Come 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.
I 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.
I drive a pretty mean forklift. Any questions?
- Kim Heikkila, Warehouse Work Lead
If 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.
I can hear you smiling.
- Kirsten Dowd, Customer Service
I 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.
I’m no Stormy, but I do sign his name on every cap.
- Denise Marten, Embroidery Work Leader
I 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!
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.
One 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.
Every day on the job is the best day on the job.
- Dennis ‘Mac’ McRae, Purchasing Director
Okay, 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.
Can you believe it’s a month before the first day of winter?
While we aren’t as buried as the folks over near Buffalo, New York, the western end of the Upper Peninsula as been fairly well hit with lake effect snow in the past 10 days.
It’s not even Thanksgiving and the local schools have had 2+ snow days. This morning, the temperature is in the single digits, and we’ve already had a few subzero overnight temps.
So while the calendar tells us Winter doesn’t officially start until December 21st, we know otherwise.
One of our factory buildings, a metal building with a fairly flat roof, needs its roof shoveled during the winter. Usually once, and usually around the first of the year.
Our crew is already out there today, snow scoops in hand, making sure are building and our employees are safe. Check out the photos below. We even had a little fun with a panoramic shot.
What’s the snow situation where you live?
If you wanted to know my favorite piece of Kromer gear, I couldn’t tell you. Literally.
- Dan Pavlovich, Technical Designer
Sure, I really like the Brushman Vest, but truth be told, I can’t tell you about my favorite Stormy Kromer items because they haven’t come out yet.
I head up the research and development team here at Kromer, and as technical designer for all our new products, I’m not allowed to let the cat out of the bag when it comes to what’s coming out. So I’ll just say this: there are some really great things in production right now that people are really going to love.
That’s the best thing about my job—seeing patterns I’ve sketched come to life on the models, then seeing how successful they are with customers. This is a great American tradition we’re making for people, and I think everyone in the Kromer family feels a sense of accomplishment about that.
I tell you, after 27 years, I still love it here.
Would you like it tomorrow? Okay then, how about today?
Cheryl Bjork, Production Manager
I started working at Stormy Kromer 11 years ago because it’s a flexible, family-friendly place to work, and anyone who shows interest and ability has an opportunity here. They have a place to grow and build their skills.
I started as an entry-level inspector—a very important job and one I was proud to do—and have since moved up to the position of production manager. That means I’m the one who makes sure we have enough of the right items in inventory to fill our orders.
And that means it’s up to me when you get your gear; my goal is to ship it the day you order it.