Business Irish

Monday 26 February 2018

Sockmaker run off his feet as top US chain stocks up

Donegal socks
Donegal socks
Martin Breslin
Aideen Sheehan

Aideen Sheehan

A CHANCE holiday encounter resulted in a Donegal sockmaker getting his socks stocked by Michelle Obama's favourite store.

A senior executive from top American fashion chain J Crew – whose designs are frequently sported by the US First Lady – was on holiday in Ireland last year when he spotted Donegal Socks on sale.

The owner, Martin Breslin from Glenties, didn't know who he was dealing with when the executive contacted him to say he was interested in stocking his socks.

Assuming J Crew was a small family boutique, Mr Breslin suggested sending him a couple of dozen pairs for a trial run. He was stunned when the company suggested that they'd need a few thousand.

"It was a case of 'Oh holy God', I just assumed it was a typical husband and wife-run store, I didn't know they had hundreds of branches," said Mr Breslin.

J Crew has around 350 stores in the US and recently opened a flagship new store in London.

The socks have sold extremely well in J Crew and their website advises they are sold out.

"Our biggest problem is capacity as we have customers screaming for more stock," said Mr Breslin.

"We're selling well at home now because they're an ideal Christmas present for under a tenner," he said.

Irish Independent

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