In recently hiring a new sales executive, Nester Hosiery of Mount Airy went with an individual who seems more suited to the Great Outdoors than a coat and tie in a corporate boardroom.
But that’s perfect for the role Chris Nitzsche is filling as vice president of sales, which includes boosting the distribution of Nester Hosiery’s Farm to Feet brand geared toward the outdoor specialty market of hiking, climbing, snow and similar sports.
In expanding the market presence of Nester Hosiery, Nitzsche also will be aiding job stability for the company on Carter Street which has remained viable in the troubled U.S. textile and apparel industry through various innovations. This has included manufacturing a wide variety of Farm to Feet socks catering to the growing outdoor recreation industry populated by bicyclists, hikers and others.
Wool to produce the socks is grown and sheared in the Rocky Mountains, with the remaining processes taking place within the purview of Nester Hosiery’s sustainability-focused knitting facility in Mount Airy, which at last report had about 200 employees. This process ensures a totally domestic product from raw materials to finished socks, thus reflecting the “Farm to Feet” label.
Nester Hosiery bills itself as the most advanced and socially responsible sock manufacturer in the United States and the world leader in designing and manufacturing innovative footwear.
New sales official
Nitzsche joined Nester Hosiery from Quagga Accessories. Before that, he held national sales manager positions at Woolrich and Elan-Polo, where he was responsible for Woolrich footwear and private-label footwear sales for the outdoor segment.
Before his 11-year tenure at Elan-Polo, Nitzsche worked at a number of top outdoor retailers, including the Alpine Shop in St. Louis as a training manager, and Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe in Portland, Oregon, as an instructor and guide.
“We’ve known Chris for a long time through our relationship with Woolrich and are excited to have him join the Nester family,” Kelly Nester, president and CEO of Nester Hosiery, said in a prepared statement.
“He brings with him a wealth of experience that aligns perfectly with our goals to expand our private-label business and build Farm to Feet into the brand of choice in the outdoor specialty market.”
Nitzsche is based in St. Louis and reports directly to Kerry Nester, executive vice president of sales.
“As a close-knit family business, I’ve always joked with the Nesters that I’m ‘The Fifth Nester,’” Nitzsche said in a prepared statement regarding the various members of the operation.
“I’m thrilled to be squarely back in the outdoor industry that I love so much, and look forward to working with the team in Mount Airy and growing Farm to Feet as well as all the other Nester Hosiery businesses.”
The local company is considered a key manufacturer in the outdoor industry, operating state-of-the-art knitting, finishing and packaging equipment to make premium outdoor performance socks for various brands and retailers along with its own Farm to Feet line.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.