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Monday May 17, 2010 Davidson Leader

Tara de Ryk

By Tara de Ryk

DAVIDSON—If seven people are in a family and each person wears one pair of socks per day, how many
socks does Corla Rokochy have to sort, wash, dry and fold each week?

The answer, in theory, is 98. Put into practice, doing laundry for a large family is not so simple.

Between the washing machine, dryer and laundry hamper, what Rokochy describes as the Bermuda Triangle of wayward socks, keeping socks from going rogue is a problem requiring more than a simple mathematic equation.

The solution: snappy socks.

Similar in concept to children’s mittens with strings attached to keep the pair together Snappy Socks borrows upon this simple solution, but instead of strings, each pair of socks has a snap at the top so when the
child is finished wearing them, they simply snap the pair together and toss them in the hamper. Suddenly Rokochy’s laundry day has become simpler. But her life may be more complicated.

Rokochy is in the process of developing snappy socks into a product that will aid mothers everywhere.

On Wednesday Corla, husband Pat and their brood of five children, were in Toronto pitching Snappy
Socks to five potential investors.

Those investors are also known as the Dragons, the stars of the CBC television show Dragon’s Den.
The show features aspiring entrepreneurs pitching their products or ideas to the dragons. The goal is to put
forward a sound business proposal so at least one of he dragons will bite and give the business their financial

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. I can’t waste it,” Rokochy said from her studio/baby boutique in Swift Current prior to taking the trip to Toronto. She has spent two months preparing for the trip and
the pitch, taking what was an idea initially dubbed “Idiot Socks” (think of socks attached by strings) and developing a potentially viable product.

Rokochy is a born entrepreneur. She grew up watching her parents Cliff and Vanna Gay Shaw operate
an insurance business in Davidson. She has operated a successful and award-winning photography business
for 13 years.

But she’s also a busy mother of a growing family.It all started out as Idiot Socks, an idea Rokochy had
in response to the turmoil of sorting socks for a family of seven.

“There has to be a way to keep socks together. The kids have idiot strings on mittens...why not idiot socks?”

The idea was given further life by a pledge Rokochy made to her children. The family are regular viewers of Dragon’s Den because it is one of the few shows Rokochy says they can watch as a family. After one episode Rokochy says she told the kids that she was going to be on the show some day.

In February, Rokochy learned that producers of the show were going to be in Saskatoon holding auditions. Determined to be first in line, Rokochy drove to Saskatoon and armed with a small pair of pink socks on a string, auditioned for the show.

“It was a crazy idea and they bought it,” Rokochy said.

She received an invite to Toronto to tape an episode for Season Six. Dragon’s Den held auditions across Canada.

Its producers heard over 4,000 proposals and whittled it down to about 240 and invited them to Toronto for the taping of Dragon’s Den. Since getting the invite to the Den, Rokochy has worked to take a crazy idea and turn it into a serious business. She has looked into manufacturing, importing, labeling and distribution to create a solid business plan.

Gone are idiot socks, which Rokochy says by the name alone, she left herself open to a slaying by the Dragons in the Den. She replaced it with Snappy Socks. People will have to wait until Season Six airs in the fall to find out if the Dragons picked or passed on Rokochy and Snappy Socks. She had to sign a confidentiality agreement to keep mum about the taping.

Regardless of whether the product is backed, Rokochy said she has learned so much about product development and the research will be valuable in the future.

Plus, she’s given her children a moment to remember.The plane ride to Toronto was their fi rst.

“We’ll say, ‘remember when we all went to Toronto for Dragon’s Den?” Rokochy said.

She’s giving them a memory of a lifetime and showing them and others that even if a person comes from small-town Saskatchewan, they have the ability to access a global market.