Some say necessity is the mother of invention. It was certainly the case for the founder of WinterSilks, who 30 years ago found himself trekking home in sub-zero winter weather with frigid limbs. That's when he decided to put on a pair of silk long johns and was awed by how warm, comfortable, and dry they kept him while he walked through the snowy streets.
The Middleton, WI-based mailer specializes in silk undergarments and accessories for women and men and targets affluent, educated customers over the age of 50. The company is also the largest direct marketer of swimwear in the U.S, according to Golden Gate Capital, which acquired Venus Swimwear Inc. in September and Carabella, the surf-inspired lifestyle catalog, in September. The investment firm is looking to sell the cataloger to a buyer that will continue to operate it in its current business lines, Vig says.