Boardroom Socks says sales picking back up, but U.S. manufacturing impacted by COVID19 shutdown

This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more.

See how North Carolina small business Boardroom Socks is adjusting to the COVID19 crisis and helping men upgrade their wardrobe to (eventually) return to work with American-made socks.

About Boardroom Socks

Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Boardroom Socks is a family-owned manufacturer of men’s socks.

The company’s mission is “to provide unparalleled value by offering high quality, American-made socks crafted with premium materials, all for a great price,” according to President Nathan James, pictured above with his dad (photo courtesy of Boardroom Socks).

“We manufacture each pair of socks locally in North Carolina,” he told me, “and we are committed to supporting our state’s textile traditions.

Boardroom makes several kinds of socks, and is a great option for long, over-the-calf socks, as well as more modern mid-calf socks. Their over-the-calf socks are made of a soft and comfortable 67% Merino Wool, 30% Nylon and 3% Spandex blend.

(Disclosure: Boardroom socks sent over a couple of pairs of socks at no cost to me.)

Sales slowed dramatically, then picked back up

“March started off very strongly for us but then things slowed dramatically beginning around the 15th,” said Nathan.

March 15 was the date that the CDC released guidance limiting crowd sizes to under 50 people, which forced weddings, conferences and other mass gatherings to be put off. (Two days prior, the President declared a national emergency.)

Nathan observed that “this mass shutdown of offices, business meetings, conferences, weddings, formal events, etc. really cut into demand for our products.”

While many of the entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed have observed that business has continued to remain soft or inconsistent, some, like Jon Shanahan of men’s skincare brand Stryx, mentioned that their sales started to recover.

Nathan noted that, beginning in mid-April, Boardroom Socks started to see its business pick back up.

I think people have accepted the quarantine as a new normal and see light at the end of the tunnel. This has folks starting to do more online shopping while also gearing up for a return to work at some point in the not-too-distant-future.

Nathan hopes that some shoppers who previously visited brick-and-mortar stores are shifting their purchasing online, which could help his primarily-online business.

Welcome to the Boardroom – An Introduction to Boardroom Socks from Nathan James on Vimeo.

Stay at home order impact on U.S. manufacturing operations

“Our manufacturing and shipping are all handled here in North Carolina, so our operations were largely unaffected until the Governor’s March 27th stay at home order,” Nathan said.

“When that order was issued, our manufacturing shut down, but we have still been able to ship out of our warehouse,” he added.

We certainly want to keep our team healthy and do our part to prevent the virus from spreading, so we’ll continue to operate this way until it’s safe to get operations ramped back up.

In the interim, Boardroom Socks is leaning into long terms investments, which is a refrain echoed by others like Ministry of Supply CEO Aman Advani.

Nathan is taking advantage of the slowdown to work on several major initiatives such as a complete rebuild of its website, which the company hopes to launch soon.

Get your back-to-work wardrobe ready and support small businesses like Boardroom Socks

You can begin to plan for the day when we (eventually) get to return to work by upgrading your ready-for-work wardrobe now.

You can support Boardroom Socks directly and spiff up your formal sock collection by buying directly from their website or via Amazon.com.

For more options to upgrade your work (or work from home) wardrobe while supporting small and independent businesses, try:


About Jake

Jake is passionate about exploring entrepreneurs' global journeys. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age.  Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and/or fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine, and has provided analysis on international business for BBC Radio, NBC News, CNN and Time Magazine.

Other cool stuff:

* The Essential List: These 52 innovative menswear startup brands will transform your wardrobe
* Discover more than 30 thoughtful gift ideas for men from unique shirts to colorful socks
* Shop Modern Fellows' list of recommended menswear brands.
* Search 12 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for the Modern Dad for Fathers' Day, Christmas or his birthday
* Browse our list of essential men's style books.
* Discover the best places to buy men's socks online.
* Check out these gorgeous, affordable watches with numbers
* Find Alternatives to Warby Parker that also let you try on prescription eyeglasses at home.
* Explore 10 options for amazing chinos from these menswear startup alternatives to Brooks Brothers.
* Get $50 off your first suit at Black Lapel, one of our favorite online custom tailors.
* Score $20 off your first shirt at Proper Cloth, one of our favorite online custom shirtmakers.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.