Here at Tucketts, each new fashion season means creating sock designs our customers will ADORE by revisiting our company values and finding ways to live out our mission in an inspiring way. This fall, we are thrilled to introduce our Himalaya Collection, a dream come true collection full of inspiration!
This fashion collection is created from a journey of a lifetime. Each design pays homage to the green mountains, rocky paths, glistening glaciers, and white peaks of the Himalayas. It tells the story of an adventure of crossing dozens of mountains, changing weathers and ecosystems, and ultimately fulfilling the life-long dream of Tucketts founder Paola R. Shah.
From Dream to Journey
Dreaming feeds the soul, and it’s important to believe that big dreams DO come true. It may take time, but they can always find a way.
Twenty years ago, while living in Colombia, I had a dream to someday travel to the Himalayas and hike its majestic mountains. The dream stayed deep in my adventurous spirit, but I was uncertain of how to make it happen. After a call from a trusted friend, some deep thought, and loving support from my husband and daughter, I took the leap and traveled to the Everest Base Camp.
After a few bumps and facing some fears, I traveled to Kathmandu. I embraced the spirituality, culture, people, and food of Nepal with an open heart. Being adventurous is a driving force for Tucketts, just like working with inspirational people, and living these truths was essential to my adventure!
Each day of the hike I found inspiration all around me, and the Tucketts grip sock Himalaya Collection was born. Read on for a closer look at the collection and my exciting journey!
On the way to the first stop the weather conditions caused us to need to take a helicopter from Kathmandu instead of flying directly to Lukla and we landed close to Phakding. Before landing, we had our first view of the most amazing mountain range and the beauty we would soon dive into.
Day two started with the seven of us bonding during breakfast, and the beginning of our very first all day hike. The first 2.5 hours of the trek was the equivalent of gaining 100 mts of altitude. The entire trip aim was to get to 5500 mts! We crossed the first hanging bridge where there were dozens of yaks and teal waters waving at us. The first white peak loomed ahead at only 6,850 mts.
Six more hours of walking later, we finally saw a town of blue roofs under a cloudy sky. Spring flowers welcomed us, and kids and other hikers swirled around us. We had reached Namche Bazaar.
Day three meant hiking 400 vertical mts and back, acclimatization day. The view was like witnessing a choreography of dancing clouds dressing and undressing the mountains. It also showed the real trials of the area. We saw children as young as ten carrying heavy loads on their backs in sandals, a commonality in the Khumbu area in Nepal. During my research about giving back to the area where I was exploring, as I always do in my travels, I realized how hard life is for these kids.
Day four was a very unique hike with the first heart stopping view of the tip of the Everest! Lunch that day also offered views of a hanging bridge protected by prayer flags, a bluish river with a flowing hypnotizing rhythm, and a majestic mountain hugged by haze.
The difficulty of the hike made some of us consider taking a shortcut, but we soon discovered the shortcut didn’t always mean the easiest path. Taking shortcuts in an unknown terrain can delay goals, a reality I recognized deeply from my time in business.
Finally we got to Tengboche, 3867mts, a small village covered in fog, with an important Buddhist monastery. That night ended in a beautiful snowfall and some table games.
This was one the most impactful days of the trip. I was able to experience the most beautiful sunrise and view of the mountains in the solitude of the early morning. Their beauty created the butterflies that a person experiences at the beginning of an amazing relationship. The reality of having the highest peaks in the world holding hands and forming a circle around me made me eternally grateful for that moment, the people in my life, and a business that allowed me to witness this perfection of creation. It was a view I’d dreamt of more than 20 years earlier.
The hike that day was through a snowy enchanted forest and we played like kids in the snow, enjoying every single step to Pangboche!
Day six meant closer peaks and the beginning of seeing vegetation disappear. It was a day of acclimatization, as the pressure from loss of oxygen began to build. Taking a slow pace is something I greatly appreciate, there’s no need to rush to greatness. I carried sets of school supplies with me to give to children along the way, and did so in this village. I also took time to truly learn the beautifully unique practices of the culture, like how they use yak poop to keep warm. Engulfing myself in the culture of the people is something I cherish more than anything.
The next day, the hike continued through a valley of rocks, the most difficult ascent thus far. The pressure continued to build as our bodies struggled to deal with a kind of altitude we hadn’t experienced before. The struggle and fear slowly turned to motivation, a mixture of emotion, and accomplishment by the time we arrived in Lobuche.
Despite the cold, day eight was an enjoyable hike. The lack of vegetation, contrast between the light brown of the valley, the yaks carrying colorful loads, and the whiteness of the peaks made for an extraordinary sight. Getting to Gorak Shep, 5164 mts, was already a triumph since at this point I went beyond the highest altitude I had ever reached before.
After lunch, we headed to the Everest Base Camp (EBC). The path was very narrow and we had to carefully dodge yaks. Walking on rocks and jumping from one to another was also a fun part of our journey!
When the first glacier with yellow tent dots appeared, the joy of being so close to the EBC began to rise inside me, and it came with tears of happiness and the feeling of accomplishing an old dream.
The joy of finally making it was so intense. It was such an exciting day for all of us. Seeing the perfection of nature, and how insignificant we are compared to it, was awe-inspiring. We can’t control nature, and it made me appreciate its beauty even more than I already did.
The last day of the trip was better than a dream! We left early in the morning to a deep darkness, the rhythm of falling snowflakes, and a piercing cold. Hiking in the dark and on a snow-covered path meant limited visibility and frozen water pipes. As we traveled on, perfect paw prints of snow leopards appeared in front of us. The eventual sunrise was spectacular, and the silhouettes of mountains began to appear. After climbing over a big cloud, the top of the peaks came into view, the sun appeared, and the rays blended with the mountains creating geometric shapes. It was the perfect inspiration for Tucketts designs. We had reached the top!
Going back down to where the rest of the group was waiting was super fun, I had so much energy and could keep up with Phemba, our guide. A helicopter came to get us and return us to Lukla. It was a beautiful end to our journey flying back over every step we had walked before. What took 9 days to travel by foot took forty minutes by helicopter.
The final day was all about recovery and saying goodbye. New friends were made and many were excited to travel together again.
Tucketts and the Himalayas
I learned so much from the journey and couldn’t wait to bring it back home to Tucketts and life in general.
Be prepared! Mistakes and pain can be avoided with a little research.
Go slow to grow fast, especially at the beginning. Tiny adjustments can help you acclimate to a new environment.
Embrace the unknown and all its surprises, and enjoy every step with the right people. People are the most valuable component of any adventure, they can grow or pause a business.
Be flexible without forgetting your values.
Have fun! There is always time to laugh through mistakes. It’ll make the journey easier.
Slow down and observe the beauty of nature around you.
Be curious about life and everything it has to offer.
Trust your instincts and take every opportunity as it comes.
We are all leaders and it’s the journey that matters most, with all its ups and downs!
We hope you love the Himalaya Collection as much as we do and it inspires you to dream big and accomplish all you can. We’d love to hear about some of YOUR dreams! Comment on the journeys you all would love to conquer. What makes your souls soar?