Women We Admire: Hannah Lavon of Pals
Learn how Pals Founder, CEO, & Creative Director Hannah Lavon used her design skills to create colorful, mismatched socks that inspire inclusivity and friendship.
Let’s be Pals! This LGBTQ+ and Woman-Owned Philly business, founded by Hannah Lavon, is making waves in the world of funky footwear. Pals takes pride in their collection of colorful, mismatched socks for kids that come paired as two unique characters who are friends despite their differences. Not only are Pals the most funky and comfortable socks your little one will ever wear, but they send the positive message that the best of friends are those who are different.
Who Is Hannah?
Originally from Great Neck, NY, Hannah Lavon is now a happy transplant in Philly, PA. As someone who is against discrimination and injustice in all forms, Hannah hopes to eradicate hate by spreading love and acceptance. Using her background in design, Hannah started creating pairs of socks for children in 2017. She originally started Pals with “$600 and a dream to end hate, racism and bullying.” Today, Hannah designs all original series of Pals and is the driving force for all things creative at Hooray Hoopla, LLC. (the makers of Pals). Curious and full of wonder, new mom Hannah considers herself to be an eternal child who is always seeking out new adventures.
From Idea to Creation: The Beginning of Pals
After college, Hannah worked at an agency as an Art Director and Designer for kid-focused brands. As she started gaining more designed experience, she began creating and selling assorted gifts like mugs, greeting cards, toilet seat covers, and more. Eventually, that hobby turned into a money-making side hustle called Vs. Mittens – a collection of mismatched, wacky animal mittens for adults. While Hannah enjoyed making the mittens and running this business, she had an urge to use her design skills for good. She wanted to create something that could benefit today’s youth and inspire friendship over fighting. At that point, what once was a company that made mittens for adults morphed into an organization that created mismatched socks for kids – and the rest is history.
The Pals Mission
The mission of Pals is to create positive change and make the world a friendlier place. Above all, this brand inspires children to seek out adventure and be more empathetic toward the people around them. Pals gives young, impressionable humans the tools they need to be inclusive, well-rounded adults. When asked about the purpose of this organization, Hannah explained, “I not only wanted to create the most fun socks ever. I wanted to also spread a powerful and much needed message to our future adults, leaders, decision makers, and global citizens that we don’t have to match to be besties. She added, “Our concept is to inspire kids to have all different kinds of friends and not to be afraid to try new things. Life can be a fun adventure when you are more open to new people, ways of thinking, and experiences!”
To add depth to this mission, all pairs of socks come with their own collectible PalsCard, which gives children the opportunity to name their two new friends and learn about how they met.
What Pals Does For the World
In addition to inspiring kids to embrace their differences, Pals finds many more ways to support their community. One of the company’s first charitable efforts involved a “Buy One, Donate One” program with Cradles to Crayons of Philadelphia. After that, Hannah was inspired to give back with every purchase – which inspired the brand’s fundraising program. During fundraising events, Pals donates close to 50% (or $5 per pair sold) of all sales to non-profit organizations. So far, they have worked with over 150 organizations and raised over $150,000 for charity.
Not only are Pals charitable, but they’re ethical and sustainable too. Each pair of Pals are carefully made by partners in Colombia and China, who follow environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. They are certified for paying fair wages, not implementing forced labor or child labor, and not issuing unpaid overtime.
Pals socks are primarily made of cotton. The brand never uses petroleum-based dyes, and they steer clear from fleece and plastic-based synthetic materials. A majority of Pals packaging and shipping cartons are printed on 100% recycled paper, and the company is actively in the process of purging all plastic in their packaging.
How You Can Help
Looking for a way to support Pals and their mission? All it takes is one pair of socks. Every purchase made helps Pals continue to spread their word of equality, empathy, and love.
To celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month this June, Pals is donating all proceeds from Baby Booties to Family Equality, an organization whose mission is “to advance legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change.” Click here to browse the selection of Baby Booties and make your contribution.
Caring For Your Pals
Once you have your Pals, the fun begins! But caring for them is key – after all, you’ll want to get as many years out of these socks as possible. Do not add bleach when cleaning. Wash socks and booties in cold/warm water and tumble dry at “low” to avoid shrinkage. Try to warn your little one to avoid bumpy surfaces where their socks could get pulled and get a hole in them. If taken care of properly, Pals socks can last for as long as 10 or more years!
Philly Family would like to thank Hannah Lavon and the team at Pals for continuing to encourage kindness and friendship in Philadelphia and beyond. For more information about this groundbreaking business, please visit the Pals website at https://palssocks.com/.