"Emi-G made sports socks. Color: white. Styles: crew and athletic. "Knit them, put a toe in them, and out the door in 300-pound cases," [Moi ici: Quantidade, eficiência, margens apertadas] says Terry. For 12 years, Russell Athletic was the company's only customer.Um dos meus relatos preferidos no mundo do calçado é o da empresa portuguesa que deixou de ser competitiva a produzir sapatos que se vendem a 20€ e agora tem sucesso a produzir sapatos que se vendem a 230€.
But by the mid-2000s, Fort Payne's hosiery industry--once booming, according to Gina, with more than 120 mills employing roughly half the area's population--had been decimated by a mass exodus to Central America. [Moi ici: Por cá foi por causa da China. No entanto, se falássemos com um Ferreira do Amaral, ou um Vítor Bento, ou um Paes Mamede diriam que foi por causa da adesão ao euro] More than 100 mills had closed, and in 2007, Russell decided to terminate its business with Emi-G. Over the next seven months, the Locklears let go of their entire staff,"
"In 2008, Gina, then 28, was living in Birmingham, working as a real estate agent. Years before, when she was employed at a ski shop, she had observed that specialty ski socks sold for $20 a pair. She'd also recently begun to buy organic--food, cleaning products, personal care--but had trouble finding apparel made from organic cotton.Quando não se pode ser competitivo pelo custo, as empresas têm de fugir desse terreno e procurar fazer como David face a Golias e optar pela concorrência imperfeita.
Gina pitched her parents what to them seemed like a radical idea: an organic cotton sock brand for the eco-chic set.
"I didn't understand about organic anything, let alone socks," says Terry. "And I knew it would be very expensive to start a brand." Terry's main sticking point was that organic cotton costs several times as much as standard cotton. Gina spent a year making the business case, pointing to the higher price tag and margin on a premium fashion product. She finally persuaded her parents--who were also out of options--to fund the venture with $100,000 from Emi-G's coffers.
worked with her parents' plant manager to reconfigure Emi-G's machines to produce small batches of patterned, multicolored socks.
In 2010, Whole Foods picked up Zkano; then, five years later, Martha Stewart selected Little River Sock Mill--Gina's second line, specifically for specialty boutiques--for an American Made award. Today, Zkano sells primarily online, while Little River has accounts with some 200 retailers.
With new revenue coming in, Gina's parents were able to slowly rebuild Emi-G by doing smaller, limited runs for clients such as a medical company that sells socks to hospitals. Zkano and Little River now account for roughly half of Emi-G's revenue, which is approaching $3 million."
Trechos retirados de "This Sock Company Is Making 'Made in Alabama' Cool--Thanks to Martha Stewart and Whole Foods"