Category Archives: Behind the Scenes

Employee Profiles: Lynn Jackson

Employee Profile: Lynn JacksonI used to work at the hospital, so that qualifies me to take care of Kromers.
- Lynn Jackson, Quality Inspector

As a Stormy Kromer inspector, it’s my job to make sure every cap is sized right and sewn right. No loose stitches. No crooked cuts. No errors of any kind. You can’t make mistakes and make a legend.

Our gear goes out with a “Made in the USA” logo on it, and that means it was made in a small community and made by hard work. It’s so satisfying to see how many different kinds of hats and other products get sewn each day, and to know we’re making them with pride. I want everyone out there to know that, because I want them to wear their hats with pride.

I see a lot of tourists come in for tours, and I love to hear all their questions. The Green Bay Packers even came in once—that was really something. I guess I’m just happy to see people who love our hats, and that’s why I love my job.

Employee Profiles: Jim Berton

Stormy Kromer Employee Profiles: Jim BertonThere are two kinds of people: the kind who work at Stormy Kromer, and the kind who wish they did.
-Jim Berton, Media Specialist

The folks who work here are the lucky ones. And when people ask what I do, I tell them I have the best job in the world, at the best place in the world, for the best people in the world. For 12 years, that’s been true every day.

Technically, though, I’m a “media specialist,” which is French for “graphics, embroidering, digitizing, photography, and anything else they’ll let me do.” Truly, I’ll do anything I can to help, and not just because my wife and I both get our paychecks here. (Yep. She was hired on the same day as me.)

We love it here. We have passion for what we do and where we’re from. And when you buy a piece of Stormy gear, you’re not only getting the highest-quality American-made merchandise money can buy, you’re getting a piece of the company—something made by hardworking Americans who put their reputation on the line every day to guarantee your satisfaction. Just try it on, and you’ll feel that passion, too.

On Location: Salt Lake City

Last week, the Stormy Kromer sales and marketing team were in Salt Lake City for the winter Outdoor Retailer Show. We had a great time showing our new 2015 fall/winter products to retailers from around the country. Read on for a few sneak peeks from the show!

Stormy Kromer Winter OR Booth

This photo shows off about 2/3 of our full booth. Can you spot anything new?

Alan, Kirsten and Gina at Winter OR

Gina, Alan and Kirsten take a break to model some of the new upcoming caps and apparel.

Our favorite booth visitor

This cute pup took a break under our women’s apparel display while his owner took a look at our catalog.

Presenting the 2015 Sassy Awards

During the show, the 3rd Annual American Made Outdoor Gear Awards were given out, hosted by Kokatat in the Liberty Bottleworks booth. We were incredibly honored to be a finalist again this year, after being a category winner in 2013. A big congratulations to this year’s Category Winners, Voormi, Dahlgren Footwear, Polar Bottles, and Cascade Designs, and to this year’s Grand Prize Winner, Sterling Rope. It is always inspiring to learn more about what other American made manufacturers are accomplishing.

Our 2015 fall products will be available to the general public beginning this summer. Stay tuned for all the details!

 

 

Employee Profiles: Jennifer Cvengros

Employee Profiles: Jennifer CvengrosCome see me, and I’ll show you how “Made in America” is done.
-Jennifer Cvengros, Engineering Department

I work in the engineering department at Stormy Kromer, and that means I get to figure out the most efficient way to make the best products. I work on the prototypes, and I determine how much each piece is going to cost to produce. I even get to sew every now and then.

Most importantly, though, I get to work with a great bunch of hardworking people, and we’re helping keep jobs in the U.S.A. I’m more proud of that than anything. I think we all are.

I want people to buy our products, of course, but I also want them to come to our factory in Ironwood, to take the tour, and to see meet the people who make “Made in America” happen. It’s more than just making hats, it’s really something we can be proud of.

Employee Profiles: Patti Alexander

Employee Profiles, Patti AlexanderI make sure you get what you ask for.
- Patti Alexander, Distribution Center Work Lead

Anytime you order an item from Stormy Kromer, it’s made by hardworking people who care about and take pride in making the best product they can. It’s my job to make sure you get that product on time.

My department (Packing and Shipping) works as hard as anyone here to make sure our orders get shipped out correctly and efficiently. And I’ll tell you, the best thing I’ve ever seen was around Christmas last year, when we had 32 pages of orders one day. Everyone jumped in to help—people from other departments, people just coming out of their offices to chip in and get the orders out.

Those are the kinds of people who work here—who make your Kromer gear—and they take the same kind of care as you would, if you were making it for yourself. I’m lucky to get to work with them.

Employee Profiles: Kim Heikkila

I drive a pretty mean forklift. Any questions?
- Kim Heikkila, Warehouse Work Lead

KimCUIf you work at Stormy Kromer—if you’re the type of hard-working, good-natured person who comes in every day excited to make the best gear they can—I’m the one who gets you what you need to do it. If you need a hundred yards of wool, I’ll bring it. If you need a spool of thread, I’ll find it. If you need boxes or bindings, I’ll go hunt them down.

I make it possible for people to make Stormy Kromers.

I’ve only been here two years, and I only own two pieces of gear (the Ida Kromer with Hardware and the SK Convertible), but I really enjoy my job and the quality people I work with. They’re great. They’re dedicated. And if you want the best American-made caps and clothing, they’re the people who can get it for you.

Employee Profiles: Kirsten Dowd

I can hear you smiling.
- Kirsten Dowd, Customer Service

Kirsten Down, Stormy Kromer Customer ServiceI can’t even mend my own socks, so I don’t get to do any of the sewing here at Stormy Kromer. But I do get to talk directly to our fans and help them with their orders. That’s about the best thing ever, and my greatest reward is having a happy customer on the other end of the line. Trust me, you can hear their smiles.

I talk to so many folks throughout the day—maybe I’m helping them pick out a cap, or sometimes they just want to chat. Either way, my job is to give them the best experience they can possibly have.

And you know, I think I’m doing an okay job. My most memorable call, for example, was a marriage proposal from a happy customer! I did have to turn him down gently, as I am already spoken for, but it was a great compliment.

Employee Profiles: Denise Marten

I’m no Stormy, but I do sign his name on every cap.
- Denise Marten, Embroidery Work Leader

Sewing on Stormy Kromer's SignatureI got my first job in this place before Stormy Kromer was even part of it—that’s 17 years ago, and I can’t even tell you how many caps and other great gear has come across my desk. Way too many to count! I can tell you this, though, I am proud of being part of a legend.

We make great products (I own over 20 pieces myself!)—strong, honest, warm, made-in-the-USA products—and our line continues to grow. My job is to oversee the embroidery on those products—from Stormy’s signature on the back of the caps to special-order stitching, like what we did for the US Ski Jumping teams. Honestly, that was the best day of my career: seeing those USA monograms on national TV.

I’m a busy wife, mother and grandmother, but what keeps me coming back each day is the knowledge and pride that we are continuing to build on our legend of quality. We just keep getting better!

Why American Made?

We’d like to introduce you to Alan Svoboda. As our Lead Designer, Alan brings us the initial concepts and sketches for our new products each season. His resume includes companies like J Crew and Target, but his real passion is American-made brands. Today, he talks about why American made matters to him – and why it should to you this holiday season.

alansquareOne of my favorite things about buying American made products is the quality.  From first sight, to first touch, you can see and feel the difference immediately.   Growing up, like most, I never gave a second thought about where my garments were produced.  It wasn’t until I began shopping at thrift stores for vintage clothing that I began to take notice of the superiority American made products exude.  Here were 70 year old garments, designed to be used under very grueling circumstances, and they were still in great shape.  It was seeing these pieces of history that made me realize the importance of our American manufacturing traditions, and all the stories each one of these garments has to tell.  You see it’s not about the products keeping up with the latest “trend”; it’s about the product keeping up with our demanding lifestyles.  A piece of apparel that’s an investment, not because it cost more than something you would buy from a big-box store, but because it’s something you will wear for the rest of your life.

Here at Stormy Kromer we design apparel and accessories with you in mind.  Made like you, by people like you.  Outfitting our customers with products designed with a classic style, made from the highest quality materials, and manufactured in America by real people who care about the products they produce.  Our garments are up to the task, and now it’s up to you to write your story.  So spread the American made message this holiday season, and let’s raise the tide together.  After all, quality is the gift that keeps on giving.

Employee Profiles: Dennis ‘Mac’ McRae

Every day on the job is the best day on the job.
- Dennis ‘Mac’ McRae, Purchasing Director

MacCUOkay, I know how that sounds, but for the most part, every day here is great. I work with hardworking, dedicated people, and the company is growing, changing, expanding, and that keeps me coming back.

What do I do here? I’m responsible for sourcing and purchasing the raw goods our gear is made from: the best wools, cottons and other fabrics from all over the world. And for 34 years, I’ve been proud to help keep the team working by keeping up with the growing demands for those raw goods.

I’ve got ten Kromers of my own (my favorite of which is the waxed cotton cap), and I guess what I want to say to other Kromer fans is thank you. Thanks for helping keep a legend alive and growing. Thanks for supporting Made in the USA.