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Executive Q&A: Oklahoma City sock manufacturing firm marks 60 years in business

Mark McCubbin, the chief executive of Oklahoma City-based McCubbin Hosiery, follows the path set by his paternal grandparents.
by Paula Burkes Published: November 4, 2012
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It's more than apt that Oklahoma City-based McCubbin Hosiery sock manufacturer turns 60 this year and in 2012 — with the addition of Costco and Walmart as clients — will do about 60 percent more in sales over last year.

McCubbin Hosiery is on track to ship about 46 million pairs of socks and tights this year, and hit some $50 million in revenue, Chairman Mark McCubbin said.

The company, which employs 100, holds licenses for private brands, including Stride Rite, Keds and Absorba, and develops private label products for Nordstrom, Dillard's, Kohl's, Payless Shoesource and other retailers. Its socks, legwear and slippers are sold in some 15,000 stores across America, and in Asia, Canada, Israel, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Australia and elsewhere.

From the company's 125,000-square-foot distribution center at 5310 NW 5, McCubbin, 56, sat down Tuesday with The Oklahoman to talk about his professional and personal life. This is an edited transcript:

Q: Can you tell us about your childhood? Did you grow up working here?

A: Yes. As young boys, my brother David and I started pitching in early — sweeping floors, putting up stock, packing and selling orders from our distribution center at 815 Robert S Kerr Ave. Our grandfather, the late Chester F. McCubbin, and father, the late Richard McCubbin, established the original warehouse at 21 W Main in the Merchandise Mart Building, but moved to Robert S Kerr in ‘66, where we operated until we outgrew that 40,000-square-foot space and moved to this leased space three years ago.

Summers as a boy, I used to go on the road with my grandfather to visit stores across Oklahoma. In the early days, Anthony's stores represented about half of the company sales, which occurred mostly west of the Mississippi River. My grandfather loved to sell and taught me how. Meanwhile, from my grandmother, the late Margaret McCubbin, I learned the importance of taking care of finances and running a tight ship.

My father left the business in 1967 to follow his passion and teach history at Casady School; subsequently serving as headmaster. Our mother, D'Arline (pronounced Darlene), was a homemaker. Today, she's a grandmother to six: my two girls and David's four daughters.

Q: Did you attend Casady when your dad taught there?

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by Paula Burkes
Reporter
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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PERSONALLY SPEAKING

Position: Chairman, McCubbin Hosiery

Birth date: Halloween, 1956.

Family: Marta, wife of 30 years (“Mutual friends introduced us in 1981, and it was love at first sight for me.”); daughters Sarah, 25, of Stillwater, and Alison, 24, of Washington, D.C.

Education: Dartmouth College, bachelor's in history.

Community involvement: Board member, A Chance to Change and the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City; Crossings Community Church; Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club, former board member; and Casady School Board of Trustees, served two years as chairman and seven years on the board.

Pastimes: Books (his favorites are histories and biographies). He's currently reading a biography of John Adams and, in August, took a two-week cruise to Greece and Turkey, on which the late University of Oklahoma history and classics professor Rufus Fears facilitated daily tours and lectures. (“That checked every box for me.”)

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