Jon Stevenson, president and founder of Sacramento-based Trumpette, the upscale baby clothing and accessories store, said Wednesday that he's mortified to be involved with a product recall.
"In 23 years, I've never been involved in a recall ... but this is the right thing to do," he said. "I guess the one thing I want to say is that we love our babies, and we're all about protecting babies, not harming them."
Trumpette has voluntarily recalled about 33,000 pairs of baby socks - made in China and imported by the local company - because embellishments on the socks can detach and create a potential choking hazard for youngsters.
The recall is being done in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The recall centers on the Aubree's and Hearts style of socks, offered from newborn to 12 months. Aubree's socks have flowers attached to the toes, and Hearts socks have bows attached to the toes of the heart-patterned socks. "Trumpette" is printed on the soles.
CPSC said Trumpette received eight reports of the flowers or bows detaching from the socks. No injuries have been reported.
Consumers are being asked to immediately take the recalled socks away from babies and remove the flowers or bows to eliminate the potential hazard. Owners can return the socks to the place of purchase or Trumpette for a full refund or store credit.
The socks were formerly sold at Trumpette's retail store at 2020 I St., in Sacramento and at stores nationwide. They also could be purchased on various online sites.
They were sold in packages of six pairs of socks in multiple colors, for about $15.
Stevenson said a decision last year to work with a new Chinese manufacturer, identified as Asia Socks, proved fateful.
He said Trumpette has been facing increasing competition from middle-tier retailers and hoped the Asia Socks-made products would produce positive results.
When the ill-fated socks were put on the market about two months ago, Stevenson said consumer complaints came quickly.
"They were only (on the market) for maybe 15 days," Stevenson said. "Our good customers brought it to our attention, and we reacted immediately."
Asked about the financial consequences of the recall for Trumpette, Stevenson said, "I don't even want to think about that ... The important thing now is no harm to babies."
Stevenson said he's scheduled to talk with officials of Asia Socks, and those discussions likely will determine the full fiscal impact of the recall.
"(The socks) weren't out there very long, so we're probably getting back 80 percent of them or more," Stevenson said.
Consumers can get more information on the recall by calling (877) 938-7265, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays, or by clicking the "recall" tab on Trumpette's Web home page, www.trumpette.com.
Call The Bee's Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.