Thomp2Socks products included in Arnotts Christmas gift shop
Thomas and dad Finbar in Arnotts on Monday morning Photo by Thomp2Socks

Thomp2Socks products included in Arnotts Christmas gift shop

A FAMILY-run trendy sock business this week saw the inclusion of its products in Arnotts Christmas gift shop.

Based in Cookstown Industrial Estate, Thomp2Socks is run by Ellensborough resident and entrepreneur Thomas Barry (36), who has Down syndrome, his dad Finbar and nephew Shane.

The business idea grew from Thomas’s dream of getting a job, with Finbar and Shane coming on board to help Thomas establish home-grown business, Thomp2Socks.

Launched in 2019, Thomp2Socks has over the past two-and-a-half years kept thousands of toes warm and trendy.

Growing year-on-year, Thomp2Socks is not only selling socks, but also raising awareness and funds for different causes, including Pieta House, the Down Syndrome Centre, and St John of Gods.

The company is also working on its sustainability and has recently removed the plastic packaging from its socks, which the team has estimated will save 2kg of plastic waste per 1,000 pairs of socks.

The cardboard rider on each pair of socks has also been changed to a more sustainable card.

“We do hope to go fully sustainable in the near future,” Finbar told The Echo.

“We all have to do our bit to save the planet, it all adds ups.

“We’re happy to go fully sustainable…and hopefully this time next year we will be.”

Thomp2Socks, which hopes to start manufacturing its own socks in Cookstown next year, is also looking into the use of more sustainable materials.

Finbar was speaking with The Echo on Monday, only hours after Thomp2Socks customised display opened for business in Arnotts Christmas gift shop.

“It was very exciting [on Monday morning],” Finbar said.

“The display looks amazing… we never could have imagined that the business would go this far.

“We set up Thomp2Socks for Thomas, to help him get his dream of having a job and to feel like he was contributing like everyone else.

“There’s been a major difference in Thomas since he started the business.

“His confidence has grown… and he’s happier in himself.

“The amount of people the business has brought him into contact with is also great.”

Earlier this year, Thomp2Socks entered Arnotts’ Pitch 21 programme, which invites start-ups and budding entrepreneurs to pitch for their chance to be mentored in retail and secure a placement in Arnotts Christmas gift store.

Thomp2Socks was one of five businesses chosen as finalists.

The five finalists are now selling their products in Arnotts Christmas gift shop, both online and in-store, with an overall Pitch ’21 winner being announced early next year – and who will secure a €10,000 business development fund.

Looking back over the past two years, Finbar said: “Anybody who has a dream or an idea, you have to get up and do it…give it a shot.

“If you want to make it a reality, you have to put in the hard work.

“Put in the work, put in the time, and make it happen.

“We made this happen.”

Thomp2Socks are now on sale in Arnotts or through the website.

Follow Thomp2Socks on Facebook and Instagram.

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