Greetings Friends and Fellow COVID-19 Fighters:
It’s my true privilege to serve as the new CEO of Faribault Woolen Mill Co. Founded in 1865, it’s the longest surviving manufacturer in my beloved home state of Minnesota. For years I’ve greatly respected Paul Mooty, who courageously restarted the shuttered mill in 2011 and this year invited me to partner with him in its future. It’s an honor.
During this trying time, however, I write today to let you know that we’ve closed our retail stores until further notice to protect our customers and our workers. The website is still fully functioning, though. And I thought I’d take this opportunity now to share some other thoughts.
The coronavirus encroaches upon our lives like nothing most of us have ever experienced. I submit to you that the 155 year history of this company is but one of many examples worth contemplating as we hunker down. From its beginning at the end of the bloody Civil War through the deadly 1918-20 Flu Pandemic, the Great Depression, two World Wars, and all the rest of the turmoil of the 20th Century — and despite devastation in a plant fire, some floods, and a two-year shutdown in 2009 — this company has gotten back up and survived. Our picturesque hometown of Faribault is similarly resilient and growing again. Americans are who we are, not because we don’t face intense troubles, but because we persevere. We get back up.
Our FWMC leadership team holds a deep conviction that domestic manufacturing jobs are key to strengthening our communities and keeping the American Dream accessible. We appreciate the economic multiplier effect that works when storied companies like Faribault Woolen Mill Co. thrive. We stand on the shoulders of our many dedicated, longtime employees who returned after the shutdown to get this plant running again.
While the world worries more and more about sustainability, our craftspeople work in timeless processes with virgin wool, shorn from flocks in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand. No polyester or other petroleum derivatives are needed. Just some shears and a summer haircut for sheep that run off to grow their winter coat back again. Sustainably.
We hope you’ll follow us as we expand this company in the years to come. We’re investing in new production capabilities and equipment, we’re working with American manufacturing friends who’ll take our fabrics and turn them into apparel for us, and we’re pursuing new strategies to serve you, our customers, much better going forward. We’ll be honored and grateful to have you with us.
As we look forward to our Fall and Holiday new product introductions, we’ve got some intense Spring Cleaning to do. We’re clearing a lot of inventory and our need for space is your chance at some really great pricing on Clearance items. Please wash your hands and check out our many Clearance bargains.... online.
Thanks for reading and thanks especially for your support of this Great American Woolen Mill!
Be well, stay safe and best wishes,
Paul Grangaard, Chairman & CEO