How Sock Start-Up Bombas Brings In $100 Million A Year

We started this company fiveand a half years ago.

You know we hada goal of donating a million pairsof socks.

And this year we'regonna donate our 25 millionth pair.

I'm David Heat, I'mthe co-founder and CEO of Bombas.

I'm Randy Goldberg I'mthe co-founder and Chief Brand Officerat Bombas.

David and Randy metwhile working at a startup.

One day, Davidsaw a quote on Facebook, “Socks are thenumber one most requested item inhomeless shelters.

” A light bulb went off.

In 2013, they launchedBombas — a sock company that donates onepair of socks for every pair sold.

The name Bombas comes fromthe Latin word for a bumblebee.

Bees arealtruistic animals.

They live in a hive.

They work together tomake their world a better place.

So we took alot of inspiration from that and it's sortof infused in everything that we do in ourculture, in the socks that we design, in theT-shirts that we design.

It's really everywherein Bombas.

The team was inspiredby companies like TOMS and Warby Parker whowork with a similar model.

We didn't grow up dreamingof starting a sock company.

I'm not sureanybody ever has, but we got obsessed with socksand we looked at every pair of socksin the market.

We realized that whatmost people were wearing just weren'tthat comfortable.

And there were ideasand features that we started to notice thatwe could improve upon.

We started getting hundredsand hundreds of samples in and we'd alwayskind of stuff our our gym bags with socksand we'd go to the gym and randomly go upto people and be like, “Hey I knowthis sounds really strange but can you try apair of our socks?” Those same people would alwayscome back a few days later and belike, “You know those socks you gave me.

? They're really reallygood.

How do I get some?” The team decided tolaunch on Indiegogo with a goal of $15, 000over a 30-day period.

Within the first24 hours, we did over $25, 000 in salesand then over that 30-day period, wegrossed just under $150, 000 worthof sales.

So what makes thesesocks so extraordinary? It starts with reallygreat materials — amazing high-qualitylong-staple cotton, really well made merinowool, and then from there we, think about thetoe seem, the arch support.

We have whatwe call a honeycomb arch support.

It really makes like agood hug around your mid-foot.

People lovethat feature.

We use a differentstitching technique on the heels so the heelcup grips your foot.

We tested tension levelsin our calf socks so they stay up anddon't slide down, but don't leave marks on yourleg so it's really about thoughtful designand a consumer-focused approach to howwe build a product intoday's world.

The socks arekind of pricey.

A 12-pack of women'sankle socks goes for $144.

And some of thesocks cost $18 a pair.

Why are people willingto pay that much? Before Starbucksyou bought coffee from Maxwell House and hadit at home or bought coffee at acorner deli for $0.

75 and what they didwas improved the quality so much and improvethe experience around coffee, that they werebringing the price up to 3x what you usedto spend so if it's $0.

75 at a cornerdeli and it's $2.

25 at Starbucks, you're willingto pay extra for a better experience, for a better product, and it's thesame thing with our socks.

And people love them.

They are softand cushy.

They stay in placeall day long.

The arch support helpsyour feet feel good even when you're runningand gunning all day or working out.

I didn't expect to lovethem like I do.

It's a no-brainerfor me.

I get comfy socks andthen someone in need gets supercomfy socks.

The mission portion ofour business has almost driven the businesspart of our business.

Besides making great socksBombas wants to be the best placeto work.

This is a self-selectinggroup of people, right? People who comeand work at Bombas want to make animpact in the communities where we allwork and live.

Bombas employees do theirfair share of giving back.

One key thing that we doas a team is that we volunteer our time.

We're not justdonating socks, we're donating hours and we'redonating parts of our lives during the workweek to go and connect with theshelters and organizations that we support throughour sock donations.

So, we're handing outsocks, we're serving food, we're walking aroundon the streets, we're meeting people whoare really invested in improving the community andwe want to be very closely connected tothat so that we understand why we're allhere and why we're doing what wedo.

Coming into this organization, wehad set a goal really, really early on tobe the best place to work forany employee.

Like many startups, Bombas offers unlimited vacation and free meals afew times a week.

They also leave the officetwice a year for a company retreat.

So what's nextfor Bombas? Socks will always be theheart of what we do, but we're releasingnew products this year starting with T-shirtswhich is really exciting.

In the sameway that we developed socks over two years tofind and make the most thoughtful version ofa product that we all know already, we'vedone the same thing with T-shirts.

So the T-shirt is asuper thoughtful product made Peruvian Pima cotton, has a cool hand feel, kind of like theother side of the pillow.

It's designed tofeel like your favorite T-shirt fromday one.

So the first T-shirtyou're gonna want to wear out ofthe wash every time.

I mean, somethingthat we say sometimes is “It'sjust socks.

” But when we saythat, what we're really saying is, “Well, it'sjust socks but look at what socks can do.

” You hand somebodya pair of socks who's having a hardday and it starts a conversation and that'sa moment of dignity.

And then all of asudden you have a little bit more compassion, alittle bit more understanding, and youhelp somebody out.