As a family-owned business, we value the traditions passed down by our family and our employees. Traditions, both new and old, instill a sense of nostalgia and comfort that – like getting a new pair of Darn Tough socks – serve as core memories for so many.
In the spirit of keeping those traditions alive (and those feet warm), we asked folks around the Mill to tell us what they’re most looking forward to this holiday season, in addition to which socks they recommend getting as gifts.
Joan's Pick: Men's Fastback
Position: Raw Materials Handler
Tradition: Pie Night
For 15 years, Joan has honed her skills working on the knitting floor. “And I still love coming to work every day.” Darn Tough is special, she says, because of the people. And since management is family-owned, Joan, a grandmother of 12, feels at home and aligned with the company’s values.
A NASCAR nut, Joan’s attended races in both Daytona and Bristol, but tells us that nothing compares to watching her grandkids race go-karts at the local track.
On Thanksgiving Eve, Joan and her family celebrate Pie Night – they make Pecan, Shepherd’s, Apple, and most popularly, Pizza Pie. It’s a time for her family to get together, roll some dough, and share some laughs in between bites.
Joan selected the Fastpack sock in Blackberry, a perennial favorite for her given the color and its supportive tech, for the active men in her family.
Shervon's Pick: Kids' Skipper
Tradition: Gingerbread & Eggnog
A 21-year-old from Trinidad, Shervon came to America in 2017 in search of a new life. He and his father moved to Northfield (an even smaller town than the town he grew up in), where for the past year Shervon’s been at the Mill working as a knitter.
In his free time, Shervon loves playing soccer, cheering for Lionel Messi, and nutmegging the local kids at the fields near his house.
Since moving state side, Shervon’s developed some new holiday traditions like decorating gingerbread houses and drinking eggnog. “I never had eggnog before coming here, but now I kind of love it.”
This year for his girlfriend, Shervon’s planning on gifting her our Junior’s Skipper snow sock because (unlike him) she loves the winter, and because, well, she’s got small feet.
Sandra's Pick: Men's Holiday Wild Life
Tradition: Crafting, Pumpkins, & Snow Globes
When she’s not cheering for the Sox or slotting three-pointers in cornhole, Sandra is at the Mill. Outside of work, she enjoys reading Stephen King novels, and apparently, dating men of the same name. You might remember her boyfriend, Stephen King (1st shift boarder in Nantanna) from a previous round of Staff Picks. “Socks,” she said with a smile, “really have a way of bringing people together.”
For the holidays, her and ‘The King’ enjoy crafting, carving pumpkins, and making snow globes with her two grandkids.
When asked about the sock she chose, Sandra said she picked the Holiday Wild Life because it’s festive and really only appropriate this time of year. That, and it checks all the boxes: it’s warm, cushioned, and an exclusive knit that not many people have.
Rob's Pick: Women's Holiday Wild Life
Tradition: Family Adventures
A former custodian at Montpelier High School, Rob prefers keeping things nice and tidy at the Mill. “And working properly,” he says. “There’s always something that needs fixing,” and fortunately, Rob loves doing it. The dirty work never bothered him, he says, especially for a company like Darn Tough that supported him when his home was damaged by the floods.
When he’s not at the Mill, Rob enjoys fishing and traveling with his girlfriend, as well as chasing tales of folklore and interacting with ghosts.
His holiday tradition, he said, is hanging with family and venturing to new places (last year he went to New Hampshire and saw a 600-pound black bear).
Rob’s sock choice, the Women’s Holiday Wild Life, is one he knows his girlfriend will be happy to rock all season long as they track down the Pigman.
Liz's Pick: Men's VanGrizzle
Position: Product Line Coordinator
Tradition: Meals & Socks
A native of San Antonio, Liz left Texas’ hill country with hopes of conquering the Appalachian Trail. But after landing a seasonal gig at Darn Tough, Liz very quickly, and rather unintentionally, stumbled into their dream job.
Now a member of the Product team, Liz helps roll out new styles and occasionally gets to name one, which Liz says is a “tangible reminder of how far I’ve come.”
Since moving to Vermont, Liz has grown close to their neighbors with whom they spend the holidays breaking bread and exchanging socks. While these traditions are new, others for Liz are not. A tinkerer at heart, Liz enjoys repairing guitars and building computers.
The sock they chose – the VanGrizzle – is one they adore for its novelty and practicality, and one that’s always on their holiday shopping list.
Stephanie's Pick: Element No Show
Position: Front Desk Receptionist
Tradition: Pie Baking
If you ever get a chance to visit our Mill, Stephanie is the first person you’ll meet. She’s our cheerful and radiant Front Desk Receptionist, or as we like to say, the guardian of our sock galaxy. But don’t let her smile fool you – she won’t let you in unless you mean business.
Stephanie and her husband Bill (our resident Director of Ops), live on an old dairy farm in nearby Barre, VT, where they celebrate the holidays by making pie together (it’s a theme). Her favorite, Apple Pecan, is a sweet reminder of the joy she feels during this time of year.
And, like her favorite No Show Tab Element Socks, it’s something she looks forward to not just on the holidays, but every day.