All in SNEWS

100 Years of Making Socks

It’s unclear who instituted the rule. 

It might have been Robert Chesebro Jr., whose grandfather, Herbert, founded Wigwam as Hand-Knit Hosiery in 1905. Or maybe it was Margaret Newhard and Chris Chesebro, his kids, who came up with the idea. 

But one thing is for sure: It didn’t matter how many hours the Chesebro kids spent playing on the factory floor, taking turns pushing one another down the aisles in huge bins made for carrying yarn and socks. They needed to work elsewhere before getting a gig with the family business, period.

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Return to glory: Neptune Mountaineering is stronger than ever under new ownership

On a Thursday night in Boulder, hundreds of outdoor enthusiasts crowd into crooked rows of metal folding chairs amid shelves of shoes, racks of sleeping bags, and a wall modeled after Eldorado Canyon and the Flatirons. They’ve paid $5 to watch a screening of Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey, drink free beer, and get a chance at some Patagonia swag being raffled off. 

Read the full story from SNEWS. 

Ibex Outdoor Clothing Could Get Second Chance

Ibex Outdoor Clothing, which plans to close its doors in February, might be revived under the leadership of Terry Bicycles CEO Liz Robert. She confirmed Thursday that Vermont Works, a private equity firm of which she is a director, is exploring a bid on the Vermont-based apparel brand.

Robert says she sees potential in Ibex, which has a strong, loyal customer base and a good product. There’s synergy between Terry Bicycles and Ibex that she hopes to be able to leverage to keep the brand—and its jobs—within the state of Vermont. Robert formerly ran Vermont Teddy Bear Co. and purchased Terry Bicycles in 2009, moving it from Rochester, New York.

“People thought I was kind of crazy to do that,” she said Thursday. “People talk about the high cost of doing business in Vermont. But I’m a big believer that we need to try to support economic development in the state. I have a particular passion for Vermont, and a particular passion for keeping jobs in Vermont.”

Read the full story at SNEWS.

The Little Sleeping Bag Brand That Could: How Big Agnes Toppled the Giants

Outside the outdoor industry, in cities where people wear dress shoes to work and their blazers are blazers, not technical jackets in disguise, “dirtbag” is a dirty word. It’s an insult not taken kindly.

But here, in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, it’s a badge of honor and authenticity. It’s a word you might use to describe the roots of Big Agnes, which has expanded so quickly since its founding in 2001 that it has outgrown building after building, creating a sprawling campus, of sorts, of commercial spaces and houses converted into shops and offices. Late last year, the brand moved to consolidate into a building that will accommodate the majority of its staff members. People who had typically communicated via phone and email, even though they were working just a few minutes away in the same small town, are now mostly all in the same location, which will increase the efficiency of an already well-run machine.

Read the rest of my profile on Big Agnes at SNEWS.