What was it that gave you the idea originally?
I have played hockey my whole life; I have dealt with the hassle of getting dressed for the past 15 plus years. In my opinion, the worst part of getting dressed is putting on your undergarments, garter belt, jock, and socks. When I came back from playing out east, I went to Albion College and did not skate for almost 2 years. My senior year in college I went skating with my buddies, I was getting dressed, and that is when I thought there has to be a more efficient way of putting on your undergarments. I wanted to design a next generation jock that included everything into a one-piece performance undergarment with the socks attached via being sewn on, which eliminates the Velcro issue.
From going through the start of the process and to end product, what have you learned, and how much satisfaction have you gained with this accomplishment?
It has been a long two years and I have come a long way from just an idea. I decided to try and start a company that was dedicated to making an American product, manufactured in the USA! This has lead to many complications and setbacks due to the majority of textile industry being overseas. I finally was able to find a manufacture that could deliver the quality I was looking for, but more importantly, the performance advantage of the SockJockTM. I launched my latest version of the product last month at the Let’s Play Hockey Expo in St Paul, Minnesota. Throughout the whole process of trying to start a company, the hardest part was getting it made in the U.S. When you try introducing a revolutionary product in any field, the hard part is usually convincing the consumer that your product has value, is an upgrade etc. In my case, this has not been the issue; every person that has put on the SockJockTM sees the utilitarian value and most importantly the performance advantage of having one form fitting undergarment rather than attaching multiple pieces of equipment. I have gained knowledge on fabric, sewing, running a successful company etc, the most important thing I have learned is to follow your dream.
How customizable is your product, and what current and future teams plan to use them at any level?
The SockJockTM is very customizable for teams. The only limit is their imagination. I use a process called Sublimation to do the graphics on the hockey socks. In my opinion, this is best choice for doing graphics on hockey socks for quality and durability, as opposed to screen printing or digitization. Chelsea High School (my Alma Mater) has been wearing them the past two seasons. They have helped me along the way with product development. Since the recent launch of the SockJockTM I have interest from multiple teams ranging from adult leagues to Division one teams. This upcoming hockey season will be my first year offering it to teams.
Why do you feel this product is so useful and important?
The SockJockTM is the next generation undergarment for hockey players. It integrates the sock and jock support into one design that completely secures player shin guards. No more Velcro, tape or garter belts! The one-piece design allows the greatest freedom for maximum movement, agility and comfort that increases a player’s performance. Getting dressed to play hockey has never been more convenient. It is simple to wash, nothing to separate or sort, and saves laundry time. If you have kids that play, or you played hockey, you understand the frustration of washing your undergarments. You have to wash your jock, compression pants and multiple socks. I use to hate having to untangle everything due to the Velcro on today’s jocks.
So what’s to lose? Nothing!
What is your future plans; do you care to give anyone some teasers or something to look even more forward to than this already great product?
This summer the youth and women’s version will be out. I am really excited to cater to women’s hockey; I wanted to be the first hockey company to design a form fitting undergarment for women hockey players! Also, look for Wicked Rags apparel line coming out this fall.
As Travis stated in the short interview, what is to lose with gaining such a comfortable advantage and enjoying a sport so much more? It’s another great idea from an individual from our great state of Michigan, but would you expect anything less? If you want to visit his Wicked Rags website, feel free to look around, or just shoot him an email INFO@WICKEDRAGSINC.com to ask some questions. Last but not least, are you that social person that loves to give some input on a social media outlet? Well, Travis loves that so head over to his Facebook account and drop some feedback!
As always if you have any questions or comments for me feel free to email me at email@example.com or hit me up on Twitter @TheRealHag