Getting to Know Our Newest Members – Lisa Flood of Solmate Socks
As the world’s only peer-to-peer network exclusively for entrepreneurs, EO helps transform the lives of those who transform the world. Our mission is to engage leading entrepreneurs to learn and grow within our network of over 10,000 driven members.
Today, we’re excited to welcome Lisa Flood of Solmate Socks. Lisa, a lifelong sock connoisseur, co-owns Solmate Socks with her husband Randy Wakerlin. Founded in 2000, Solmate Socks is a highly sought-after brand, known for its multi-patterned and colorful mismatched socks. Proudly crafted with care in the U.S.A. using recycled cotton yarn, these socks are a unique, top-quality, and eco-friendly product. Lisa and Randy live in NE Portland with their two young children Sage and Corbin.
Where are you from originally?
I was born in the Chicago suburbs, but raised in the LA suburbs. At age 18, I escaped to Portland to attend the University of Portland, and with the exception of a year studying in Salzbury, Austria I’ve been here ever since.
Do you have any personal goals for 2016?
One of my personal indulgences / sanity checks is running, and I get in a handful of half marathons every year. After our second child, schedules predictably got more complicated and I just don’t seem to have as much time to run. I’m currently working to make more time for running, specifically mid-week training runs. With my ultimate goal that I’d love to run a half marathon in under two hours. I’ve come close, but still have a little time to shave off my pace before hitting that goal.
If we were sitting here a year from today celebrating the great year that your company has had, what did you accomplish
I’d love to get Solmate Socks back to a year with double digit growth. That would be a wild ride and could create a lot of headaches for production, customer service, and our shipping departments. But if we could pull that off with grace I would be doing the happy dance.
If you could invite 3 people to your dinner party, who would you invite? (dead or alive)
My Grandmother Virginia. At 92 years young she passed in 2006 and there’s so much I’d love to chat with her about. Plus I would truly cherish the opportunity to let her meet her great-grandchildren.
Tina Fey. I don’t usually like to glorify celebrities (because they’re just people too) but I could see her being an interesting dinner guest and conversationalist. At the very least we could just sit around and eat cupcakes together.
My first dog, Chaucer. I realize she wouldn’t be great for conversation, but she was an important presence in my teens and I would love to get to see her again. She showed me the unconditional love and joy a companion animal brings to life and because of her entry into my life I became a volunteer in dog rescue groups and have met some amazing people and dogs as a result.
Tell us about an accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
In the span of 18 months my husband and I closed on the deals to purchase the two businesses we now own: Solmate Socks and Sunnyside Textiles. Solmate Socks is a family business that my mother-in-law started, and that my husband and I have been involved with for many years. Sunnyside Textiles is the hosiery mill where Solmate Socks have been made since its inception. After eighteen months of negotiations, in June 2014 we closed on the deal purchasing Sunnyside Textiles. (In the same month we also moved our Portland office & distribution center, finished a major remodel on our house, and welcomed our second child to the family.) Six months later, in December of 2014 we closed on the deal that made my husband and I the sole owners of Solmate Socks. The Solmate Socks deal was a family buyout, and we had been working for several years to ensure that the transition of ownership was as smooth as possible. Both ownership transitions have gone smoothly and both businesses continue to thrive.
Who was your childhood hero?
As a young child I had a crush on the cartoon character Hong Kong Phooey… does that count?
What was the first concert you attended? What was the last?
First: The Monkees (Pool It! Reunion tour in the mid-80s at the Greek Theater in Hollywood)
Last: U2 (Innocence & Experience tour in 2015 in Vancouver BC… ironically this was my sister’s first concert ever)
What are you looking forward to most as a member of EO Portland?
I really look forward to being a part of the community of business owners. Employees usually have managers they can take their issues to, and those interactions provide great learning opportunities. Since becoming a business owner I miss having interactions with a person to look up to or learn from. Someone who has that “been there, done that” knowledge and experience that can inspire and teach.