A UNIQUE sock business launched in Dublin less than two years ago has had to relocate to bigger offices to fulfil a growing number of orders from across the world.
Thomp2 Socks is owned by Tallaght native Thomas Barry.
Thomas has Down’s Syndrome, as well as a host of other serious illnesses, and the business was set up by his dad Finbar Barry to provide him with both a job and a creative outlet.
“I looked at options over the years in the hope to provide some way for Thomas to feel like he can have a job just like everybody else, bearing in mind his disabilities, and the answer was staring me in the face,” Finbar explained of the inspiration behind the business.
“Thomas has always played with socks, he is quite an expert after many years of practice,” he added.
“He never played much with toys in his early childhood but would go nowhere without his socks, some children get comfort from a teddy - with Thomas it was always the socks.
“So, we launched Thomp2 Socks for Thomas selling socks - the things he loves most.”
And Thomas’ condition has not affected his desire to express his inner self, nor his devotion to helping others.
Last year Thomas launched a set of “It’s Okay, not to be Okay” socks.
For every pair sold, €2 is donated to the Pieta House charity, to support the battle against mental health issues in Ireland.
The entrepreneur, who designed the Thomp2 brand logo himself, has also designed socks to help raise awareness for Down’s Syndrome and to raise funds for St John of Gods Services organisation, which has supported him over the years.
Since its 2019 launch Thomp2 Socks has gone from strength to strength - with orders coming in from across the globe and even former Taoiseach Leo Varadkar spotted in a pair of the firm’s quirky socks.
“Orders from America have increased dramatically over the last 12 months with repeat orders from Australia, Dubai, Canada, Norway, Finland, Germany and France to name but a few,” said Thomp2 Socks Manager Shane Barry, Thomas’ nephew.
“We are also able to do bulk orders of branded socks for corporate clients with really clever artwork which make great promotional merchandise.”
He confirmed: “We moved to bigger premises as we outgrew our previous location.
“We are hoping to start a manufacturing facility and to employ more people with Down’s Syndrome that may find it difficult to get a job.”
Currently, the firm offers a full range of colourful and creative socks, gifts and special occasion socks through their website.