Humble Beginnings: How Troll Socks Came To Be The Red Headed Stepchild In The Socks Industry That You Tried To Ignore But Is About To Hit A Growth Spurt To Fully Come Into Itself

Humble Beginnings: How Troll Socks Came To Be The Red Headed Stepchild In The Socks Industry That You Tried To Ignore But Is About To Hit A Growth Spurt To Fully Come Into Itself

The day started out like most other days do, wiping drool away from the corners of my mouth and scrambling to find my phone to shut off that God-forsaken alarm. Ten minutes later I’ll go through the same battle as the tiny computer shrieks out of its snooze and my arm flops all over the night stand like a fish out of water. Today I cannot fight it a third time and give in to its will.

Mrs. Troll has already been up scrolly mcscrolling on her device for at least an hour and I decide I can’t let her get any further ahead of me into the internet so I warm up the thumbs (through calisthenics, you heathens) and hop on Twitter. I dial the thumbs up to 3X their normal speed and start a furious double-tap, scroll, double-tap cadence rarely seen on a Saturday morning, let alone a lazy Sunday.

I stop dead in my thumbtracks at a picture posted by an Astronaut named Jack Fisher of hurricane {insert the in-vogue human hurricane name of the time} from the International Space Station. Damn, that’s cool. I fight the inevitable urge to go down a “hurricane pics from space” rabbit hole via Google and Youtube because then Mrs. Troll would for sure win the internet race today. So instead I open the door to Astronaut Jack Fisher’s Twittersphere and scroll through his pictures of floating desserts and sunrises over definitely round earth off in the distance. A few more scrolls and I get to this tweet:

I thought that was an interesting way to look at socks and excitedly showed it to Mrs. Troll, as we were in our actively searching for a business idea phase of our business idea, and she paused the definitely funny Facebook video she was watching, took one look at the tweet and said, “Let’s do it!”

We bought the domain for TrollSocks.com and reserved all the social handles the very next minute. This really was one of those moments where you both kind of have a feeling that you were meant to do this, so there was no time to waste. We formed an LLC, deposited money into it, and started researching everything we could about socks. With Mrs. Troll's finance brain and my creative brain we had a great couple of brains to make this company something cool. 

Then over the next year we did all the tedious and annoying things you need to do to start a business like, tell your friends you aren’t crazy and making socks with faces really IS a good idea with endless potential and they just don't get it, which is fine. But we’ll spare you all those details. I've shared some early sketches, graphic design, and samples below and hope that it's interesting to you. If you haven't noticed, we're different and we think that sharing our story with you all as we grow will allow you to feel like you are a part of the story, and rightfully so! 

LOGO SKETCHES
We played around with different ideas for a logo and ultimately landed on the one on our site today. I like to sketch things out on paper first, then when we have an idea of where we want to go with I'll send sketches to a graphic designer who will transfer it digitally. 

Troll Socks Troll Socks Logo Trollsocks Fun Socks Cool Socks

FIRST DESIGN SKETCHES

Troll Socks designs Trollsocks Fun Socks Cool Socks

Initially we thought we thought we'd be doing just emoji socks, similar to what Jack Fisher posted on his Twitter. These sketches were made the same day he posted. As we thought about it more and the idea evolved we knew there'd be more demand for famous athletes, musicians, characters and politicians.

Initially, the hair was going to be longer around the toes, but the manufacturer couldn't make it work in the machine unless we made the entire sock that way. We're glad because we love the length of the current "hair" on our socks.

A lot of our initial designs didn't get made into socks for our launch, and may never get made into socks. Mr. and Mrs. Newmans are a loving troll couple and maybe you'll see them pop up as a special Valentines Day couples sock one day.



This Ostrich was going to be our first animal sock, but we didn't like the final design from our graphic designer and decided to go with Foxy instead. This is Mrs. Troll's favorite sock though so one day you'll see the Ostrich pop up. 

Troll Socks Trollsocks Troll Socks designs cool socks fun socks

Another one of our original designs that didn't make the first run but that we will release at some point in the future. Leave a comment with potential names for him and if you would like to see him released. Same for the Ostrich :).

EVOLUTION OF A DESIGN

Sketch on paper, then send to a professional.

Professional comes up with some options. 

Troll Socks Trollsocks Trump Socks Donald Trump Socks Trump Socks Design

We narrow in on one and suggest a few edits. Designer sends back new designs.

donald trump socks trump socks maga socks troll socks trollsocks fun socks cool socks

We settle on something we like and send a much more complicated design than you see above to the manufacturer to make a sample. A manufacturer sends us our first ever sample and explains don't worry about the hair color because they can die it to be any color we want if we order the whole run through them. 

First Trump Socks Sample Trump Socks Donald Trump Socks Maga Socks Troll Socks Trollsocks

We don't like the quality, and the details of the face are not to where we want them to be. This feels and looks amateur so we try another manufacturer and they send us a sample. They said the same thing about the hair and not to worry about the color, just check the quality.

We really liked this sample and asked to make a few small changes and asked them to send another sample with the real color hair this time. This sock was very comfortable and we loved the length of the hair and the definition in the face was where we wanted it to be. They send back the sample which ended up being the final for our full run of Trump socks! They also sent along samples of our XO Smile Back socks with this next sample and we loved those as well. 

Trump Socks Donald Trump Socks Trump Socks samples Maga socks troll socks trollsocks fun socks cool socks

 

JAY CRITCH EVOLUTION
Jay Critch Socks Troll Socks Trollsocks fun socks cool socks jay critch gear

Jay Critch socks jay critch gear troll socks trollsocks fun socks cool socks

Troll Socks Trollsocks trollsocks.com jay critch socks fun socks cool socks

PACKAGING EVOLUTION

We wanted packaging that makes our socks look and feel like a collectors item. Because they are limited editions, we put the total # of printed pairs in a star on the back of the packaging. We want people wearing and enjoying the socks but if collecting becomes a byproduct we'd love that. 

Troll Socks trollsocks trollsocks.com fun socks cool socks trump socks donald trump socks

The manufacturer sent back the packaging and it was cardboard color, which did not give the look and feel we were looking for. We wanted it to be white so the color and name of the sock pops off the paper. We also asked them to arrange the socks with the face upright so it's peeking out from behind the card.

We couldn't be happier with how the final packaging came out and how the socks are peeking out over the card. We want people to feel excited to get their socks and we think this packaging adds to the experience. So far almost every customer has posted pictures or videos with excitement on their social media as they get their socks, so we think we made the right choices :)

That's it for now. We hope you enjoyed peeking behind the curtain and want you to know that we are going to keep pushing the envelope. Expect a lot more designs in 2019! 

CLICK HERE TO SHOP OUR SOCKS


1 comment

  • Tiernan

    These socks are the best; comfortable, creative, and they make for great presents this holiday season!! 10/10 recommend getting a pair (or five).

Leave a comment