A viral video and an appearance on Shark Tank helped launch a quirky Wilmington startup called Freaker USA into the national spotlight in 2012.
February 10, 2015
Freaker USA Tops $250K on Kickstarter for Quirky Socks
Shark Tank grad and Wilmington textile startup is at it again with Made in America socks, and a successful $250K Kickstarter campaign
The subject of the video was scruffy founder Zach Crain, who promised to end “moist handshakes” around the world with his uniquely-designed, brightly-colored woven beverage insulators called “Freakers.” His October 2012 Shark Tank episode was the highest rated in the show’s history at the time. And his original Kickstarter campaign was considered a marketing masterpiece.
According to a September 2014 CNBC story, Freakers are now sold in Nordstrom and Whole Foods and more than 2,000 boutiques around the U.S. The success appears to have prompted the design of a second product called “Freaker Feet.”
Crain is back on Kickstarter with the line of $16 American (mostly NC)-made socks, promising Kickstarter supporters 127 designs including their alma maters, state flags and a series of Freaker-created character socks. It’s the last day of his campaign and he’s just surpassed a $250,000 goal. (He’s raised almost $20K since I started writing this story.) A 2011 Freaker campaign surpassed its goal of $48,500 by $14,000, and that was before Shark Tank.
Check out the video below, and in return for $1 donation, you get a free Freaker and for a $96 donation, get your own Crain video message in addition to your socks. Looks like Crain is back again with Freaker marketing mastery: