Paul Mooty and his partners purchased the Faribault Woolen Mill in 2011, they were drawn to the historic significance of the mill. Built in 1865 by founder Carl Klemer, the mill produced blankets which became renowned for their comfort and quality. The business grew to supply half of the woolen blankets made in the United States, mostly through sales to retail stores across the country. It supplied blankets to pioneers heading west to settle the country and to our troops in World Wars I & II. Due to a variety of economic circumstances the mill was closed in 2009.
Paul and his partners wanted to revive the old mill so that it could continue to build on its rich history. To assist them, they called on Olsen Thielen & Co, Ltd. There were many complex issues that needed to be considered when taking on this project. They needed help setting up an accounting system and performing monthly compilation work. Because of the historical significance of the building, they were eligible for significant tax credits. Olsen Thielen was instrumental in navigating through that complex and time-consuming process.
Paul knew that Olsen Thielen had the depth of experience to assist with the project because he had worked with them previously. At that time, his company was seeking a strong local accounting firm. “We wanted a mid-sized firm that would offer more personal attention and was closer to home. Olsen Thielen was a good fit,” says Paul. “Their staff was knowledgeable, friendly and always available when I needed them.” After that experience, it was an easy decision for Paul to call Olsen Thielen for help with this project.
Today the mill still sits on the banks of the Cannon River in Faribault, Minnesota, and is the only full-process wool textile mill left in the United States. It employs over 60 employees and is experiencing strong sales growth. In addition to reestablishing its base of retail outlets, it has added new channels like hotel chains and online sales. Olsen Thielen continues to add value as the business expands. As Internet sales become a large part of the business that didn’t exist before, Olsen Thielen is there to help understand the complex rules of E-commerce.
What began as a commitment to preserving this historical treasure has now grown into a thriving business and an important part of the community. As their website says, “Faribault Mill is woven into American history.”
In 2023, Faribault Woolen Mill was awarded the Twin Cities Business Magazine’s Manufacturing Excellence Award for their visionary work. Olsen Thielen is honored to continue to assist Faribault Woolen Mill and be a part of this longstanding tradition.