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|From Troy to Saks Fifth Avenue: NH Fur Company Continues to Grow|
|Published Thursday, January 26, 2017|
Darryl Meattey, owner. Photo by Matthew J. Mowry.
Surell Accessories, a family-owned fur business tucked away in Troy, may be among the best-kept secrets in NH. Yet it’s made a name for itself among the high-end department stores in New York and even has a New York showroom.
Surell’s fur fashions are sold at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Lord and Taylor, Bloomingdales, Brooks Brothers, Nordstrom, Macy’s and other major retailers. It also sells high-end faux fur products through TJ Maxx.
The company has been steadily growing since the recession, increasing sales from $2.2 million in 2011 to $4 million in 2015. President Darryl Meattey expects this year’s sales to be flat as last winter was mild. Prior to that, the company experienced sales growth of 15 to almost 30 percent annually, he says. “Our brand is getting stronger,” Meattey says. “The demand is the biggest I’ve seen in 20 years. All the major designers are carrying [fur].”
Surell designs and imports furs for a variety of price points, from items for Macy’s priced at under $50 to Saks, which carries high-ticket items costing hundreds.
The family business has 11 employees during the busiest time, in the Monadnock Region. It got started by chance when Meattey, who grew up in the area, had just quit college and helped unload a truckload of fur for Kathy Manufacturing in Fitzwilliam, which produced child and bridal fur accessories and clothing. Meattey stayed on at the company, becoming cutting supervisor and within five years became president. When the owner decided to close the business, Meattey and secretary Sue Adams launched their own company, calling it Surell Accessories. Adams retired in 2002, and Meattey now runs the company with his wife, Lois, and sons, Daniel and Dominic.
The company used to manufacture everything in Troy, but it now imports 90 percent of its product and makes 10 percent in NH. “I buy furs directly from Finland, the nicest skins you can buy in the world,” Meattey says, explaining importing is more profitable. Final preparation of all products is still done in Troy, where they are combed, blown with air to fluff them and checked for quality. Surell makes headbands, hats and earmuffs, using higher end furs. It sells about 20,000 units annually that it manufactures in Troy.
Three years ago, the company moved from a 4,500-square-foot space to the current 11,000-square-foot space with its own retail store. The company hired a PR agency in New York to help it grow its brand and works with a consultant to help the next generation as they take on sales and logistics. Meattey says his goal is to expand sales to more than $7 million in sales in the next few years, including putting more emphasis on online sales.
For more information, visit shopsurell.com.
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