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Sam Moses is the Founder and CEO of Sockrates Custom Socks, a Florida-based company that specializes in producing high-quality custom socks with the fastest turnaround time in the industry. With over 4,000 clients, including Google, Netflix, and Disney, Sockrates has become the go-to for businesses looking for fashionable, personalized footwear as corporate gifts. Bringing extensive experience in the manufacturing sector, Sam’s ingenuity is demonstrated in Sockrates’ unique and efficient production model. He is committed to creating products that people will actually wear and appreciate, solidifying his brand’s reputation for both quality and creativity.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [3:46] The story behind Sockrates Custom Socks’ name and its rise as an industry leader
  • [6:07] The simple, all-inclusive process from design to delivery at Sockrates
  • [9:02] Sockrates’ real-world applications from Marvel movie releases to Chicago TV shows
  • [12:36] Understanding the importance of sustainable and memorable promotional products
  • [15:43] Sam Moses’ solution to industry production hurdles
  • [19:32] The logistical challenges and solutions that come with international sock production
  • [28:11] The importance of customer engagement through memorable gifts
  • [31:05] The value of focusing on core products and avoid diversifying into other markets
  • [33:25] The strategic benefit of referring clients to specialized partners for non-core products
  • [34:57] The challenges of retail and the advantages of a b2b model
  • [38:13] How incidental events can be the catalyst for reshaping business strategies

In this episode…

Company gifts can sometimes be underwhelming. In a market saturated with branded promotional products, how does one set themselves apart and deliver quality and speed in such a niche field?

Marketing expert Sam Moses dives into the magic behind the brand that revolutionized corporate gifting with socks. He discusses the initial challenges of entering the market, the process of creating a stand-out product, and how Sockrates Custom Socks managed to achieve a seven-day turnaround time, defying industry norms. He emphasizes the importance of design, sharing stories of how the carefully crafted products led to sustained brand visibility and genuine customer appreciation.

In this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast, Dr. Jeremy Weisz sits down with Sam Moses, Founder and CEO of Sockrates Custom Socks, to discuss his journey of turning everyday items into memorable corporate gifts. Sam shares the Sockrates journey, weaving a lesson on ingenuity and customer-focused product development.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Special Mention(s):

Related episode(s):

Quotable Moments:

  • “The goal when we produce socks is not to just take a logo and slap it on, but really produce a product that would actually be sold at retail.”
  • “When you send gifts, once a year, twice a year, to different people — you’re going to see responses.”
  • “Why don’t we just focus on what we’re good at and not get distracted, then it should continue to grow over time.”
  • “Everybody has something to give; so I try to take advice wherever I can get it.”

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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:01 

You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.

Jeremy Weisz 0:22 

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different. I have Sam Moses of Sockrates. They make custom socks. Sam immediately when I saw your product and your company, I’m like, I have to have this person on. Sockrates obviously in play on words. It’s spelled And before I formally introduce you, I always like to point out other episodes, people should check out the podcast and I’ll give a longer bio, but they’ve helped companies like Google, Netflix, Paramount, Coca-Cola, Disney. And it’s all about giving a gift that someone is actually going to use. Right. And so a previous guest, John Ruhlin, who wrote Giftology, it was a great guest, he talks about the concept of giving gifts that people care about, that they’re going to use.

And so that’s a great episode related to this, Corey Quinn. Corey Quinn actually was Scorpions chief marketing officer that helped grow the agency from $20 million to $150 million. And their core thing when I talked to him, Sam was gifting, they would do gifting to people, right, who doesn’t want to get a gift. And that’s one of the things that he talks about. Chad Rubin, who I had on the podcast, he started Skubana sold it. And now as a software prophecy, he always is talking about what cool swag people should get. And so I’ve already told them, like, you got to check out Sockrates because that’s, you’re gonna, you’re gonna start getting that for your company and Dan Kuchell too does the same thing. And that is a great episode of how he actually stressed himself out so much that he landed in the hospital, but grew several large companies there.

So check those out all on And this episode’s brought to you by Rise25. At Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and partnerships and how do we do that we actually help you run your podcasts when easy button for a company to launch and run a podcast. We do the strategy, the accountability and the flex acumen. Sam, we call ourselves the magic elves that work in the background and make it look easy for the host. So they could just talk, develop great relationships and actually run their business. For me, the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I found no better way over the past decade to profile the people and companies I most admire and share with the world what they’re working on.

So if you thought about podcasting, you should have questions go to I’m excited to introduce Sam Moses, founder and CEO of Sockrates Custom Socks. They’re based in Florida. And they specialize in producing the highest quality custom socks. And at the fastest turnaround time, I forgot what the saying is Sam, it’s like you can have cheap, fast, and good. But it seems like maybe you’ve conquered that. With Sockrates. They have over 4,000 clients. And Sockrates emerged as the industry leader in the field. They have clients in the United States, Germany, France, Iceland, UK, Israel, Canada all over. And I was mentioning some of their past clients, Google, Netflix, Starbucks, Disney, Pepsi, Dell, I can go on and on. But Sam, thanks for joining me.

Sam Moses 3:46 

Thanks for having me. And I appreciate the introduction. And I’m excited to be here.

Jeremy Weisz 3:52 

So talk just for a second people can check out I’m gonna, as you’re talking, I’m gonna pull up the website just so people can see it. But talk about Sockrates Custom Socks and what you do.

Sam Moses 4:03 

Sure, so we’re Sockrates you got it right. A lot of people call us sock rates, because it’s sock and rates together. But we’re definitely Sockrates. My wife came up with that name. She’s in advertising and she’s just got it, you know, it just came to us. And the minute we heard it, we were like, we got to work as hard as we can to get that name and to trademark that name. And we really loved it. And so what we do is we make custom socks for companies specifically for companies, we do not sell at retail. And companies will come to us and say, I’m going to a trade show or we’re doing a big event for our employees, or I really got to get some gifts out to our customers, and they’ll come to us and what we’ll do is we’ll take their logo and colors, we’ll design them we have a team of designers that all they do all day is designed socks, and we will then present them with some ideas of what the socks are going to look like.

Now that process is called a design board and that usually starts the conversation they see the socks coming alive. The goal of us when we produce socks is not to just take a logo and slap it on, but really produce a product that would actually be sold at retail that is fashionable. And that is interesting. And that somebody is actually going to wear using the colors and the brand of the company. So then we show them about six to eight designs, they go back and forth, and they choose between a few of them, they make some tweaks, and then from there, they will decide on the Sock that they want, we then go through the process of programming the Sock…

Jeremy Weisz 5:34 

I want to really quickly point something out here, Sam. So if you’re listening to the audio, there is a video version, we’re looking at the website here, and one thing I thought was unique, and I love that, I just picture all, most people think of dress socks, right, but you have a lot of different types. You were looking at dress socks, athletic socks, retro tube socks, wool socks, like for me, I’m like, I want the Deathlok socks, because I’ll actually, but so anyways, keep going. But I just want to share that there’s different types of socks that people can get.

Sam Moses 6:07 

Yeah, you can make athletic or retro to the wool, those cabin socks, they’re very popular in the winter, in northern climates, definitely. And we can do them in all different types ankle, knee high, those show so it’s very trendy, like ankle athletic socks in the spring, summer like really, really popular because everybody’s going out and running. And a little bit more active in the winter, we see the wool socks. But the key to the whole program is that it looks like a sock that you would wear that not shameless promotion of your brand. So it’s a cool-looking unique sock that is like fashionable. And that’s our goal when we design it. And obviously our goal when we actually produce it is to make it the highest quality sock we can make. So that somebody gets a lot of uses out of it.

I always tell people, we want to be top of the sock drawer, that sock that people want to pull really, really often. And having your brag at the top of somebody’s sock drawer, is pretty much front of mine did the boarding, so there’s a lot of value there. So they’ll still say, okay, we love number seven, we love socks, seven, let’s do 500 of them, the socks come all-inclusive with a label design, delivery everything to your door, there’s no ticky tacky fees, it’s all one price, based on how many you order. So if you order 1,000, it’s less money than if you order 100 per pair. And basically it shows up. And it’s a simple process. And the goal of our marketing and our operations is for somebody at the end to say wow, that was really easy. What I just did was super easy. And I went on with my life.

And a week later a sock and 1,000 pairs showed up for my show. We don’t make this hard, we make it really easy. And we make the price easy. And just the entire thing. The entire process is supposed to be easy, but not only easy, but like effective. And at the end of the day, you’re holding a high-quality product. So that’s what we do. That’s all we do. We sometimes we have people coming to us, they’re like, hey, can I get T-shirts, I’m sure there are a great t-shirt guys out there. We’re not those guys. We’re just traditionally sock guys, you know, and we do everything as it relates to socks. And we could do it very quickly. And we do it very effectively.

Jeremy Weisz 8:20 

We’ll talk about the why sock in a minute. But you can see here, I know I mentioned you help a lot of big companies. But if you look at this, they even have a pricing thing here you can play around with it, the minimum order is 100. So you don’t have to be an enterprise person at client to use Sockrates at all. And so you can see here you can get for your design, there’s a lot of stuff you can play around with on the website, so feel free to check it out here. I’d love to talk about a couple of examples. Marvel being one of them. What do you do with Marvel?

Sam Moses 9:02 

So Marvel was releasing their new movie Iron Heart. And well before the release, they came to us to design a sock that was going to be given out to their kind of like vendors and partners and clients and fans and kind of like a big release of the sock and the sock was going to represent this TV show. And it was actually very, it became a very popular release sock would be happy to get you actually a pair I’d love for you to actually be wearing it. I don’t know if you’re a Marvel guy, but it’s a very shareable sock that we did. And it’s just really an example of a big release that use this product to really stimulate awareness of their, you know, of their of their movie or TV show.

Jeremy Weisz 9:53 

Chicago might too as a TV show.

Sam Moses 9:56 

Chicago, a lot of TV shows, but it is important to, you actually made a good point? You know, we always talk about the Googles of the Spotify, and the Microsoft’s and the Dallas of the world, and the Chicago meds okay. But we’ve also done lots of pairs for the average dentist like this, you know, guy has a small dental practice, and he gives it out to his patients and doctors, for sure. And also smaller tech companies or, so we’d like to say that the barrier to entry is not very large. And sometimes I always say, you know, we’re putting all those big clients on the website, and people love that. But there’s also a lot of people who are just, small to medium sized businesses who also love our product. You see their Teen Wolf, we did the video of a kid of the 80s.

So I’m a big Teen Wolf fan, of course. So when we did the TV show right here. Yeah. Teen Wolf, they did this custom grip on the bottom. And the famous actor was, he did an Instagram post of it. So that’s all really great. And yeah, we’ve done some really cool projects, but also, we’re really proud of some, just small business owners, small business owners, because it really becomes powerful when you give somebody a gift. And this is like a $10 gift, like eight to $10 gift. You really actually see how much they love the fact that you gave them the gift, it’s the thought, but it’s also like, hey, I’m actually going to wear this sock, I’m actually going to wear it, this actually makes a difference to me. And there are people that come back to their clients like five years later, or four years later, and they’re like, by the way, you know that soccer gave me three years ago or four years ago, I actually still wear that sock, like, so we are actually really impressed with how much people actually love the product and how much they actually wear it. Nobody throws it out.

So right now there’s a big movement, as you know, sustainability. So when you go to a trade show, how much of this stuff ends up in the garbage people are very sensitive to it. And I can tell you, because the perceived value of a sock is so high, they’re not throwing it out, nobody’s like tossing the sock, there’s just nobody would do that. Right? So it doesn’t end up in the landfill. People like it. And it’s a really good way to communicate to your customers, hey, I appreciate you. And it’s actually something people are going to wear. That’s the key to the whole business. It has to be something you’re going to wear if I get a t-shirt, I’m not going to wear it. What’s the point of the t-shirt? Right? So I think that’s the key to our business. And that’s where we’ve seen success, the focus on design, or as much as we are producers. We’re also designers, and I think that balance is very important.

Jeremy Weisz 12:36 

Yeah, I could see if you didn’t look at providers trust here as an example. Like, you could do this very poor. I mean, someone could do this very poorly. And it’s like, oh, this looks like just like a brand that anyone would wear. Right? But I don’t know, it sounds to me, like a bank or something. But like, this looks like a trendy sock.

Sam Moses 12:59 

Yeah, yeah, we’d like to say it’s retail ready, like you would have seen that in the store. And you could have bought it, if it’s not the kind of thing you’re going to buy in a store. And look, there are customers who are picky. We can’t do every single sock like that. But the general idea is, if it’s not a sock you get to buy in the store, then why are we giving it away? Like, we want it to be valid to see Corona like Corona, you would you know, people could buy that, like a Mario de you know, like that Mario Brothers. So, you know, it’s very interesting.

Jeremy Weisz 13:29 

I like this. And then you did some work with the Miami Heat too.

Sam Moses 13:34 

Yeah, we had a really great projects with the Miami Heat, where they had season ticket holders. So again, season ticket holders are people that are very high-value clients to them, people that they care about a lot, and people that they’re trying to communicate like, hey, you’re important to us. And for the opening day of the regular season last year, they handed out to all their season ticket holders. It’s a good, seven 8000 people, they handed them this custom sock Miami Heat sock. And, you know, and I actually live in Florida, so I’ve actually seen people walking around with a sock.

And they’re actually like, oh, hey, look at this Miami Heat sock and again, something that people are wearing something that they value athletic socks, they’re going out into the play basketball and the sock what are they thinking about their Miami Heat and they’re thinking about the fact that their season ticket holders and they’re thinking of the players in the game and all this stuff. So it’s very easy to connect the company to what you’re wearing. How many people wear polo shirts with the company name on it, like if you’re wearing the socks with the company name on it, you do have share a mind in their brain, you know what I mean? That’s just natural. It’s just a natural thing.

Jeremy Weisz 14:42 

We’ll talk about the, it’s all over seven-day turnaround time, which seems fast, even if I’m printing a piece of paper and sending it to someone, let alone a custom sock. So I do want to talk about that and and because you could have easily done longer.

Sam Moses 14:59 

In the early days, I would take heat for it because they’re like, We don’t actually believe that you’re gonna turn this around in seven days.

Jeremy Weisz 15:09 

So I want to talk about that, Sam real quick, I want to give a shout out to Paul Ratner. Paul Ratner worked with the Golden State Warriors. So he should for over 10 years, and was in their seat, it was a Senior Director of their Premium Suite. And then he now does funding for companies at Marvel Bridge Funding Group. So we’ll have to have Paul send it over to whoever is managing the Golden State Premium Suite today at this point. But so talk about a seven day turnaround. How you came to that.

Sam Moses 15:43 

Sure when we first started in this industry, we noticed there were two types of players, players who could turn it around in about 15 days, but they had preset colors. So they showed you 30 colors. And then there were people who could do it in 40 days, and they said, in 40 days, and we can then get to a bigger pool of colors. I said to myself, wait a minute, if Coca-Cola is my customer, or McDonald’s, I’m not going to be able to convince Coca-Cola to change the red, that’s not going to happen. Okay. So I’m like, I need to do a program where I can get their customer the SOC very quickly and with unlimited colors, okay. And that can’t be done in China or Turkey just because of the way that they schedule their production. So we were at the time, I was in the business of manufacturing neckwear in Italy. I was actually a very heavy deck were producer. And as you know, me and you now we’re not wearing ties…

Jeremy Weisz 16:37 

We’ll talk about that the pain of retail, because I know that’s where this comes from.

Sam Moses 16:41 

Yeah, we were producing neckwear. And we were doing pretty well, and ties were going down. But then we found a producer in Italy to do our sock, who had this, it’s like a small family-run business. They have about 60 to 70 machines. We do we use a factory in China, when we have to do certain rubs there, they have 700 machines. So you can see the difference, right? There’s just a family-run business handed down for grandfather to grandson to son to grandson unbelievable. And they’re like family and they produce we produced a system, where we’re able to get to the colors very quickly, because the largest yard producers across the street. So we’re able to get to colors very quickly. It’s a we were able to turn this around that if somebody orders on Monday, it ships from Italy on the following Monday. And then UPS delivers into the United States, East Coast, New York City one day later, can you imagine it picks it up in Italy at four o’clock, and it’s in New York City 10 a.m. the next day, I mean, that’s faster than me.

And you could probably get there and back it. And then to the rest of the country in two days. So basically, you order on Monday, and the following Wednesday ups are showing up at your door. So this became like an unbelievable selling tool for us and an unbelievable confidence that we had in our program. And companies came to us. And even if they weren’t in a rush, they were just kind of like, I love the speed. I love the fact that I ordered today. And next week, Wednesday, I got a box showing up for two boxes showing up. So that really helped. And then being in Italy helped us get into the Euro market like UK, Germany, Switzerland, because there’s nobody really provided there. And that’s all a one-day delivery, one-day shipping kind of thing.

So there was a lot of advantages to beat Italy. But the main advantage, I would say is the quality of the product. Yeah, the quality of the product, they’re super passionate about it, they’re not in the business of producing a high volume, garbage, that’s just not who they are. They would rather produce a lower volume quality. So when we get the volume, and we get the quality, it’s kind of like a good marriage. And they’re really appreciative. They’re like family now we go once a year, we all sit down, we eat we drink, you know these guys, so it’s a good relationship. But the most important thing is the quality of the product is very hot.

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