Founded in 1843, Greenville, S.C.-based Kentwool is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year. The fifth-generation family-owned business manufactures its premium wool products entirely in the United States employing some 81 employees between its offices in Greenville and manufacturing facility in Pickens, S.C.
After Mark Kent, the company’s CEO passed away unexpectedly last year, his wife, Kimberly V. Kent, formerly corporate counsel for Kentwool, took the helm of the company.
“At every turn I see the fruits of Mark’s leadership, his vision, and the affection he had for Kentwool and everyone in it,” Kim Kent said. “He was a service-focused leader, one with
a clear vision and a deep commitment to this company, our employees and our success.”
“You don’t make it to your 175th anniversary on accident,” said Keith Horn, president, Kentwool Manufacturing. “During his years as CEO, Mark expanded the business three-fold. Through Kentwool Performance, his advocacy about wool’s wearability in every season and his promotion of its natural qualities, Mark allowed us to adapt to changing consumer behaviors. He stayed one step ahead of things, so Kentwool was able to do the same.”
The company is known for the “World’s Best Golf Sock,” an idea that originated with Mark after playing a round of golf in uncomfortable socks that left him with blistered feet, as well as premium wool yarns.