Dan and Mike Friedman, twin brothers, were 11 years old when their father, Andrew, fell victim to the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. Andrew had been working for a company situated on the 92nd floor for only two weeks.
That dreadful day left an indelible hole in the hearts of the Friedman family. “Our dad was our best friend, our mentor, and our coach. He was everything to us. The people in the community loved him, he was larger than life. He exemplified the spirit of putting others before himself, of giving back, and of making sure to live in the moment,” Dan told me.
Mike added, “Our dad embodied those values not just in business but in life. The best compliment Dan or I can get is when someone says we remind them of our dad. We are blessed and honored to carry on his legacy.”
The towering twins, 6’9” and 6’11” wear a size 16 sock — a size rarely found in department stores. In 2017, they launched Tall Order, a sock company with sizes ranging from 9–20. “Mike and I were feeling very unfulfilled in our corporate jobs,” Dan explained. “Partly because we didn’t have a way to give back and partially because, quite frankly, we couldn’t find the fun and funky socks other people used to personalize their outfits.”
One of Dan and Mike’s favorite charities is Tuesday’s Children, an organization dedicated to providing a lifetime of healing to 9/11 family members and first responders as well as fallen soldiers and others who have been impacted by mass violence or military conflict. Tall Order gives 10% of their sales to Tuesday’s Children as a way of giving back.
After the twins lost their father, Tuesday’s Children tried to fill the void. “They helped Mike and I get connected with other families that had lost relatives so we wouldn’t feel so alone. As we got older, they helped us out with things like networking, community building, and other things we may have depended on our dad to help us with, like preparing for job interviews and college applications,” Dan said.
Tall Order also sells a sock named after John Feal, a 9/11 first responder who founded the Feal Good Foundation, an organization which serves all emergency personnel who have been injured. “In 2019, we created the Feal Good Sock in honor of first responders, rescue workers, police, fire fighters — everyone who helped. It’s about uniting,” Mike said.
Initially Tall Order gave 50% of the proceeds of the Feal Good Sock to the Feal Good Foundation, then COVID hit. Mike and Dan realized those with 9/11-related illnesses were particularly vulnerable to serious complications from the virus. “We felt,” Mike said, “as a company, it was important to give all the proceeds to them. Now we give 100% of the sales of that particular sock to the Feal Good Foundation. It’s our way of saying thank you for everything they have done.”
Recently, in addition to socks, Tall Order began offering underwear and tees. “We have a lot of familiarity with creating socks,” Dan said. “Now we’re taking that same philosophy of making the most comfortable socks to the entire top drawer. They are really the most comfortable underwear and T-shirts you can buy.”
Their mother, Lisa Friedman, is part of the business as well. “It’s a true family affair,” Dan said. “Our mom has so much management experience from her business career, she helps us with operations and managing relationships. She is just as integral to Tall Order as we are.”
“We also have a family friend who is a partner of our company.” Mike said. “Rachel Furer has over 40 years of experience in the Garment Center. Because of her experience in clothing and design, she’s a vital piece to our company. We’re so happy she’s on board with us. We’re all about family. We’re all about togetherness.”
If you’d like to purchase a sock that warms your heart and comforts your feet, Tall Order has you covered. For those of you wearing Tall Order socks, underwear, or tees, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!