By Bob Jacquart, CEO
9 years and 9 months ago, I sat in a local coffee shop and overheard that the Kromer Cap Company was about to discontinue production of its distinctive wool cap. As a lifelong resident of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and a third generation Kromer-wearer (not to mention the owner of a sewing factory) I knew there was something about this quirky cap that had to be saved. And about a month later, my company Jacquart Fabric Products, owned the rights to the cap and the name.
I was an expert in sewing and manufacturing, and not in sales and marketing. And now, I had a brand to sell! I decided to seek out some experts in the marketing field, and I made a visit to an advertising agency in Milwaukee – one with experience in the outdoor industry. I brought with me some old photos of family and friends wearing the cap (you can see a few here), and the critical bit of knowledge that George’s nickname was “Stormy” – a fact that the Kromer Cap folks had not really capitalized on. They looked at me and said, “You really have no idea what you have here.”
I left that meeting full of excitement for the potential of Stormy Kromer. We made some immediate changes to the cap – including the now unmistakable signature and date to the back of the cap. We took a year off from actively selling the cap and perfected production. We added new colors. And soon, we slowly began adding new products under the SK name.
A decade later, the brand now includes over a dozen cap styles in a multitude of colors that are worn by men and women, young and old, hunters and businessmen. In a few weeks, a host of new caps, apparel items and accessories will be launched on our site and in our dealers around the country.
108 years ago, George and Ida unknowingly created a legend by stitching that iconic earband to a wool baseball cap. We now carry the significant responsibility of being caretakers of that legend – making sure everything we do would make George and Ida proud. And in fact, you are a caretaker of the legend too, from the moment you put that Stormy or Ida Kromer cap on your head.
We’ve launched this blog as yet another way to connect with you, our loyal customers. We hope you enjoy hearing a little more about the company, the products, and the stories from all over the globe, that together make Stormy Kromer the legend it is today.