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Darn Tough: Milling and Marketing the Finest Socks around the World
June 07, 2018 Elizabeth Thomas, Director Sales and Marketing, Office of Small Business

A girl from Connecticut goes to a meeting in London. A guy from London tells her about his only trip to the United States. To Vermont. Where he bought an awesome pair of socks. Thanks to Meridian Finance Group and EXIM Bank, he no longer needs to travel across the pond to keep his feet warm.

In 2017, representatives from Darn Tough Vermont (a Cabot Hosiery Mills brand) in Northfield, Vermont AKA the Sock Capital of the World, attended an ExportTech seminar hosted by the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA). Throughout the course of the day, attendees learned about state and federal government resources that are available from VEDA, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and EXIM to help small businesses grow their export revenues. The company was already exporting and offering their distributors 30 day open account credit terms, but two things were on their minds: inklings of potential problems with payment from one international source, and an upcoming trade conference where they wanted to discuss deals with new distributors. The timing couldn’t have been better.

Export credit insurance from EXIM provided solutions for both a potential problem, and an opportunity. With the protection of export credit insurance, Darn Tough Vermont representatives could negotiate payment terms with new international distributors, secure in the knowledge that the receivables were insured against nonpayment and covered for commercial and political risks. In addition, export credit insurance bought the management team peace of mind, knowing that they had mitigated the risk of nonpayment problems from a potentially shaky partner. Problem solved, new doors opened, what’s not to like?

“Thanks to EXIM’s excellent export insurance program, Darn Tough Vermont is well on its way to achieving its goal of worldwide brand recognition and substantial growth in international markets,” says Steve Kelley, Darn Tough Chief Financial Officer.

One Family. One Mill. One Mission.
Family-owned for almost 40 years, three generations of family members share the skills, commitment and passion to bring the toughest and most comfortable socks to market. The team at Darn Tough is proud of their product from the quality to the sustainably sourced Merino Wool to the Vermont-made, American brand. They back that pride with an unconditional lifetime guarantee, with the Darn Tough Vermont team that puts the socks through rigorous testing, and with the company-owned mill where every step of the knitting process happens. With their commitment to quality, dedicated team and willingness to expand abroad, today, Darn Tough is milling and marketing the finest socks around the world. EXIM is proud to have played a part.

Want to learn more about how your small business can increase revenue through exporting? Contact your local EXIM Regional Director today.

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