Sept. 4, 2013 -- “The American consumer and horse owner have put forth a mandate that is changing the face of manufacturing in America,” says Raymond Petterson, president of Sox For Horses, Inc., and the inventor and manufacturer behind Summer Whinnys antimicrobial fly barrier equine socks and Whinny Warmers for horses suffering from arthritis and circulation-impairing conditions such as founder, laminitis, IR cushings and equine metabolic syndrome.
“I began my company the same year as the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression," said Petterson. "It was the most frightening thing I’ve ever done. American manufacturing was desperate for business.”
This spurred Petterson’s decision to manufacture his horse socks close to home.
“It was a good time to get a mill’s help, and I slept soundly at night knowing I hadn’t shipped an American job overseas,” he said.
Since then, Made in America has resonated deeply with public opinion, and Petterson has watched mills and factories experience an upturn in large orders for consumable goods. Horse owners also are welcoming more products bearing that label. “If you think your buying power doesn’t make a difference, let me dispel you of that notion,” he said.
According to the American Horse Council, he cited, “The horse industry has a direct economic effect on the U.S. of $39 billion annually. That's a $102-billion impact on the U.S. economy when the multiplier effect of spending by industry suppliers and employees is taken into account. Include off-site spending by spectators and that results in an even higher figure. When we, as a group of consumers, direct our money toward horse products made in this country, we create jobs.”
Consumer choices and small businesses are part of an economic leg-up. “I started out Made in America and over the years have grown my small business to the point where it’s landing squarely on the radar of some very good distribution possibilities," he said. "I’ve focused on quality and function and word is getting out that Summer Whinnys and Whinny Warmers are solving problems for horse owners and when companies focus on what consumers want, success follows. ”
Petterson shares this advice for burgeoning entrepreneurs: “Be humble and grateful to everyone that helps you along the way. Never compromise quality in your product. Always strive to make it better. Find a way to make your product here. There are a lot of organizations that will help you get it done. Know that you don’t know everything. Always ask questions from those trying to help you. Skip college textbooks the on manufacturing and marketing. Learn from those who get their hands dirty in the factory or retail your product every day.”
As for horse owners? Reach around, he said, and give yourselves a pat on the back (or withers): “You have made a big difference by deciding what products you will buy," Petterson said. "You’ve created more American jobs. I know this. Horsemen and women are reading the labels of the products they buy.”
For more information about Summer Whinnys and Whinny Warmers go to www.soxforhorses.com or call 850-907-5724 to talk to a real person about your needs. Sox For Horses, Inc., supports horse and animal rescue efforts and manufactures its popular equine socks only in America.