Donald Trump’s ‘sock rocket’ blunder inadvertently helps homeless Calgarians

Slip of the tongue by U.S. president leads to big opportunity for Calgary business
WATCH ABOVE: A small Calgary business got a big surprise after being inadvertently name-dropped by U.S. President Donald Trump. As Blake Lough reports, the spike in attention has also benefitted the city’s most vulnerable.

A slip of the tongue from U.S. President Donald Trump during a speech at a rally in Florida on Tuesday has led to major exposure for a small Calgary company, and more donations for the city’s homeless population.

In the address, Trump accidentally said the word “sock rocket” before correcting himself and saying “stock market” when speaking about the economy.

The gaffe led to a flurry of online activity, with Twitter users poking fun at the phrase and asking, “What is a sock rocket?”

READ MORE: ‘Covfefe’: Donald Trump spawns a new word with an apparently unfinished tweet

The answer came from a local, family-run sock business and social enterprise named Sock Rocket.

Brothers Tommy and Joey Zizian are co-owners and were made aware of Trump’s remarks when friends sent them messages, joking about the mix-up.

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“We didn’t think much of it,” Tommy said.

“[But] we decided eventually to do what any business would do and send out a tweet just innocently thanking him and saying, ‘You know, thanks for the free advertising.’”

The brothers haven’t been able to calculate exactly how much business they’ve gained since the president mistakenly name-dropped their company, but Tommy believes it’s significant.

“We’ve had more publicity in the last day than we’ve had probably in the entire time doing this company,” he said.

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“The amount of people that are ordering, the amount of people that are sending emails, and phone calls… just the presence of the business has grown 1,000 per cent.”

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That uptick in business is also good news for Calgary’s homeless community; for every pair of socks sold, Sock Rocket donates three pairs to various local agencies that help the city’s most vulnerable citizens.

“We realized pretty early on, if we were going to be selling these things, we definitely should be giving back,” Joey said.

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Sock Rocket has partnered with organizations like the Calgary Drop-In Centre, The Mustard Seed, and CUPS Calgary.

READ MORE: Donald Trump fires off tweets with spelling mistakes, but fixes on third try

According to the Sock Rocket website, nearly 30,000 pairs of socks have been donated since 2016.

The Drop-In Centre’s major gifts officer, Cort Bulloch, said donations from community partners are extremely important.

“We were introduced to Sock Rocket last year,” Bulloch said.

“We rely on the community for continuous supply donations that we can provide to vulnerable Calgarians, and we’re so grateful for that — for their kindness.”

“It’s not all about profits,” Tommy said. “It’s about doing good things in the community you do business in and using your profits for good in the world.

“Because ultimately, that’s what everyone should be doing.”