SockTABS was created as a wearable solution to the ‘where is my other sock’ problem most people face every laundry day. Basically, SockTABS are discreet, small, sing-shaped tabs that help keep your socks paired with their ‘sock mates.’ They are discreet enough to be worn on your days out and can also be used as a sock accessory. Just add on a SockTAB to your pairs of socks before washing and drying them, and they will remain tacked together – defeating the ‘sock monster’ we all face on a regular basis. They come in a variety of different colors, including a primary colors pack and a neon colors pack.
The husband and wife team of Glen Burress and Tracie Burress were the creators of the SockTABS. Ironically, hailing from the home of the iconic Sock Monkey, Rockford, Illinois. Tracie, who was a sales rep for a pharmaceutical company, started working on these sock-saving tabs after a grueling, 11-hour brain surgery after she suffered from a brain aneurysm in 2013. Her husband, Glen, who was an assistant professor at the University of Illinois Medical School, and a pediatric gastroenterologist, also helped Tracie create and run their newly found business. Their start-up was also aided by the Rockford-based EIGERLab, a business incubator that helps young businesses grow. By November of 2014, Glen and Tracie’s business finally opened their doors to the public.
Glen and Tracie appeared on season 7, episode 9 of Shark Tank, looking for a $50,000 investment for a 20% stake in their business. In the episode, Glen and Tracie performed a sock-puppet opera – which was a story of love and losses as one sock gets lost forever.
They then showed off their SockTABs, and how they work and also provided samples to the sharks. Tracie said these tabs help eliminate the worst part about laundry – finding and pairing socks together.
Lori was the first to back off, stating that there were many other products and companies accomplishing the same task and mentioning a conflict with a similar business. The next shark to back away was Robert, claiming Tracie as the reason for SockTABS’s success but not being interested enough.
Daymond was also quick to back away (at first) due to being in business with Bombas, another sock and apparel company, claiming losing socks was a part of their business. Mark Cuban also backed out of the deal, mentioning not getting $50,000 wouldn’t cause too much of an issue to their business and not wanting to be a part of a sock business.
Kevin also wanted no part of the deal, stating the fact that Tracie, who was the main reason for the business’s success, was working on it part-time and would have to quit her pharmaceutical sales rep job. Tracie did state that she put her 100% into her dream but wasn’t able to convince Kevin as he backed out completely too.
Tracie then told her complete story – about how she suffered a near-fatal brain aneurysm, her 11-hour surgery, and saying God had brought her back stronger and feistier than ever. After listening to the husband and wife teams’ tragic story, as they were about to leave, Daymond called them back and offered a $50,000 deal for a 30% stake – if the Bombas team agreed to the deal. The husband and wife team of Glen and Tracie were incredibly happy to accept Daymond’s deal.
Our Review of the SockTABS
Since accepting Daymond’s deal of $50,000, the Burress’ appeared on various live shows, including Daymond’s HSN shopping network. They also started expanding their business into other parts of Chicago and were able to land on many Bed, Bath, and Beyond shelves. They also started selling directly to customers on Amazon.
In late 2018, SockTABS ran out of stock, and their website was left without updates until the closing months of 2021. They finally refreshed their inventory and are now running as normal on their own website and still selling their products on Amazon. Since being picked by Daymon, their annual revenues have reached over $200,000, and the company is now valued at a pretty good $1.1 million!
SockTABS is easy to use – all you have to do is tack on a tab to any pairs of socks you want to wash, and the tab is supposed to keep them together throughout the washing and drying process. The tabs are tiny, so you don’t really have to worry about them making a huge hole in your socks or ruining them. They can also be worn as accessories or ‘sock cuff links,’ as Tracie called them. The various colors they are available in and the small, wing-like shape they come in make them easily pairable with various colored socks. If you are someone who is a regular victim of the sock monster and you keep managing to lose socks, these just might be worth it!
Pros of SockTABS
- Easy to Use: These tabs are incredibly easy to use. All you have to do is tack on a SockTAB, pierce it through so that both socks are tacked on, and voila! Your socks will remain together throughout the washing and drying cycles!
- Doesn’t Harm Socks: The wings and tabs are very thin and slender, which allows them to pierce through socks easily and without damaging any fibers of your sock.
- Durable: all tabs are made from durable and temperature-resistant polymers, allowing them to be used in all kinds of washing machines and dryers.
Cons of SockTABS
- These tabs, while they do work most of the time, aren’t perfect. Users consistently report still losing their socks even with the tabs on.
- A lot of users complain that wearing SockTABS as an accessory is incredibly uncomfortable, especially with ankle socks.
- Some users also report that SockTABS cause damage – tears, rips, and holes.
Who Is SockTABS For?
SockTABS was created to be used by anyone who wears socks, from office-going professionals to sneaker wearers, so that they never lose a pair.
Are There Any Alternatives?
We weren’t able to find any direct alternative products – but there are a lot of tips and tricks available online to help keep your socks together.
Our Final Thoughts
Even though SockTABS is a very good idea to solve a very common problem, they do not always work. They can be helpful, but placing a tab on every pair of socks before doing your laundry is also an extra, tedious task that one would have to do on their laundry days.