Header Logos

An Ode to The Makers

The Story of Mill Direct Textiles and How One Very Small Maker Grew To Empower Others with Polartec Fabrics

Mill Direct Building

On the banks of Salmon Falls River which forms part of the border between New Hampshire and Maine, there’s a quintessential New England brick building, that not coincidentally, is an old mill. Surrounded by foliage whose colors amplify the season, it’s inside where a rainbow of Polartec colors create their own energy. This is the home of Mill Direct Textiles whose dedicated crew taps this energy to provide makers of all shapes and sizes with the best performance fabrics in the world. At the center of this fleece and fabric is KK Greer.

As a grassroots designer, innovator, and businesswoman, KK is passionate about small makers and companies looking to grow their business or explore their creativity with Polartec fabrics. Her relationship with Polartec started when she was 8 years old when her mother taught her how to sew. She regularly took KK to the Malden Mills bins in the early ‘90s to find excess Polartec fleece to practice with. It wasn’t long after that KK stepped into the small maker world.

Wristie Business

KK Greer

When KK was 10 years old, she invented Wristies: Fingerless gloves made with Polartec fleece designed to keep snow out of your sleeves. What started as a classic New England product later turned into a grassroots business, and everyone seemed to take notice of the brilliant mother/daughter entrepreneurial duo behind Wristies. They even made appearances on Oprah and the Today Show. But the most prestigious recognition of all came in 2000 when KK won the Polartec Apex Award for her innovative design with Polartec fleece.

However, even a budding career as a kid boss couldn’t keep KK in one place. A world-class climber (having competed with the US Climbing Team at the World Cup in Imst, Austria), KK went about traveling the world after graduating from Southern New Hampshire University. It wasn’t until coming back to the business 16 years later that she saw the extent fabric would play in her future.

Taking Care

Fabric Rolls

Her relationship with Mill Direct Textiles blossomed as she handled inventories. She didn’t need large container bins of fleece, she needed small quantity orders and a few rolls here and there. It was important to access different colors without minimums - and it had to be Polartec because she believes it’s the best. While she used to look for fleece scraps at the Malden Mills bins, everything she needed to keep afloat was found at Mill Direct Textiles.

In 2016, KK took over as owner of Mill Direct Textiles. As the business was planning on potentially closing down, KK stepped in to take on a bigger responsibility than what she had planned for when she returned to New Hampshire. But she knew if Mill Direct Textiles had gone down, then so many small makers, designers, and business owners would be without the small-run fabric business. As a champion, KK decided to step up and take over as owner while keeping Wristies available to all that need them, especially for folks with circulatory conditions who find freedom in the fingerless gloves. It’s a big reason KK keeps the business going, alongside a growing Mill Direct Textiles.

Polartec Ready to Roll at Mill Direct Textiles

Since being given the keys, KK has brought a fresh perspective and helped grow the business like never before. She takes a different approach and offers a wide range of Polartec fabric technologies in many different styles and colors. She makes customer service a priority and goes above and beyond to make sure her customers get the fabrics they need, however much they need.

Many of the employees at Mill Direct Textiles are also avid outdoor enthusiasts who test out the fabrics for themselves to give a first-hand perspective on what works well for different activities. The crew works hard to stay informed of all the different styles, colors, and technologies of Polartec fabrics so that the makers have the right material to be successful.

Burgeon Outdoor Slide 1
Rudy Adventures Slide 2
Mambe Blankets Slide 3
Rad Rags Slide 4

“Working with Mill Direct Textiles, KK really likes this stuff. She’s excited when you talk to her and she really wants you to succeed. She’s like your biggest fan. I think she has this incredible wealth of knowledge of not only the fabrics but how to grow as a small business. We would not be where we are without her. We would not have the breadth of product and color, nor the selections we have in our line without KK. She really knows the fabric, if you talk to her and tell her what you’re trying to do, I think she’ll really help you out, because I know she’s done it for us. She makes dreams come true.” - Rudy Glocker at Burgeon Outdoor.

KK and the crew are ready to help grow your business. With a wealth of knowledge and brilliant customer service catered to your needs, Mill Direct Textiles can help keep you stocked with the best performance fabrics in the world, whether you need them by the roll or by the yard.

Related Articles

Stories

The Toughest Stage: Monika Sattler

Partners

Partner Product Release: Lead Out

Partners

Partner Product Release: Karpos