Abbie Boudreau is a Los Angeles–based TV journalist for “ABC News,” who contributes stories to both “Good Morning America” and “Nightline” for more than eight years. In addition to being a seasoned on-air persona, she is a loving mother to daughter Clover and son Calvin—whom she credits with being her inspiration for her current business venture, Sockabu.
When Boudreau’s son was only 6 months old, she noticed that he was always trying to rip off his socks. “I had one of those middle-of-the-night ideas when I was rocking him to sleep, thinking: ‘Okay, if I cut off the top to the socks, maybe he’d stop ripping them off all the time. Then I could sew on a ‘flip’ to give him the option to cover his toes too.” Boudreau says. More than combatting children’s disdain for socks, Boudreau knew that if babies could play with their toes, while still wearing socks, they would be less frustrated and have more fun! As for toddlers, the open-toe option could help them grip the ground better, using the natural traction of their toes as they learn to walk or run around the house. After some Google searching the next morning, Boudreau realized that this type of product didn’t exist. “Maybe there’s something here, where maybe other kids can benefit from this sock, especially in that age range,” she thought at the time. Boudreau set out to create a sock that allows children to cover their toes for coziness and uncover them for extra traction, using Sockabu’s patented “flip” design.
Starting Sockabu and running an online business from this simple idea was something that Boudreau didn’t really see coming, especially given that her expertise was firmly rooted in journalism, rather than in business. That said, she soon realized that her background in media could serve her well as an entrepreneur. “So much about running an online business is content creation. And being a journalist is all about creating content,” Boudreau notes.
Who would have thought that all of these years of storytelling would set her up perfectly to become an entrepreneur? “I think that it’s been a really cool transition as far as the creative side of it,” Boudreau says. “I’m learning the business side every day and that can be the tricky part, because I’m having to learn as I go.”
A true family-run business, Boudreau—along with her husband and two kids—are the sole employees. Instead of seeking investors, Boudreau decided to have a soft launch on Kickstarter. “We had a successful Kickstarter and raised about $13,000, which went 100 percent toward creating our first product run,” Boudreau notes. “Now I’m really doing it, trying to figure out the marketing strategy, and everything in between.”
A big part of her business strategy is involving her children so she receives authentic, unfiltered feedback from the people she’s creating for. “I run all my ideas past my 6-year-old and I try everything on my 2.5-year-old,” Boudreau says. “They help me definitely perfect prototypes: So much so that we actually manufacture Sockabus on a flat-bed knitting machine so that there are no seams at all, because we all know how much kids hate seams and corners in their socks!”
The comfort factor and unique design is the other part of what makes Sockabu so popular among children, other than the fact they would rather have their toes out to play. “With this design, you just kind of make [Sockabu] fit how you want it to fit your own foot,” Boudreau notes. “We always say we ended the sock struggle, because if you have kids, you know how it is.”
Children aren’t the only ones reaping the comfy benefits. Boudreau has received numerous comments from parents saying they’ve been wearing them around the house and can’t get enough. She hopes to eventually create a line of socks made specifically for adults.
Boudreau even spoke with an ankle specialist and surgeon in Los Angeles who has officially endorsed Sockabu for its breathability, support, and how it helps adults who have issues with their feet and toes. Boudreau adds, “It’s pretty cool when you look at it from that medical point of view. I created them for traction and to help little kids have better control around the house.” What began as a way to ease those nightmares of your kid slipping while running around the house turned out to be a huge source of comfort to adults who need it.
Sockabu continues to flourish, and has recently expanded its sizes to babies and big kids, which fit ages 6 months up to 10 years! Boudreau’s goal is for children to want to wear socks and to wear them differently. She adds: “We want to change the way kids wear socks one Sockabu at a time.”
For more information, visit sockabu.com