Well Made

66 Making the Greatest Sock Never Sold with David Heath, CEO and co-founder of Bombas

Episode Summary

A talk with David Heath about grounding their one-for-one sock brand in the community and the customer experience.

Episode Notes

Bombas’ take on the tube sock is engineered for all walks of life, no matter the circumstances. After learning socks are the number one most requested clothing item at homeless shelters, David Heath started the premium sock brand with a giving mission. Bombas donates one pair of socks for every pair sold. The five-year-old company surpassed 10 million sock donations as of November 2018.

From the beginning, David established core values grounded in the community and customer experience. In fact, Dave was on customer service duty for the first nine months of the company, taking calls at all hours. Today, he’s piloting solutions, like the Giving Directory to connect customers to the impact a pair of socks can make. Bombas was bootstrapped on Indiegogo and springboard to success after appearing on Shark Tank, but arguably, Bombas’ growth rests on their dedication to giving.

On this episode, David recalls how a customer service call lead to their largest single investor (5:43). He shares what it takes to be a good leader at scale, his 75/25 rule, and management philosophy (11:00). David shares how Bombas builds great company culture and their best hiring practices (14:26). He describes how they used feedback to design a sock exclusively for the homeless community (24:16). David shares how he went from searching for community partners to accepting thousands of new inbound requests. (26:26). Stephan and David talk about the challenges of getting B Corporation certified (31:22) and making a social impact (35:43). He also shares the one tip for any ecommerce business appearing on Shark Tank (42:15). Finally, David talks about the tradeoffs Bombas made by planning for profitability rather than seeking venture capital (46:29).

Also mentioned on the show:

Links and images from this post are on the Lumi Blog.