Category Archives: Employee Profiles

Employee Profiles: Melissa Allen

Melissa Allen, Stormy KromerThe first thing I did was attach the earband, which is like going straight to the top.
– Melissa Allen, Sewing Machine Operator

When people ask what I do for a living, I tell them I work on the Kromer line—with a big smile on my face, of course. Naturally, I’m happy to be here. I get to work with great and hard-working people, and we make something that lasts a lifetime. How could you be anything but proud of that?

After three years here, I get to do a lot of different jobs, but my day is mostly spent stitching in the liners and the labels, and I still get to help attach the earbands. For me, every day on the job is the best day on the job because I know people can wear our gear with a smile.

It’s true I only own one Kromer cap—it’s stylish, and it keeps my head really warm—but every single member of my
family has a cap to go with mine, so I think we’re covered. Well… I suppose we could use a few more. And I’ve been eyeing up the purses, too.

Employee Profiles: Samantha Steur

Samantha Steur, Stormy KromerI was made in Canada, but I know what it means to be made in the U.S.A.
-Samantha Steur, Product Development Coordinator

We’ve got a certain knack for American craftsmanship, and when we say “made like you,” we’re talking about honesty and passion. We’re genuine, and the gear we make is genuine, too. I’m proud our products live up to their reputation, and I truly feel lucky to work here.

When someone asks what I do, I say I take “baby” products—ideas, sketches, products in the earliest stages—and hold their hands until they’re grown up enough to go to market. I make sure every item is what it should be. And when you see something you’ve drawn in your sketchbook on a real live person, it’s quite a thrill.

So what gear do I wear? Well, I’ll say this: when the new products for Fall 2016 come out, I won’t be wearing anything but Kromer!

Employee Profiles: Steve & Mary Jo Welch

Steve & Mary Jo Welch, Stormy KromerWe’ve been married for 17 years, so we already know what it’s like to work together.
-Steve & Mary Jo Welch

Steve had been at Stormy Kromer for about eight years—working on manufacturing software and helping out in the Computer Aided Design department—when he heard of a position opening up in embroidery. He immediately thought of his wife.

And just like when he proposed, Mary Jo said yes, right off the bat.

“He’s so happy at the Kromer factory, I thought it would be a good place for me, too,” she said. “I got the embroidery job and have since moved into the Quality Assurance Department, where I get to inspect everything and help make sure ‘made in America’ means the highest quality standards.”

It’s been two-and-a-half years of being co-workers, and when you ask them the hardest part of sharing an employer, they’ll tell you “There is none.”

Steve says he’s “Glad to be helping so many smart, hardworking people produce so many good-looking, well-made products,” and while he could be talking about any one of the 120 employees here at Kromer, we’re pretty sure he’s referring to Mary Jo.

Employee Profiles: Bonnie Rubick

Bonnie RubickIf I can make you smile by the end of our conversation, I’ve done my job.
-Bonnie Rubick, Customer Service

When someone calls to place an order, I get the ball rolling, and the best part of my job is hearing how thrilled they are to know their very own piece of the Kromer legend is on its way. It makes me happy to make customers happy—even when they call just to chat about how much snow they have.

I think people are proud of where they’re from, and when you wear something that’s made in the U.S.A., it shows that pride. It’s like wearing a piece of history. Our legendary gear is durable, reliable, warm and fun—just like the people who wear it.

I want our customers to know that we’re as big of fans of them as they are of Stormy Kromer. Keep sending your pictures. Keep sharing your stories. Keep asking questions and offering suggestions—we are so happy to help.

Employee Profiles: Breanna Ahola

Breanna AholaIf you ever wonder who ties the tie on your Kromer, well, it’s nice to meet you.
-Breanna Ahola, Quality Inspector

I interviewed here a few years ago for a sewing position, but because I’m apparently a bit of a perfectionist, they said I was better suited for being an inspector. I guess they were right.

Simply put, I make sure every Kromer cap is perfect. Absolutely perfect. If there’s a flaw of any kind, it goes back, and I’ll inspect it again after it’s fixed. I’ve touched about 120,000 caps so far, and nothing less than the best gets past me.

I do get to do some sewing every now and then—stitching petals on the Petal Pusher, buttons on the Button-Up, et cetera. And I can make a perfect Kromer can koozie from start to finish—I’m the Koozie Queen—but the highlight of my job is hand-tying that tie. That is an honor.

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.

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.