$26 panties bring jobs to Hemingway

Hemingway is a small town in Williamsburg County with an unemployment rate right around 12 percent. The solution might be in a $26 pair of panties, bought from an innovative company called Knockout.

Knockout offers a smart line of cotton men's and women's underwear made to wick away sweat. Angela Newnam's made it her personal mission to keep the jobs of those making her product on American soil.

"It's my personal goal to see this place fill back up with more and more seamstresses working on Knockout Panties," said Newnam, owner and inventor of Knockout Panties.

So, they're being made at Hemingway Apparel, a textile company located in Williamsburg County.

In 2009, co-owner Jack Marsh had to layoff 110 employees. The new business from Newnam gives hope to the 47 employees left, Marsh said.

"We lost a lot of employees in 2009 because the largest costumer we had took the product overseas. And when Knockout came in, we probably started with about 5 people. And today there is probably 12-15 people."

"My dad was in textiles his entire life," Newnam said. "And I got to see what happened when textile mills were closing and people were loosing their job and entire communities basically had extremely high unemployment, and I knew if I ever had a chance to make a product I was going to make it in America."

Right now, Newnam's brands sell online at hundreds of boutiques and stores across the U.S. and in Canada. She also says her customers understand all that comes with the $26 price tag.

"They understand the quality, they understand the materials and they understand the technology. Those three things combined with american workmanship make for a terrific product."

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