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Christmas in July Webinar – Q4 Planning


 

Hi, everybody. Welcome to the Christmas in July webinar from Sock Club. Thank you so much for voting in the poll. I think we can all use a little bit of Holly Jolly right now. So I appreciate you guys voting on that. Personally, I think my favorite thing about the holidays, I know I should say friends and family, but I think it’s twinkle lights everywhere. So maybe that’s something that we can do all year round. First of all, I just want to say thank you so much for coming.

 

This is our second webinar, and it looks like we had a great amount of success of people signing up. Thank you guys so much. I do want to say I did mess up a little bit and I think more people signed up than me and could join the webinar today. So, if anyone in your office is trying to join and is not able to completely my fault, but I’ll send a recording of this webinar after so that we can all get the information.

 

I’m so sorry. This is a new Zoom world for everyone. We have what we are going to talk about today. I’m going to go ahead and share my screen. I do want to just reiterate that if you have any questions during the presentation, please put them in the chat. That is going to be the best place to communicate with us. And we will go through all of those messages at the end of the webinar.

 

All right, so what we’re going to talk about today, we’re going to talk about potential obstacles to watch out forward planning Q4 orders. We’re going to talk about opportunities for navigating those obstacles. Some helpful ideas for Q4 gifts. And then we’re going to go over some helpful resources that we’ve put together for reference so that we can do some continued learning together.

 

And also, what to expect in the follow up email. I’m going to send out this slide deck, a recording of the webinar, links to our references, references and resources that we go over during the webinar, a link to request samples of any of the products that we mentioned today. Even if you just want a sample pack for your showroom or something like that, I guess virtual showroom these days, an introduction to your dedicated account manager. If you’re one of our new faces.

 

The announcement of the winner of the Free Self promo will also be in that e-mail. So make sure to look out for that and a special secret invitation that will go over at the end of the presentation. Another thing that you’re going to get in the follow up. I went a little crazy. I was a little excited. I mean, I did put together a Christmas in July playlist on Spotify, which is what you heard when you joined the webinar.

 

And that is going to be in the fall. You know as well. So little festive treat for you guys. So before we get into our first section, you guys could just participate in another quick poll. That would be great. OK, awesome. So thank you guys so much for voting. It looks like the main two concerns are canceled events and budget cuts. And with a little bit of concern on shipping and logistics. Totally understand.

 

Those are all concerns that we share as well. I think everyone in the industry is kind of feeling a bit. We’re gonna go over kind of what are some potential obstacles as well as opportunities to navigate through those upcoming issues. I think everybody likes a little inspirational quote every now and then. And, you know, on the heels of that great documentary that that was out, I think Michael Jordan’s always a good inspiration. Obstacles don’t have to stop you if you run into a wall.

 

Don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it. Go through it or work around it. I think that’s something that we’re facing in our personal lives as well as our professional lives. And a thing that we’ve been trying to do here at our club is just identify those obstacles and try to turn them into opportunities. So product sourcing is one of the things that could be a concern. I, I think this because at the beginning of the year, with the extended Chinese New Year closure after the Corona virus outbreak, we definitely saw some people scrambling to source products domestically on a quick turn that didn’t have to deal with the difficulty with imports or the fact that just the factories were shut down. And so I think that’s something that to look out for with the potential of another outbreak in the fall. Supply agent supply chain disruption is more of a reality than ever. Even domestically, we saw facilities shut down. I know HIPPA, PBI and all those organizations are pretty good about publishing, which suppliers were open, which worked and things to look out for there. However that is still something to be aware of, even if we can’t necessarily plan for all of that.

 

So potential factors that we’re looking out for as indicators of a potential disruption in product sourcing and manufacturing are another. COVID outbreak or a rise in cases that would. That would make a shutdown happen. And policy changes and pressures due to the upcoming 2020 U.S. election. Regardless of political leanings, it’s going to be contentious. And I think that definitely the U.S. economy is going to be a focus of that election, so there could be potential tax cuts or tax proposed tax increases to kind of sway the election. Just something to look out for and a reason to get your orders in early before budgets are affected by that. Another thing that happened last fall, that is something to look out for and this is kind of tied into the election is an escalation of the US and China trade war. The tariffs rising in the fall led to a lot of price hikes and no price guarantees.

 

That was a little bit unpredictable for all of us. I think no one likes to sell something at one price and then have to change the price or lose money on the order. And so that’s just maybe a reason to source things domestically or outside of China or a reason to get your orders in early enough that that’s potentially not effected because it’s far enough away from the election. Shipping and delivery is another obstacle that we’re seeing right now. This is not something that we necessarily saw last fall, but it is has become a problem since the coronavirus.

 

More people are shopping online now than ever. Which means more volume flowing through the delivery service. We see this Amazon has stopped guaranteeing prime two-day delivery. I think when that happened, that was kind of the biggest indicator that there was a disruption in the whole system because they that’s their whole thing is to day shipping. So if they’re not able to offer that same benefit, it is something to look out for in your orders. Deadlines don’t stop.

 

Even if there is a delivery delay. So it’s important to just plan for that disruption and other disruptions that are potential things that you should plan for. Our hub delays due to high volume. I know we had an order get stuck in an Oakland hub for two weeks. That’s a particular have that has a lot of backups. But I think when you’re when you’re going through the order process, it’s important to ask your supplier about any potential delays in your destination.

 

Their operations or production team should be able to look into that for you and plan around that, either shipping a bit early, shipping to a different destination and having it somehow transported. There are a million different solutions for that problem. As long as it’s identified early and planned for the potential USPS funding issues, this seems to have gotten a bit better in the past month. However the Postal Service is still in a bad position financially. If you are doing an order through individual fulfillment, that’s where we see the most worries going through the Postal Service.

 

It might be worth checking out a DHL option or it just kind of seeing the difference in cost that just might give you a little bit more security in your order not to say the Postal Service is going to shut down or anything like that, but it is. A current situation that could affect an order timeline, and that’s what we really don’t want, unexpected office or facility closures. This is this happened a lot more in April than it has in the past couple of months.

 

I was going to say weeks, but it definitely has been a few months, didn’t seem real. So if there is another shutdown in the fall, this is something to look out for. What we have done at our club is confirm that address often, maybe more often than our clients would like. But we really don’t want to deliberate, Bemis. So we check in two days before it’s about to ship and just say, are you sure?

 

Is this the place that you want this to go? Because if it is delivered to an office that is closed, there is potential that the package will be sent back. So that’s just confirmed the address early and often and then increase shipping prices on imports. This definitely affected us at the beginning of the of the pandemic because cargo space coming out of China was very limited. So the shipping costs to get on planes skyrocketed. It’s normalized a bit. It’s close, close to normal now.

 

But if there is another outbreak, that could be something that affects it. So a good way to avoid that is shipping by boat if the order is large enough. And if the timeline permits. But the biggest way to avoid that is to buy domestic. So there’s just something to consider. Like we talked about order early. That’s the biggest way to avoid a lot of these obstacles is give time for creative solutions that will allow a lot more possibilities because you’re not restricted by timeline.

 

Source. USA made products to minimize risk. I think even if we saw, like the hand sanitizer being sourced out of Mexico, some facilities were contained tops. Toxic chemicals. Luckily, we were pretty careful in our sourcing and didn’t encounter that ourselves. But USA made products are generally the safest bet. And in my experience and think outside the box, when that shipment that we had got stuck in Oakland, we hired a courier to go pick up the shipment and deliver it to the client.

 

That was the first time we’ve done that. But it’s and it’s about being creative right now. Also, if you’re trying to deliver a shipment early so that it doesn’t get stuck in a hub and if it’s a big enough order, is there a storage unit you can put it in. If your client doesn’t have the space to store it, you know, does your supplier offer storage until your order is ready or the client is ready to receive delivery?

 

Personally, that is something that we do. I think a few suppliers offer that’s just kind of depends on what your needs are. But it’s really about getting really creative with our solutions. So we’re going to have another little quick pull really quickly. OK, great. Thank you so much for. Participating in that poll, it looks like most of you are excited about anything and everything, let’s pivot, which is super exciting. And one of the reasons that I love this industry so much is because everyone gets really excited about pivoting.

 

And to me, that means that we’re all excited about turning these obstacles into opportunities. I know April was a super hard month for a lot of us getting used to working at home. We really kind of put our creative thinking into gear and released like eight new products in the span of a couple of weeks. But that kind of creativity, I think, is the key to getting through this. So I think pivoting, you know, whatever the next few months bring, I think as long as we’re up for the challenge, I think we’ll get through it together.

 

New products as well. Same. And I’m very excited about talking about individual can say, I’ve got a few ideas that I’m excited to share. So we’re going to go back to the presentation. I’ve got another quote. Please forgive me. Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacles and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage. I think this gets right into being excited about anything and everything. We’re all in control of our own little businesses.

 

And I think it’s really cool to be able to be nimble enough to meet those challenges. So the first opportunity I want to talk about is virtual events. When we when we had our obstacle fall, most of you said that one of the things that you were really nervous about was events getting Campbell cancelled. That was an obstacle that you guys saw coming up in the next few months. One thing that we are excited about is turning on site or in-person events into virtual events.

 

I think this can be done really well. And you guys can kind of help your clients think of ideas around this and think of methodology to do that. We do have a resource about different kind of platforms that you can use and how you can plan those that will go out and the follow up email. So why are virtual choir events great? Because they’re really good source of regeneration and a really good source of employee unification. If it’s a national sales meeting or, you know, just like a company holiday party, how can we kind of turn those into virtual events?

 

Because those goals that lead generation, that employee unification, those don’t go away. Those are still goals for the company. So we just have to find different ways to achieve them. So some important things to consider when promoting virtual events are what is the story? Why would people want to communicate? What kind of common thread can you use throughout the whole presentation or event? I think that’s important because it it helps people feel united by one message going into an event that can feel kind of isolating in contrast with in-person or on site events that have been such a high energy feeling beforehand.

 

Just thinking about, you know, going to PPAI and what would that look like if it were virtual? I think a lot of the.

 

The energy that we feel as a team when we go to PBI is because of the people and connecting with people. So if the connection is the thing that brings the energy. How do we put that connection into a different place?

 

Preshow promotion. So this is really cool. I think this is a really great opportunity for some interesting ideas around promo and putting together some. Getting some. I saw this really awesome box that someone did for Microsoft that included like a little badge in it, like a fake badge, which I just thought was really cute, because that’s when you get really excited about your event, is when you get there and you get your badge, you’re like, this is it’s time.

 

And there’s a link to that. And one of the resources that I’m going to provide as well, social communities, this is a big one. There are a lot of ways to engineer that social connection. It can be a slap channel. A WhatsApp group can be a house party. I’ll have links to all those as well. But getting people to connect will kind of help bring that energy that used to be just an in-person interview or an in-person feeling.

 

And then reusing content from past years to get people excited. This is a big thing that you can do with your virtual event as well. But use that energy that was captured at previous events to get people excited about the story of the event that you’re trying to promote currently and other things that are really cool of branded items specific to different parts of the virtual event can send people a shaker for a virtual cocktail hour or a water bottle for a virtual group yoga.

 

I know a lot of people are really trying to work out at home. Maybe they’re just buying workout clothes to sit on the couch at home, whatever. That’s fine. Everybody’s getting through this their own way, but creating stories around those little events help people feel connected. I think that’s the really cool part about what we do. So if you can brand specific items to specific events, it does encourage pitches, participation in events throughout the whole conference meeting, whatever it is, so that people there’s sustained participation instead of just initial participation, post show, promote promotion, different levels of gifts for VIP attendees.

 

So if it’s a lead generation thing, are you scoring the leads? Is there a higher value item that you can send out to your highest scoring leaders, promoting or providing network spaces to facilitate ongoing communication between attendees? How are you going to foster that connection afterwards? How are they going to continue thinking about that event in the future and address campaign with direct mail pieces? We are going back to direct mail. Very excited about that.

 

Scuse me. One idea that I had, I was like, drip campaign. How cute would it be if you don’t like a bag of coffee and a mug? We don’t sell any of those things. But I was like, drip. I don’t know. I love a pun. So virtual events are a great a great way to put some new ideas into the world. Another thing that’s an opportunity that we are really excited about is individual gift boxes.

 

So when we were kind of talking about what how what makes what we do special and why would people still connect with promotional items during this time? One of our co-founders brought up the fact that gift giving is one of the five love languages. This is something that people use to communicate how much they care about someone. So if we are providing a gift experience through our branded items, then that is innate to how we communicate our loving care for each other.

 

It’s also a great opportunity to create a viral social campaign around people receiving their individual gifts. This could be preshow promotion. This could be just a client appreciation gift. It could be, you know, employee wellness, just kind of whatever it is. If you’re looking to help your client spread the word about their initiative. People love posting boxes of cute stuff on social media. It’s it’s the new food Instagram. People love it. So it’s kind of an organic way to get the message out and get buy in from your clients.

 

It also. Makes meaningful personal connections. It’s an opportunity for that. So. This is a good opportunity for a variable data printing or kind of a build your own box. There’s a potential for that. If you set up a landing page and people are able to select different items that they want and put that in their box. Anytime people can feel like it’s personal to them and their needs. They’re going to be more connected with the item. So some gift box orders that we have seen as as common packages and kits that we’ve put together are a work from home care package and a return to work essentials kit, client appreciation gifts and virtual event gift bags.

 

I have some ideas for each of these. I’m very excited to share. I love the professional products industry. We can’t tell. We’ll go over this in a minute. So another opportunity is kidding. Drop shipping and fulfillment. I think we should plan for people to be in their homes in Q4. I think more likely than not. Even if things are looking up, I think that businesses who have employees that are able to work remotely will continue to allow their employees to work remotely to minimize risk on their part, which makes complete sense to me.

 

But this is killing jobs, shipping and fulfillment, sending individual packages to people. That is a good way to plan for people to be in their homes in Q4. Again, I want to touch on variable data printing. I think this is really the key to making somebody feel really special when they receive the gift. And that is what this is all about. And so we started as a subscription service, so we create a gift experience for our subscribers each month.

 

It’s something that we did even before we did promotional products. So we have learned a lot about kitting, dropped shipping and fulfillment, mostly by messing up in the early days and creating processes that not to happen again. But this is a thing that a lot of people are offering now to kind of pivot like we all want to do and meet the needs of our clients. However, with that item, with that new experience might come some pitfalls. So here are some things to look for in a kitting or shipping partner.

 

Well, the kitter put together items that they did not manufactured. If it’s a supplier doing kitting. This is more of a risk than if you’re sending the items to a completely fulfillment based service. Some suppliers, you both me personally do both. But that is a question to ask upfront in case that, you know. Obviously, we don’t sell coffee and coffee months for my drip campaign that I really once wanted you guys to do. But we would definitely put it in a box for you.

 

So I think it’s just about making sure you’re asking the right questions upfront and finding out the limitations before you sell the item. How much lead time do they need? That’s another thing, because we have a whole. Process. And we process thousands of orders of socks every month. We have a pretty robust kitting team. And so they’re able to kit your items very quickly. However, if someone is trying to do this for the first time, they might need a bit more lead time to make sure that they get things right.

 

So. It’s important to be really kind of conservative on that time estimate if you’re working with someone who is new to getting into film it. Well, they saw the order if the client orders early. If you can get your client to order early. Good for you. Wonderful. We all love that. But some people do not offer storage. And since a lot of offices are closed. A lot of clients that did have storage facilities now do not.

 

So if you’re kitter, if you’re kidding and shipping partner does offer storage, that is going to make things a bit easier for you. We like I said, we do offer storage, but it’s just something to ask up front as well. Can your partner advise you on shipping methods based on your package size and delivery timelines? So. Shipping is a bit complicated. I’m very lucky that we have a very knowledgeable operations team so that I don’t know, I have to know every single in and out of shipping.

 

However, I do know that sometimes small packages are heavy and so they’re very expensive and sometimes large packages are light. So and they’re very expensive. And also some quantities and weights work for services that might be outside of your price range. So I think it’s just really important to talk with your supplier about what you’re thinking in your ideas so that you can kind of get my idea of what shipping service and timeline is going to work best for you. I know probably the most complicated thing is arranging for every single package to arrive on the same day.

 

However, that can’t be done. Has your partner done individual fulfillment before? Kidding. And individual fulfillment or drop shipping as it is sometime soon are very different skills. Kind of. Putting something in a package so that it delivers correctly. And it goes through the mail and does not get held up due to some minor inconvenience. It is a skill that is learned. So if your kitter has not done individual mailing before, it is something to discuss up front and just make sure everything’s going the right way.

 

Can they provide tracking on individual orders? This is especially important if some sort of follow up is supposed to trigger once somebody receives their order to make sure that all of the orders get delivered. If that is a specification of your client, there are shipping services that will work for you. Postal Service. Just normal shipments. That’s maybe not something that’s going to work there. But if a budget is your concern, that’s probably the best way to go.

 

However, their upgraded Postal Service message. Excuse me. Services that offer tracking. And it’s important that your partner has a robust shipping management system so that you’re easily able to get all those tracking numbers or have them track the shipments for you so that you can get on to selling and they can worry about your order being delivered. Ideas. My favorite part. OK. So we talked about this four main types of kit. So we have seen and I think these are really great for virtual events, which addresses the problem of events being canceled.

 

So welcome home, Kit. Turns out turns into work out from home kit, which could include some branded cotton athletic socks. If you guys have not seen those, they are my favorite talks that we make. They have cushion and heel in toe compression and the foot bed. We can do a cooling their ankle. They’re just very comfortable and engraved. Water bottle. An invitation to a company-wide, month-long fitness series on Zoom. How fun would that be to coordinate with some local fitness professionals and get the company involved on a weekly basis on a different type of fitness activity and custom playing card deck with a different 30 second exercise on each card?

 

We do offer custom playing cards. This particular thing is not something that we have done before, but I think that would be so cool and somebody could pinch until we just shuffle the deck, pick out 10 cards and then that would be their workout for the day. How often is that idea of a potential return to work? Essentials kit might be a little bit less fun, but it is very thoughtful. And we’ll show the employees that you’re thinking about their safety as they return or have some facemask.

 

We recommend adjustable straps. We do have a model with adjustable straps that just kind of like fits all all sorts of heads got in place comes of all shapes and sizes. So it’s important to think about that. A five pack of mask filters and reusable masks are great because you can wash them and wear them and kind of have them all the time. But that filter does provide an extra layer of paycheck protection and we do provide them up to five and 10 packs, which are personal use for like a certain amount of time.

 

Your account manager can kind of walk you through all of that. A two-ounce hand sanitizer for personal use. A lot of people are looking for bulk hand sanitizers to put in their offices, but that doesn’t necessarily account for it. Is a lot of people using that particular thing. It’s  just a concern. I don’t know if it’s a valid concern, but you can’t avoid that with the personal sized hand sanitizer that can be refilled, a pack of quality pens and an individual coffee mug or a cup.

 

A lot of one of my friends is an office manager for a large multinational company, and their biggest risk that they see is shared office supplies and snack bowls and things like that. But people can. People are aware of mask wearing. They’re aware of using hand sanitizers. But habits that might be harder to break are sharing office supplies and touching other people’s things. So anytime that you can minimize that risk by providing personal supplies, that’s going to be a win for your client.

 

Client appreciation gift. This is my hero. So, of course, the theme of this gift is pay it forward. I think everyone’s looking for a little bit of meaning and connection to their community and a way to give back to society and everything kind of feels so tough. It’s important that we feel connected and that we give what we can because there are so many people hurting. And so there’s the pay it forward themed kit. So it’s all about sustainability, giving back and making your clients feel like you say they are appreciated and that you can show their appreciation by giving back to the community, supporting the community in their name.

 

So, of course, some branded USA drop made dress socks from Sock Club with recyclable packaging. This gives back to the American economy. You know, these are mills or family owned and. Really great small businesses that provide amazing middle class jobs.

 

So we really it’s important that we support our American industry, a tote bag made from recyclable materials. I have some links system, cool ones that I found a custom leather koozie or desk tray made by an organization with an amazing show, social purpose. I have a link to this as well. Oowee Products out of Asheville, North Carolina, employs all of their manufacturing employees, have autism or on the spectrum in some way, which is really, really cool and their products are sustainable.

 

So great to support an organization like that. And a donation made in their name to a local organization that aligns with their values. Maybe it’s a local food bank, maybe it’s a national organization, but you can print that on a custom folding card with a personalized note. Of course, if we’re sending these individually from our fulfillment facility, handwritten note might not be a thing that we can scan a handwritten note and bring it in there for you. The last one is a gift bag for virtual events.

 

The theme being virtual travel. So I think we’re all kind of itching for a vacation that we can’t necessarily take right now. So if the vacation that you’re looking forward to was at an event in a city outside of your own. I know. I love going to A.S.A. Chicago. Am very much missing that this one. It might be a fun thing to put together a gift bag with items that are themed for that destination. So a custom puzzle, which we can offer you with a photo of the location where the original event was supposed to happen.

 

A travel sized item representing the local flavor, potentially beignet mix for New Orleans. There is a link to this. And one of the resources, as you can tell, I got very excited about this brand and I’m asked their slippers to bring the relaxing feeling of a hotel to their home. And a leather luggage tag with the company’s logo on it. And. I believe it products offers this as well. But I did put a link to an additional company in there for you guys so you can kind of.

 

There are references for all of these products that I think the point is that there are amazing ideas out there. We’re going to do our final full. Okay, great. Thank you guys so much for participating in that pool. It looks like the number one thing is the creativity. Obviously, that’s kind of what keeps us all going. Number two, the people. Absolutely. I think we all got into this business to be creative and stayed because of the people and the clients that we met and learning from other’s experiences and resources.

 

I think. Most people have experienced it once, so no matter how strange the issue is, I think there’s another person out there that can help you with that. And sharing ideas for clients is another one. Obviously, that’s one of my favorite things since I just got so jazzed about that last part. And that I think all of those are amazing reasons that that we’re all grateful to be in this community. So that being said. We’re gonna go over the resources that you’re going to receive after the webinar, but before we get into that, just on that note, I think this has been something that I’ve kind of held close throughout this whole thing.

 

If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. I think we’re all facing obstacles right now that maybe we have encountered on a small scale, but not on a large scale. And so I think it’s really important if we want to get through this together stronger and better, that we do it together. So tips and resources. So we are going to this is kind of like what you can expect in in the resource follow up.

 

There is a blog of how Kevin Nineteen will affect product sourcing and shipping and in Q4, how to make a virtual event a success. And what are the best ideas for corporate gifting in 2020? That’s where you can find those ideas that we just went over, as well as the links and kitting jobs shipping into film. It is step by step guide. This is just tips and tricks to keep in mind as you look for a kitting and drop shipping partner.

 

This special secret invitation that was mentioned luxury slide is a link to an invite to Zappos official LinkedIn group for our distributor partners. And one thing that we encountered when we were inviting people to the webinar, that is that some people aren’t getting our communication about these type of events. And that can be, you know, a variety of reasons. Email filters not going through specific channels, but we really wanted to create a space that was not about necessarily buying stock club products, but about sharing ideas, identifying common obstacles and opportunities to overcome them, and kind of getting to know our team on a more personal basis.

 

We’re really, really excited about this. I think this is a really great way to communicate in a personal way that gets us out of email and kind of into a more organic space. And so I’m very excited to introduce that to you. That will be in your email as well. And I will also linked to all of these blogs on the LinkedIn group. I posted the quotes there as well, because I just love a quote. And I will put a recording of this webinar on there as well.

 

So now we’re going to get. In to some assurance up washings here. OK. So Jason asked just that clubs and free samples of care packages or kits. Yes. So we absolutely will do that for you. All you have to do is send us your address and we will send that sample your way. Another thing that we can do is up kit virtually that’s branded for your client. So when you’re pitching it, it will actually have their branding.

 

They can see what it looks like in real life. And we find the combination of the two really, really works to give people an idea of what they’ll be getting and why they should get it. What new product are and I’m most excited about. I guess the combination of the products that we are offering is what I’m most excited about. You know, one of our I said a little bit about our April pivot earlier this year, we introduced a lot of new products.

 

So what we kind of realized in that in that exercise was that we can find cool stuff like if we have an idea for a cool item. It’s not that hard for us to find a way to make it. Our production team is incredible and they have wonderful high standards and so very confident about that. But the most excited thing, the thing that makes me most excited about that is the opportunity to pair things together. Scuse me and really make some cool combinations out of existing items and really come up with an idea instead of just selling one product.

 

So that’s what I’m most excited about.

 

Caroline. I mentioned that we don’t sell coffee mugs or coffee. But is that something you could help source? Absolutely, Caroline. I have to do it myself. I will. I’m really excited about this Gipp campaign. So, like, let’s do it together. We can 100 percent do that. Anything that you’re having trouble finding, just let us know. We love the hood. Can we do rush fulfillment or orders? Absolutely. We never charge rush fees.

 

So the only thing that you might pay for is expedited shipping. But we’ll do everything we can to avoid that. But basically, just let us through your timeline and we’ll make it happen. Can you ship custom boxes to can you ship custom boxes to us or do we have to buy them from up? You can send us any products and we’ll get them to tell them, like, no problem at all. Your boxes on hand that you’re trying to use or something like that.

 

Not a problem at all. We do offer a variety of standard box sizes as well as custom box sizes, but boxes are the same as any other product. If you are looking for a source for them, then we can absolutely do that for you.

 

Can. Can can you all ship on your own account, we’re doing fulfillment. Absolutely. Absolutely. However you want to ship. It’s up to you. We will make it happen.

 

And then how do you request mockups or virtualize? So two main ways, you can either just send us an email with a logo or you can fill out the form on our Web site or give us a call. And send me a message on LinkedIn, kind of however well we want to do is make wins happen for your client. So just send us Logo’s if you have them. Vector, of course, preferred, especially if we’re doing a box or some sort of printed item and then we will get it going for you.

 

All right. So it looks like we are running out of time, and that is pretty much the end of our question. So you will get a survey after the webinar just kind of with a couple of questions about improvements that we can make or topics that we should cover in the future. I would appreciate if you would fill that out. It will really help us improve our experience for next time.

 

Also, you will get a follow up e-mail in about an hour with all of this information in there. The playlist, which I know is what you guys are most excited about. An invitation to the LinkedIn group and kind of connecting you with our team. And and that should be about it. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me or anyone on the team. We are here for you. Even if you just want to brainstorm, obviously, I get super excited about that.

 

So we’re just here to be your partner in any way we can. And I’m really looking forward to continuing this discussion in our new fun LinkedIn group. Thanks, everybody.

 

Categories
Staff Spotlight

Staff Spotlight: Hanna King Graphic Designer

Meet the minds behind Sock Club’s custom socks.

HannaSpotlight 400

 A true “unicorn,” Hanna was born and raised in Austin. She graduated with honors from St. Edward’s University with a B.A. in Graphic Design. Hanna began her sock stardom in December 2018 as a graphic designer.

What’s your pump-up jam?

“Bohemian Rhapsody.”It starts off slow but it has a nice build. I know every single lyric and all the guitar solos. Honestly, I’d love to make custom socks for Queen.

How did you hear about Sock Club?

I heard about Sock Club through my coworker, Emily. We were in graphic design together at St. Edward’s. I applied as one of my first jobs out of college, and then I got the job! It was remarkable.

What has surprised you most about custom socks?

There are so many designs you can create other than polka dots, argyle, or repeating logos. You can put anything you want on a sock. I always thought of socks traditionally with patterns, but custom socks are art for your feet. A graphic designer here is never the same every day. I see so many cool companies that I’ve never heard of, it’s amazing.

How would you define creativity?

Creativity is essentially how people express themselves. I think it comes from a place of empathy. It doesn’t always come out intangible things, but you can always show it.

Why do you love being a designer?

I’ve always wanted to be a designer. I am artsy and creative; that’s just how my brain functions. I get my stress out through art. Having a design position is a perfect fit for me.

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Hanna’s custom sock design for Houston band Khruangbin.

What’s the custom sock you are most proud of thus far?

I just completed a sock design mockup for the Environmental Law Conference at Yosemite. It’s special to me because my grandma lives so close to Yosemite, and I’ve been there before. I was a little nervous about making it because the rock formations are complicated, and it’s especially difficult to try to make the mountain look realistic with yarn stitches. I am really proud of the way it turned out. Being a graphic designer for Sock Club has allowed me to make an impact on organizations that are close to me through creativity.

What are three things still left on your bucket list?

  1. Skydive, absolutely. I love adventure.
  2. Go to Italy and learn how to make cheese. I think it would be cool to learn how to make cheese from an old Italian man.
  3. Have kids. I feel like I was born to be a mom.

What’s your secret talent that nobody knows about?

I can untangle any piece of jewelry. I call this my “small magic”— it’s my tiny hands.

If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

I’ve been into art restoration lately. Restoring old art pieces would be fascinating; getting old wax off, repainting the art, and fixing up the cracks. I watch art restoration videos almost every night.

What do you want to be remembered for?

Being kind. My dad always told me growing up to be kind to everyone I meet. My motto is to make someone smile every day, whether it’s the same person or someone different.

You’re a new addition to Sock Club’s color library. What custom color would you be and why?

I would be dark jade, like a jewel jade. It’s soothing, and I try to be that for the people around me. And it’s a color you often see in nature, too.

Categories
Custom Swag

Design Custom Socks for Sports Uniforms ?

Custom knit socks are a great way to unify a sports team. From major professional football teams to recreational kickball leagues, Sock Club has the perfect option for your project.

Soccer game

ATHLETIC SOCK OPTIONS FOR ALL SPORTS

Nylon Crew Socks

Our custom nylon crew socks are perfect for a sports team looking to create a branded head-to-toe uniform. They are endlessly customizable with features like breathable mesh, compression around the foot, and cushion on the footbed. The length of the cuff is shorter than our typical cotton crew, which gives our nylon socks a more streamlined style. Because this nylon sock provides a snug fit without ribbing, logos knit cleanly into the calf of the sock.

Nylon Ankle Sock

Our custom nylon ankle socks have the same optional features of our nylon crew socks but in a shorter, no-show style. This style is popular for sports like running or weightlifting where a shorter sock is often worn.

Cotton Athletic Sock

Our custom cotton athletic sock has been gaining popularity since we began to offer it as an option for a more casual athletic sock. It is customizable with features like ribbing on the calf and a shorter cuff than our standard cotton crew sock. Our cotton athletic sock is closest to what most recreational athletes use on a daily basis for physical activities like going to the gym or playing basketball with friends.

 

WAYS TO USE ATHLETIC SOCKS

Official Uniform Gear

Custom socks for official athletic teams are an easy way to visually unify a group. When teams don’t have personalized socks, their mismatched outfits stand out in photos and make the players look less professional. Socks are a one-size-fits-most product, so it’s easy to order one run of custom socks and make sure that your team looks polished!

Branded Event Merchandise

Custom socks are a great way to promote marathons, cycling races, CrossFit meets and many other kinds of athletic events! Often, marathons we’ve had as clients include socks as an item runners get when they check-in before a race. This is a great way to get people excited about the event. Custom socks also act as collector’s items for people who return to annual athletic events and want to collect socks to train year-round.

Because of Sock Club’s fast turnaround time, we can often meet deadlines even if you’ve got a late start on planning your event merchandise.

College Sports Teams

Often, colleges have limited budgets for merchandise. This means that custom products made for the sports programs at the school need to apply to multiple sports. Socks can be branded with the school’s colors, shield or mascot and worn by student-athletes across different sporting programs. Unlike sport-specific items, socks are an item that can be used by every athlete in a college setting.

Children’s Teams

Custom socks for children’s sports teams are a fun item they can use year-round. Socks are an inexpensive, unisex, one-size-fits-most product, which makes ordering for a group quick and easy. No need to collect sizing information from team members’ parents!

Gym Merchandise

Gyms and workout centers often have a space of their entryway designated as shops to sell branded merchandise and fitness essentials. Custom socks are a fantastic fit for gym shops because they are an item people coming into workout often realize they have left at home. Branding these essential items is an easy way to keep customers representing your gym while they are working out or are around town running errands.

Check out some of the custom sports socks designed by Sock Club!

Example of custom socks for sports

 

Categories
Custom Swag

Five unexpected ways to use custom socks

Custom socks are unique and fun gifts for so many occasions. No need to worry about what to get your wedding party or how to raise money for your kid’s sports program. We’ve got the answer. Here are five unexpected ways to spread custom sock love. 

1. Prizes Whether it’s at a school function or a kickball tournament, people LOVE a good prize. They inspire excitement, competition, and participation. Quality custom socks make an enticing prize because they are unique and super comfy-cozy. Prizes ranked number one out of our five because prizes are universal and work for all industries and companies.

 

2. Wedding Goodies Coming up with thoughtful and personal gifts for your guests can be daunting. Many gifts don’t create for a lasting memory like candy or bubbles. Beautifully designed socks celebrating the happy couple make for a lovely and lasting display of gratitude. Your guests will be wearing them for years to come.

 

3. Family Reunions For the next family reunion, ditch the kitchen t-shirts your Aunt Betty INSISTS on making every year and suggest something classy and new – socks customized just for your fam! They’ll be so cozy and cute, even your auntie will be on board.

 

4. Auctions Silent auctions are a great way to raise money and achieve a financial goal, but it can be tough curating items that people actually want to bid on. Custom socks or even a monthly sock subscription is something that keeps giving more than a fruit basket or fly fishing lesson. What’s more, they’re a cost-effective item which is important when you’re trying to reach a financial goal.

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5. Thank you gifts People who give so much to others make the world go round! They deserve to feel the karma of a thoughtful, thank you gift. Giving the gift of beautifully-designed custom socks can make for a great way to give back because they show true care and gratitude. Don’t forget to say please and thank you.

These are just five uses for custom socks. Our team is ready to help you brainstorm more ideas and ways your personal and professional life can use custom socks.

Explore our past designs!

Categories
Uncategorized Company Culture

Knitting the Dream: Sock Club’s Evolution

“We’ll get it done, and if we can’t, we’ll find a way to get it done.”
– Lauren Chen, Sock Designer at Sock Club
sock club founders in sock mill
While Sock Club’s legacy began with its subscription service in 2012, we quickly found our footing in the promotional and custom product space in 2014. We’ve created socks for a variety of dynamic industries, from automotive to education; tech to music. What started as two guys with an idea grew into a business that far out weaved Sock Club’s humble beginnings. Lauren Chen, a seasoned sock designer of three and a half years, steps us through the company’s custom design evolution. 

How has Sock Club’s custom brand strengthened over the years through evolution? “I think the great thing about Sock Club is how we’ve been able to define and prove ourselves. We make it work and Tim Gunn-it on a short deadline. We’ll get it done, and if we can’t, we’ll find a way to get it done. I have to give a shoutout to our vendors for making all of that possible, and especially for working with us so we can exceed expectations for our clients.” With their help, we were able to start the foundation for Sock Club’s evolution

How has the process of making custom socks changed for the design team? “The team has added so many different sock designers with various takes and styles. Some designers enjoy pushing the boundaries of what Sock Club can do, while others like to focus on a specific theme. It’s been interesting to see the design team’s diverse illustration styles as well as their ability to take wild concepts and condense them down into something that can be knit.”

In what ways have you seen designers push boundaries now compared to when you first began at Sock Club? “When I first started, the design team was still using vector designs to some extent. We quickly transitioned into creating production-ready samples of designs and would use Photoshop to trace designs and ‘pixel push.’  However, some sock designers realized we could use the threshold and posterize tools in Photoshop to speed up our process and turn given art into knitwear more efficiently. However, this wasn’t something I learned until a year or two here but has been a total game-changer.”

How has your design approach evolved since you first started at Sock Club? “Being a sock designer has ultimately taught me efficiency. I’m much better at anticipating what clients are probably looking for, especially if it’s a scenario where they send me a logo and want me to ‘make it work.'”

Have you noticed any trends in how custom designs have changed at Sock Club?  “Since last year, the amount of requests for athletic socks has definitely increased. We’ve learned a lot about the do’s and don’ts and best practices of athletic socks, and we are equipped with the knowledge of what we can successfully create.”

Who is your favorite client?  “I have two. Iam8bit produces video game merchandise. The owners are really nice and provide us plenty of lead time and fun, creative assets. Last year, I helped them create a Fortnite sock that was used as a giveaway. My second is Mayfield Robotics. The original point of contact was this woman named Laurel. I still have her number on my phone. She’s super positive and always helpful. It’s just nice to work with clients like that. Mayfield’s robot, Kuri, is really cute, too.”

Mayfield Robotics
Lauren’s custom knee-high socks for Mayfield Robotics.

Where is Sock Club’s custom sock design heading? “Our cotton crew sock is the frontrunner followed by our athletic crew sock. As we are developing our processes, I see us making any kind of chassis [style] imaginable for our custom socks. I think we’re only going to continue refining our design and expanding our business outside of socks.” The sock evolution is changing every year, how will you use your custom socks?

Categories
Custom Swag

Why custom socks make the best volunteer gifts?️

Finding the right volunteer gifts can be rough. What’s thoughtful and not going to be thrown away after a week? Here’s why you should give custom socks out to your next round of fearless volunteers. 

You have creative control The beauty of custom socks is that the design options are endless. If you want the skyline of Chicago, your personal sock designer can make that happen. Maybe your organization wants to celebrate an MVP volunteer or multiple volunteers. Go ahead and slap their face on a pair. Designs can range from classy, business profesh all the way to Lisa Frank-Esque rainbow socks. No need to box yourself in because the customization options are endless!

…or not

Here’s the thing, some of us are not so creatively-inclined and find the design process overwhelming and that’s ok. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to. A professional sock designer is assigned to you, once you fill out the form. They spend their working hours coming up with four different sock design options for you to choose from. You can ask for revisions or not. It’s totally up to you and your needs.

You can even customize the packaging

Being thoughtful is an art form and the devil is in the details. Custom packaging allows you to put together an entire experience around special gifts. From adding a special note to volunteers to designing a custom box, up the hospitality by creating a whole gift-giving experience with thoughtful wrapping and packaging.

Your wallet will love you

money dance giphy

Are you ready to elevate your volunteer swag?

Upload your logo

Categories
Face Socks

We’re launching our face socks: Design Lab! ??

At Sock Club we get some awesome and wild requests for sock designs. We have beautiful city skylines, food, instruments, plants, you name it! A lot of times we have people ask if we can make socks with their dog or loved one’s face on them. For a long time this was something that we were unable to accommodate, but the more we thought about it – we realized that we can figure out how to do that!

Our team set out on a mission to learn more about these socks with faces on them. Who else is selling these? Why do people want them? What are the challenges in making them? We quickly realized that this product is FUN! People love them because it is a personal and unique gift. We realized that we have to start offering face socks to our customers.

After a lot of hard work and testing, we have come up with a product that we love. We’ve started offering custom face socks with an order minimum of 1 pair. We have themes like Dogs, # 1 Dad, #1 Mom, Love, Cats, and more. We also offer the ability to start from scratch and customize the socks yourself, making them extra special!

Our first sale was actually to a wonderful woman named Lynn who wanted to give a gift to her cruise ship captain. He loves wacky socks and she thought there was no better gift than a unique pair specific to him! She ordered a pair of socks with his face on them – and had them shipped to him in the Czech Republic. What a fun way to say hello, thank you, or have a great day!

We cannot wait to be a part of more personal and fun stories like Lynn and her cruise ship captain! We are so excited about a tangible, happy gift that lives on with every wear. Order a pair of Face Socks HERE!

Categories
Company Culture

5 ways to create a positive company culture

Having a thriving company culture is important. It’s a direct reflection of corporate values and employer brand. It allows you to attract and keep the cream-of-the-crop talent while retaining valuable employees. When it comes to keeping employees happy, organizations should go above and beyond. Here are five ways the create the best company culture.
Sock Club employee outing

1. Establish your mission People want to work towards something. Communicate a clear company mission that people can get behind. Whether it’s providing the best customer service possible or innovating technology, employees want to know they’re doing good work. This is important to the company culture to keep the vision positive and inspiring. Make sure you believe it too.

2. Stop. Collaborate… It’s an age-old tale Vanilla Ice has been evangelizing since the dawn of time. Collaboration leads to more productivity and a positive workplace environment. Promote collaboration by providing an open office space both spatially and interpersonally. An open-concept workspace allows employees accessibility to each other by creating more opportunities to work together. You can take this concept a step further by using project collaboration apps like Asana and Trello.

3. …and Listen. Ice said collaborate AND listen. If employees are going to work together, it’s important to promote active listening and management should lead by example. Host brainstorming meetings. Fully concentrate on the person speaking and their ideas and not just passively listen in order to respond. Make employees feel heard!

4. Communicate your culture! Company culture should be evident, however, it’s not always common sense. Outline it to new employees. Define it. Live it. Clearly communicate what’s expected of each individual in their role. Many companies use poster series, weekly meetings and happy hours to remind people. Most importantly, consider culture in every decision made. From the time candidates walk in the door for their interview to their 10 year anniversary, how is culture communicated? Communicating a positive culture and employer brand is key to hiring the best talent.

5. Never stop investing in your employees. Investing in your employees is the greatest business decision you will ever make. Employees want to grow throughout their careers and simply having the opportunity to move up the ladder is no longer enough. The more employees feel invested in, the more loyal they will be to the company. So sign off on those enrichment courses and encourage company members to take on new roles. If the budget is tight, consider gifting your team some company swag. No matter the size of the investment, you’re definitely going to see positive ROI.

Check out some of the company culture swag Sock Club has designed!

Custom socks from a variety of companies
Custom socks from multiple companies