'Sock Spot' solves problem of lost socks in dryer

It sticks to the side of the dryer with suction cups and has five clips that hold the single socks until their match is found.

It's a universal problem that most people can relate to. What to do with the lone sock that's left in the dryer?

But one local man has come up with an answer to that question.

As part of a New Year's resolution a few years ago, Niel Pierson created a tool called "The Sock Spot."

"It has been incredibly grueling and arduous, but no regrets," he said with a smile recently at his father's home in Metairie.

The spark of the idea started for Pierson when he was growing up in this house.

"The idea originally was my dad's," he explained. "We had one as a kid, and it was this funky thing that he constructed."

But it wasn't until years later, when his son needed it, that necessity really turned out to be the mother of invention.

"When you can't get something your kid needs, you go a little nuts," Pierson said.

Roman Pierson is 10 years old. He loves loves flags and can name every state capitol. He also has autism, and Pierson said medical bills started piling up.

"When I was no longer able to pay it, when I had done every song and dance for the therapist and had begged and borrowed from my family, we finally hit the wall," he said of the moment he decided he needed to make a change in his life.

And that's what brought Pierson to his New Year's resolution.

He started with his own funky prototype, and turned it into an interactive tool aimed at the whole family.

"The message is of tidiness, organization and to pick up your stuff," he said with a laugh.

It's a simple, but ingenious, idea for that lone sock left in the dryer, and it's called "The Sock Spot."

It sticks to the side of the dryer with suction cups and has five clips that hold the single socks until their match is found.

But Pierson didn't stop there.

"I called my friend Derek Comisky, who's an illustrator, and he's a teacher, actually, at Christian Brothers," Pierson said.

Together, they created a children's book to go along with "The Sock Spot". From there, it turned into a family affair.

"Roman and Paisley have a dog named Meanie Weenie. Meanie Weenie loves dirty socks," Jan Pierson read aloud to the couple's two children.

Both Roman and little sister, Paisley, star in the story. Roman goes on an adventure after their dog takes off with one of his socks.

Along the way, he meets all kinds of helpful Cajun-inspired creatures, including a crawfish and a lazy lizard.

"With names like Couyon, T-Boy, Lay-Zay. Yeah, it's a Louisiana theme," Jan explained.

Of course, the kids have their favorite character.

"It's going to have to be Meanie Weenie," said 8-year-old Paisley. "I'm in love with dogs."

All of the characters are featured on the sock spot clips.

"People lose a lot of socks, so we made big, kid-friendly, cute clips," Neil said.

The Piersons hope that kids will not only be entertained, but also inspired to help out around the house.

"If it starts with socks, maybe it'll spread on to clothing and books," said Jan.

It's working so well, in fact, that the family got their first 3,600 copies of the Sock Spot in August.

"We're in over 40 stores throughout Louisiana," Jan said. "I did a big submission with Barnes and Noble, so we're in the Metairie store and the Mandeville store."

Each purchase helps fund autism research and family support for families with kids like Roman.

"He's come such a long way," Jan said. "Long journey, but he's doing beautifully now."

And, much like Neil's dad inspired him, Paisley loves seeing her dad's idea come to life.

"I'm really proud of him," she said. "It's actually really cool to be a little girl with a dad who made this huge thing."