Bombas: Quality socks for shoppers and the homeless

- It all started back in 2011. Randy Goldberg and David Heath were working at an early stage media company and came across a quote that said socks were the most requested clothing item in homeless shelters. The quote stuck with them, and Bombas was born.

David and Randy had never made a product before, let alone socks, but they made it their mission to get socks to as many homeless people as possible while making the most comfortable socks on the market.

Randy says they tested 138 different tension levels for their calf socks to make sure they would stay up but weren't too tight.

David says they eliminated the annoying toe seam, added a patented honeycomb arch support system, created a y-stitched heel and a comfort foot bed while using a really technical but comfortable fabric.

They called the brand Bombas, derived from the Latin word for bumblebee.

David says they chose bees because they're altruistic animals that work together as a hive and come together as a community to solve the problems within their world.

Their motto? Bee better.

They stitch it in every pair of their socks as a gentle reminder for their customers to just be better.

Bombas launched with an Indiegogo campaign in 2013 that raised over $140,000.

Their dream, to eventually donate a million pairs of socks to the homeless, happened a little faster than David expected. He half-jokingly told Randy that if they ever donated a million socks, he would get a tattoo to celebrate. They thought it might have taken 10 years, but something magical happened. People loved their socks, and within 2.5 years, Bombas had donated their millionth pair.

Today, Dave has a tattoo and Bombas has donated over 4 million pairs of socks. Randy says they work with shelters in every state in the country. And they've improved the socks they donate, reinforcing the seams to extend the life of the socks, using dark socks to show less visible wear, and adding an anti-microbial treatment.

On the retail side, they now have more than 600 SKUs. They've come out with merino wool socks. Dave says the no-show socks have become best sellers because they fixed everything that was wrong with no-show products. They also now have dress socks, and will be releasing performance running socks, hiking socks, and ski socks.

Just this summer Bombas moved to a brand-new office in Manhattan, with room for their team of more than 40 worker bees. They expect to have more than 100 employees soon.

One of the things they are proudest of is having 100 percent employee retention. Since they've started, Dave says, no one has ever quit or been fired. He calls Bombas a close-knit, tight family.

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