Marianne Wakerlin, is the founder and owner of Solmate Socks. The family run company is named after her mum, Sunny, who taught Marianne how to knit when she was nine years old. Marianne continued a lifelong enthusiasm for knitting, but it wasn’t until she started knitting socks that her real passion was born.
Over the years Marianne knit over one hundred pairs of socks for family and friends. She then decided to turn her hobby into a business and in the year 2000 Solmate Socks was born. Her colourful and complex patterns are knit at a family owned knitting mill in a small town in central Vermont, where they are hand finished and then “mismatched with care.” Marianne takes inspiration from the woods, brook, beautiful gardens and hills of the surrounding countryside.
Crafted with care from recycled cotton, and by sourcing their cotton yarns from recycled materials, Solmate Socks are creating an environmentally responsible cotton product by reducing the amount of virgin cotton that needs to be grown and at the same time helping to reduce landfill waste.
The Patchwork Box is very proud to be associated with Solmate Socks and we thank them for giving us the opportunity to make these fun socks available in Australia for sale and distribution.
For years Solmate Socks has been involved in many different charity projects, particularly Breast Cancer awareness. The following is a story of how one woman managed to help many children. I love this picture which was taken in Benin, Africa in April 2007. A church in South Strafford (where Solmate Socks is headquartered) spent a year raising money through sales of Solmate Socks, in order to fund the building of a cistern in this village.
One of the women in South Strafford had been a Peace Corps volunteer in that village many years ago, and she went back in 2005 to visit the families. She asked what they needed most. They said they needed water so the children could come to the village and attend school and not have to carry plastic containers of dirty water with them for drinking during the day. They also expressed a desire to establish an animal husbandry program and grow crops, all of which needed water. So the church set a goal of raising $5000, the estimated amount needed to fund the project. Instead, they raised $7000, which was enough to build the cistern as well as an adjacent building for washing hands, and enough to buy airline tickets for the former Peace Corps volunteer and another woman to go over there and supervise the project. They stayed there for about a month, which was the time it took to complete the project.
This project was a huge success and has had far reaching effects on the village and surrounding communities. Solmate Socks were honoured to learn that on the dedication plaque on the cistern it thanks Solmate Socks for helping to make it possible.