We are so excited to introduce you to Lily Trotters! Our socks are truly unlike any other compression socks out there today.
When we came up with the idea for Lily Trotters back in 2012, we had no idea how hard it would be to produce stylish, well-made, athletic compression socks. It took two years of endless hurdles and countless conversations that ended in, "Sorry, this can’t be done." But all those challenges were worth it.
A Great Idea
The inspiration for Lily Trotters came to our founder Susan in 2011 during a 17.5-hour airplane ride to Africa for a vacation with her BFF and their daughters. Wearing compression socks for the entire flight, she soon discovered how something as simple as great socks could provide comfort and ease cramping often accompanied with long journeys.
When Susan returned home, she was determined to find compression socks that were effective, yet beautiful and fun. Much to her dismay, they did not exist…so Susan embarked on an arduous but rewarding journey to produce the first ever high-performance designer line of compression socks, specifically sourced and made in the USA. Lily Trotters was born!
Socks for Sale
Bringing Lily Trotters to market was quite a journey. We started by doing small compression sock-wearing studies with healthy women who had never worn compression socks to see if they felt benefits. The feedback was a unanimous yes!
Next, we analyzed the compression sock market to see where Lily Trotters might fit in. We talked to everybody and anybody who had different perspectives along the way. We learned – and are still learning – so much.
Arranging for the production of our socks was a saga in itself. We spoke to sock mills across the USA. This was really hard, since most are over-booked and not in a position to even talk to a start-up, let alone develop a new product. Still, we got super lucky and found a mill that believed in our vision. Our mill has worked with us from the get-go to explore every possibility. We sampled nearly 30 prototypes (and counting!), discovering how to best knit in different colored yarns without compromising the compression in our socks.
Finally, we conducted a comprehensive sock-wearing test of our prototypes on volunteers. The findings were overwhelmingly positive! Each and every step of the way we looked for validation that we were designing a sock that would be both fashionable and functional.
In July 2015, we launched a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign to get our first manufacturing run off the ground. We were fully funded in under 7 hours, and by the time our campaign was over four weeks later, we had raised more than $53,000 and sold over 1,200 pairs of socks. Just as remarkable, pre-orders continued to pour in by the hundreds while our socks were being knit. We heard the message loud and clear: people wanted Lily Trotters – and we were happy to oblige.
Today it’s easy to order Lily Trotters from our online store, and we’re adding new retail and distribution channels all the time.
Sassy and sexy. That’s the essence of Lily Trotters style.
A lifelong lover of art and design, Lily Trotters founder and designer Susan enjoyed a successful career as a creative director before starting Lily Trotters in 2013.
Susan’s goal for Lily Trotters was simple, both then and now: Produce truly beautiful, high-quality compression socks that bring the benefits of wearing compression to all, in every aspect of their lives.
From our most conservative sock with four subtle XXXXs (kisses!) just above the ankle to our most colorful and boldly patterned stripes, Lily Trotters offers an array of designs to suit a variety of personal styles. What’s more, we’ve created our own palette of custom colors to ensure that our socks complement every kind of wardrobe – from fitness to fashion.
So get ready to look beautiful and feel badass as you attack your busy day! Whether you’re running a marathon or a mile, standing all day or sitting through a long flight, there is something for everyone at Lily Trotters.
Just Who Is This Lily Trotter, Anyway?
Lily trotters are birds that look like our logo – birds with absurdly long legs and huge clawed feet that are found in tropical, marshy regions of the wild. Lily trotters’ extraordinary legs and feet enable them to hop over lily pads and walk on floating vegetation. In fact, their uncanny ability to appear to walk on water earned lily trotters the nickname Jesus Bird. Contrastingly, they have also been called the Prostitute Bird.
In nature, female lily trotters are the ultimate power chicks – as they are larger than their male counterparts, who are responsible for incubating and raising the young. The female lily trotter will stake out a large territory and mate with multiple males. Once a mate builds her a nest, she will lay a clutch of eggs and then go relax before she seeks out another male with whom to breed. (We applaud her bold ways and choose to not judge her!)
Our founder Susan saw plenty of lily trotters on the trip to Africa that inspired our socks in 2013, but it was her daughter who found a rustic metal sculpture of the lily trotter in Nairobi. They brought the sculpture home and placed it in their front hallway. Then one day, in the midst of trying to name our sock line, they thought, ‘What about Lily Trotters?' as they passed the bird sculpture while rushing out the front door. The rest, as they say, is history.
What fun we have had working with such a cool bird for inspiration! Imagine how high she might leap if her long legs could experience the benefits of compression? We’ll just have to get to work on that…