It started with a thought one crisp fall morning: “Wouldn’t it be awesome if someone made sweatpants with feet?” T.J. Moran knew there was already a market for similar products, but he wanted his sweatpants to be more than just footsie pajamas. He wanted something different, something more versatile that could be changed as the temperature did but that still wore like a super comfortable pair of sweatpants. That’s when Feejays was born.
The design itself was a little tricky. He needed to figure out a way to make the footsie bit stretchy enough that you could switch from warm and toasty to free-to-feel-the-sand-between-your-toes in a snap. “An escape hatch for your feet,” as he liked to call it.
A few trips to the local fabric store and a sacrificial pair of his wife Marcella’s yoga pants, and he had his prototype. A pair of sweatpants with feet and a stretchy, overlapping opening at the bottom. You could slide your feet out for some fresh air or slide them back in to warm up with ease. With help from a friend in the clothing business, he placed his first order for 400 pairs, the smallest batch possible, but the excitement turned to disappointment upon arrival. The factory had sewn the lycra for the opening wrong! The toes were trapped once again. Most of us would FREAK OUT and demand our money back, but TJ took it in stride. He kept the order. He gave them away for free to high school and college kids, family friends, employees, but there was a catch. They had to share them on their Instagram.
The word (and photos) spread like wild ire. Their next orders jumped from 1,200 to 3,600 to 12,000. Feejays is now a phenomenon that ships worldwide. With roots set in Santa Cruz, CA, TJ wants to stay close to home, remaining local and selling his product through their online store. He says, “For now, we like it that way. We want to be close to our customers and we want to be local.” Inspired by the cool foggy mornings, frigid ocean water, and chill vibe, Santa Cruz is the heart of Feejays, and that’s where you’ll find them. If you’re in town and you’re lucky, you might catch the “Feejaymobile” parked in front of local Verve coffee shop on 41st.
The sense of community doesn’t stop there. For the entire month of September they donated a portion of every pair of Feejays sold to Unravel Pediatric Cancer. After losing his own mother to cancer at the staggering age of 6, TJ has a soft spot and understanding for the families who are fighting this disease. There are even Special Edition Feejays in adult and kids sizes to help support the cause. He says, “If Feejays can provide that little bit of extra comfort for someone going through treatment as well as funds to help find a cure then then sign us up.”
We support and can’t help but love the Feejays family. Their sweatpants are ridiculously comfy. Loose and soft, with pockets! If you know me, you know that I love pockets on everything. It just makes sense. It did take me a second to figure out that I should flip the footsie part of the sweatpants inside out when I’m not wearing them. At first the opening was a little snug and felt a little tight around the ankle when worn as regular sweatpants, but after they stretch a bit they’re perfect. The feet are Sherpa fleece lined, which roughly translates to incredibly soft and fluffy.
They’re reasonably priced at $30 for kids and $40 for adults. It’s like getting a set of fluffy socks and cozy sweatpants all in one.
We dig them, we love them, and we support them (cue The Breakfast Club closing theme).