What they did: The Cabot family has been knitting socks in Vermont since 1978, mostly for brands like Brooks Brothers and L.L. Bean. But a decade ago, as more companies began sourcing from overseas, business looked grim. So Ric Cabot took a gamble: In 2005 he began making high-end athletic socks -- think hiking, running -- under a new brand, Darn Tough Vermont. He's taking on Timberland's SmartWool by vowing to make the most durable, best-fitting, and most comfortable socks (the key: merino wool and more stitches per inch than rivals). His socks even carry a lifetime guarantee: Wear a hole in one and get a new pair, no questions asked. While $20 may seem steep for socks, fans swear by them, and Cabot says the brand now accounts for two-thirds of the firm's $12 million in revenues.
The Van Winkle family has been in the bourbon business for 100 years. Its secret for the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery? Make prize-winning spirits and keep supply really low.
|Under Sanders, income and jobs would soar, economist says|
|Why Nasdaq's bull market is on life support|
|Sports Authority faces possible bankruptcy|
|University of Phoenix owner sells as 50,500 students flee|
|Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina may not make CBS debate cut|