Missoula-based compression sock company VIM & VIGR gives nurses a leg up

Purchases of VIM & VIGR’s fashion-forward compression socks in the Amazon store fuel founder’s mission to give back to the medical community through donations and scholarships.

2 min
March 29, 2024
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In a previous career, Michelle Huie’s office job required her to sit most of the day. She began to experience achiness and fatigue in her legs and sought relief. She learned that compression socks can provide health benefits by increasing circulation and reducing swelling.

However, when Huie went to purchase her first few pairs, she was completely underwhelmed by the quality and style options. “Everything in the market was geared toward athletic-looking or medical compression socks,” said Huie.

“I thought to myself, if I need compression socks that are super-cute and made with high-quality fabrics,” said Huie, “there are hundreds even thousands of people who could benefit from them too.” VIM & VIGR was born.

But don’t be mistaken; these unique products are not just stylish fashion. VIM & VIGR designed their products based on scientific insights. They partnered with vascular surgeons and vein clinics to develop a method to weave true, graduated-compression with fabrics that can stand up to the daily grind and make their owners stand out in a crowd.

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VIM & VIGR made the choice to become an Amazon seller early in the company’s history. “We knew customers visit Amazon with a high intention to purchase. If you’re a small business trying to expand your brand, you want to go to where the customers are. Selling on Amazon just made sense,” said Huie.

It’s through reviews from Amazon customers that Huie learned medical professionals were becoming one of VIM & VIGR’s largest customer groups. Doctors and nurses love the compression, which helps relieve the strain of standing, and the fun patterns, which spice up sterile scrubs.

“Reviews are powerful. They help customers learn about our products and help us learn about our customers. With Amazon, we’re able to understand our base better,” shared Huie. “We have heard from nurses and doctors through Amazon reviews about why they buy the socks and how it helps them and changed their life.”

Armed with insight, Huie leaned into her audience, designing two collections dedicated to medical professionals and donating hundreds of pairs of socks to the nursing community directly. But Huie felt compelled to do even more. Four years ago, VIM & VIGR kicked off an annual scholarship drive to support two nurses with tuition costs. The scholarship is funded by purchases of their compression socks during National Nurses Week, April 29 through May 12.

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For every pair of socks purchased, VIM & VIGR puts $5 towards the scholarship. In 2023, they selected Adriana Jones, a psychiatric mental health nursing student from Virginia, as one of their recipients. Jones wears her donated VIM & VIGR socks during her rounds and is reminded of the financial support she received from Huie.

“The opportunity has been amazing. You don’t see a lot of merit scholarships that are that straightforward, that honest, that generous. It’s really been very impactful on my life being a recipient,” said Jones. “It alleviated a lot of financial burden and really gave me peace of mind to focus on school.”

Giving back is now part of the VIM & VIGR mission, said Huie, and goes right to the heart of her product: supporting those who support others.

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