How socks became a symbol of hope for Tall Order founders Dan and Mike Friedman
SHANTILA LEE| 20 SEP 2021
On September 10, 2001, the Friedman family was engrossed in Monday Night Football. 11-year-old twins Dan and Mike were camped out in front of the TV with their father, Andrew, watching the Giants duke it out against the Denver Broncos. When the boys couldn’t stay up long enough to see the end of the game, Andrew wrote a note that the Giants had lost 31-20 and left it at their bedside. They did not know that this late night game would be the last memory of their dad; a memory that would blend into the horror of the days that followed.
The next morning, Dan was pulled out of his second period English class, the principal telling him that a plane had hit the building his dad was working in. “I just went about my day and assumed my dad would be fine,” he recalls. Later that night, the brothers got home to find a long line of cars on the driveway, with a lot of people around, and found out exactly what had happened.
“Outside I was thinking ok, no big deal,” Mike reminisces. “But inside I thought something wasn’t right.” Dan says he steadfastly held onto hope that their dad was all right, until the following day when their mom, Lisa, told them that their father wasn’t coming home. Mike calls it “one of the most painful conversations we’ve ever had as a family,” adding, “It just was very difficult to process all the emotions of that day being an 11 year-old kid.”
Dan and Mike also had no idea that these traumatic events would become a formative experience, 16 years later serving as the foundation of Tall Order, an online store selling fashionable socks made for the big and tall gang. Mike says they saw donating profits from their business as a way of giving back: “It’s just our way to help those who helped us.”
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