the basic white socks the family had specialized in, but fashionable socks, with organic cotton and dyes. A ‘mood board’ of socks, patterns and colors hangs in Ms. Locklear’s office at Emi-G Knitting. She produces two lines: Zkano, an online brand she started in 2008, and Little River Sock Mill, which was started in 2013 and is sold in stores like Margaret O’Leary in Manhattan.”
“Last fall (2015), Martha Stewart and the editors of Martha Stewart Living presented Ms. Locklear with an American Made award, which they give each year to a few artisans and small-business owners to provide a boost of recognition. Besides, ‘It’s a sensible business,’ Ms. Stewart said. “Everyone needs socks. Women are wearing socks as a fashion statement like never before. Turn the pages of Vogue and almost every fancy dress is worn with a pair of socks.”
Click the image for a NY Times’ slideshow of the Sock Queen.