Inc.: A Tiny Minnesota Town Now Has Fast Wi-Fi and New Jobs, All Thanks to This Chain Mail Startup

EXCERPT: “In medieval times, rust was a hassle. Knights would battle in the rain, blood slicking their armor. Back at the castle they’d remove their chain mail and place it in casks filled with sand; children rolled the casks around the keep. ‘That would polish it up and get rid of any rust,’ Edie Ramstad says. ‘Now we have electric tumblers that do that.’ Ramstad is the founder of Weave Got Maille, a manufacturer of chain mail supplies in Ada, Minnesota. (‘Maille’ is the archaic spelling of ‘mail.’) The company has dabbled in prop and costume work, crafting a few pieces for Game of Thrones and chain mail car seat covers for an unnamed Marvel film debuting next year. Mostly, though, Ramstad and her 16 employees produce jump rings–the tiny metal hoops from which mail is woven–as well as clasps, ear wires, and other materials for chain mail jewelry making. About 60 percent of Weave Got Maille’s sales come from independent craft stores and chains like Joann Fabric and Crafts. The rest is e-commerce to consumers in 82 countries. ‘If I had known we were going to be international, that would not be our name,’ Ramstad says of her company’s punning moniker. ‘It does not translate well.'” FULLSTORY: