Despite our brutally cold temperatures, it's apparently the right place and time for Stephenie Anderson's new business in Fosston, Minnesota. Anderson has opened Northern Woolen Mills. It's one of only a couple of plants in the Country, producing American made yarn for knitters and clothing manufacturers.
Stephenie Anderson, Northern Woolen Mills: "We do it for the hobby knitter. We also do it for the fashion industry. So, people like Bemidji Woolen Mills buy from us and then make it into hats and mittens for the fashion industry.
And it appears Anderson has opened her plant at exactly the right time. She says importing Canadian yarn has become too expensive for clothing manufacturers and there's no guarantee of what they'll get back from Chinese manufacturers.
Anderson says she's already getting order from all over the Country, from companies asking for American made yarn.
Stephenie Anderson: "Yes, I think so… that's a big trend. People are starting to look at their labels, look for made in America."
The plant uses sheep wool and the hair from New Rockford, North Dakota bison to produce different kinds of yarn.
A spin off business has already been created here that weaves expensive scarves from a mixture of silk and bison hair.
Michelle Curfman, Northern Woolen Mills: "Yeah, we've been contacted by an outlet in Minneapolis that wants to market our products to boutiques in the area. So, it's very exciting."
The company also received a recent request from fashion designer, Ralph Lauren who wanted their yarn to make a line of sweaters for the Olympics. Anderson says she had to turn down that request, because they weren't ramped up to produce enough yarn yet.