This is a post “From the Vault” originally posted on my personal blog found at www.PatrickBolandCreative.com

Okay, to answer your question, Yes. Yes those are my feet. Oh, you meant the other question. “What is the best thing about designing product?”.

Well, one of the perks is the free samples. I′ve helped develop product, apparel and accessories for multiple national brands and some smaller niche brands and let me tell you, I never knew the difference in qualities of socks until I had to design them. In the past I was that guy who wore his socks till they slumped at the ankles and had multiple holes in the heels and toes. (My mother will hang her head in shame if she reads this). I never knew what I was missing. When I first started designing socks, I had to learn about the different fiber content, and what applications they were used in. Cupron® for antibacterial odor reduction, Thermolite® for warmth, Coolmax® for comfort, SPANDEX ARCH SUPORT…Ohhhh lemme tell ya…spandex arch support changed my view of the world.  As Meis van der Rohe said “God is in the details.” No, God was on my feet!

Free samples are great! My kids had underwear coming out of their ears. As penny pinching parents we were grateful for bibs, blankets, footed sleepers, and on and on. I’m sure I turned more than a few friends onto certain brands with a free sample or two, but that is not the best thing.

Designing product is fulfilling. You actually get to see something take shape that started from an idea, then a sketch, then a CAD, then revision, correction, revision,  oh and did I say revision? In the end you have a three-dimensional product in your hands and can admire your handiwork and pat yourself on the back and say, “I did this”. You show it to your family, and they say in astonishment “You made that?” and you say proudly “yes I did” Yes, now that’s a great feeling! But wait, that’s not the best thing.

The very best thing is when you go to the store on a Saturday afternoon and see a very critical consumer, maybe a very pregnant mom(in my opinion, the most critical of all consumers) browsing the shelves or the racks and come upon the very product that you designed or packaged and stops dead in her tracks, picks it up, admires it, maybe shows it to her husband/mother/friend who gives their affirming nod and into the cart it goes. Ahhhhh. Success.

Now that’s the best feeling in the world.