There are a number of people in North America--and elsewhere--who do just that, selling their products on the internet rather than in stores (avoiding the necessity of a 40% retail markup). Most of my gear comes from such "cottage industries," which is where most innovative and truly lightweight gear is found. Some of these manufacturers have gone beyond the "cottage industry" stage and have become mainstream. Many sell their products overseas (especially in Europe and Australasia) as well as in the US.

Even such mainstream outfits as The North Face started in someone's basement!

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey