Local Enterprise Survived ’89 Quake and Great Recession, and Inspired the Global Socksmith Brand
Sockshop & Shoe Company, an anchor downtown Santa Cruz business, celebrates the 30th anniversary of the opening of its downtown Santa Cruz retail location on Pacific Avenue this month.
Founded by Ellen and Eric Gil, the original Sockshop opened as a tiny 450-square-foot sock boutique in 1988 on Pacific Avenue in the location currently occupied by Chocolate.
The building they were in (the St. George) was condemned after the 1989 earthquake. Following the earthquake and as downtown Santa Cruz was rebuilt, Sockshop stayed downtown, beginning with a tent and moving through three other locations.
In 1992, the business evolved to Sockshop & Shoe Company and was located in the space currently occupied by Assembly. The store began offering an extensive selection of comfort and lifestyle footwear, a wide variety of socks, as well as hats and accessories, making the store a year-round shopping destination in downtown Santa Cruz for visitors and locals alike.
In 2005, Sockshop & Shoe Company re-located to its current location, a 5,000-square-foot, stately cornerstone location at 1515 Pacific Avenue in Downtown Santa Cruz.
Surviving both the 1989 earthquake and the Great Recession, Sockshop & Shop Company has thrived over the years and expanded to four locations, including Sockshop & Shoe Company Santa Cruz on Pacific Ave, Sockshop Santa Cruz on the Municipal Wharf, Sockshop Haight St. in San Francisco and Sockshop University in Berkeley. The Santa Cruz store also inspired the launch of the Socksmith brand of socks, now sold throughout the U.S. and several countries.
“We often say we’ve been loving Santa Cruz since 1988, and we mean it,” said Eric Gil. “We’re so thankful to our local community and are proud to call Downtown Santa Cruz home for Sockshop & Shoe Company.”
Learn more at www.sockshopandshoeco.com/pacific/, www.facebook.com/sockshopandshoeco or www.instagram.com/sockshopandshoeco/.