Category Archives: SK Life

Snow Diary: November 20, 2014

frontdoorCan 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?

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Can You Feel It?

Can you feel it? That subtle change in the air? There is something different in the wind – something that goes beyond the calendar change from October to November and the shift back to standard time from daylight-saving time.

Yes indeed. We’re just that much closer to winter. Which begs the question:  Have you got the right products to keep you covered for all your late fall and winter activities?

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November is prime football season. From the NFL to college and even high school games, now is the time for the games that really count. And the games that can get really chilly. Did you know we now offer mittens and koozies to match our Benchwarmer caps? In 11 popular team color combinations, our Benchwarmer Collection is the perfect combination of warmth and team spirit.

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Thanksgiving is also the start of the holiday travel season.  Use the Night-Timer for your overnight excursions and try the generously-sized Carryall for a diaper bag, beach bag or carry on. Traveling with laptops or tablets? Our all-new Tagalong protects your electronics in style.

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With the chill in the air, it’s time for our favorite fiber – nature’s original performance fabric – to come out of the closets. Wool. And while our Original Cap has been made out of wool for over 100 years, we’ve also got a range of wool coats and jackets to cover you through fall and winter. For this time of year, we recommend our Chore Coat for women and our Kromer Jack for men. Unlined and made out of slightly lighter-weight wool, they are perfect for late fall and winter.

What are your favorite SK products for this time of year?

Stormy Stories, Volume 2

Welcome to our next Stormy Stories post. In this series we’ll celebrate the unique, rugged, down-to-earth and genuine people we’re proud to call our customers.

We found Randee the very first year we put out a call on Facebook for models, and she returned to work with us again this year. Randee reminds us a lot of the people here in Ironwood: a small-town, northern Minnesota girl who savors life and all the adventures it brings. She owns her own photography business, Made For You Photography, and when she’s not working she’s usually out shooting trap, hunting, snowmobiling or fishing with her family. Did we mention she also works part-time at a store that sells Kromer products?

randee1Here’s some more about Randee from a recent conversation we had about her connection to Stormy Kromer:

SK: How did you come to know about Stormy Kromer?

RD: As a proud fourth generation Kromer wearer, I’ve known about the caps my whole life. When I finally managed to get a cap of my own, it was the Ida Kromer Cap in Pink. I love that hat. And even though I’ve added on to my collection since then, I still wear it often.

SK: Well, since you brought it up, what’s in your Stormy Kromer collection today?

RD: Counting my most recent purchase just a week or so ago, I’ve got six caps, two pair of mittens, a coat and the new Parkland Vest. But my favorite item is the white and raspberry Petal Pusher. It gives me such easy, warm, adorable style. And while I’ve got a few friends who still think “Elmer Fudd” when I mention Kromer, I think I prove them wrong with this cap.

randee3SK: You’re definitely an outdoorsy kind of gal. What’s your most memorable outside moment?

RD: While I’ve had a lot of fabulous experiences, one of the most memorable would have to be when I shot my first deer. I’ll never forget it – I was four months pregnant with my son at the time! My husband was with me, and almost cried he was so excited for me. And of course, my Stormy Kromer was with me too.

SK: You’ve been on two different photo shoots with us now. Is there a moment during a shoot that stands out?

RD: Things got just a little crazy at the shoot this past March. The photographer, the amazing Mitch Kezar, got the idea to shoot a bunch of us from overhead while we were playing cards. To do this, he had to climb up a gazebo and then lay down on top of it, shooting down at us. He had it in his head he could get a great shot and he made it happen!

randeegroupSK: What’s your favorite Stormy Kromer story?

RD: It’s not so much a story but I love the bond you form with other Kromer wearers. When you see someone wearing a cap, you know you can walk right up to them, start a conversation, and most likely, make a new friend. This has happened to me time and time again.

SK: Our new tagline is Made Like You. What does that mean to you?

RD: It means that you are doing it right. Making things that are real, with high standards of quality and service, all the while giving American citizens jobs. Sadly, you don’t see all of those things in one place much anymore.

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An update on Phil Beatty, the man who credits his Kromer as a life-saver.

“I tell everyone I know to buy a Kromer. You never know how much it could mean to you.”

Phil Beatty couldn’t tell you a thing about the accident that nearly killed him. Which is good because, well, it nearly killed him.

You see, he was driving along a winter roadway last January, when an oncoming snowplow kicked up a road reflector—right through the windshield and into Phil.

We wrote a blog about it, not just because it was a miraculous story of survival, but because he survived thanks to a Stormy Kromer Original cap. Continue reading

Bob visits the Kromer Kap Kulture Klub

Some of our loyal blog readers may remember a post from a few years ago when we introduced you to the Kromer Kap Kulture Klub.  Well, we’re happy to say that this year, our CEO, Bob Jacquart, joined them for a meal.

A brief refresher: The Klub is a group of men who gather each year at a no-power, no-plumbing log cabin north of Gleason, Wisconsin for deer season.  All Klub members, of course, wear a Kromer.  Members receive an official Certificate of Membership, plus honorary, non-voting stock in Kromer Kap Kulture Klub, LLC.

Bob had promised the Klub that one day he would bring pasties to the cabin for dinner. This November on a -6 degree night, he did just that, and took some great pictures that we would like to share. The first photo shows Bob (center) with two members of the Klub.

This next photo shows the full Kromer Kap Kulture Klub.  Notice the one young man on the left, the only one with a red cap?  That indicates he’s a Klub rookie – next year, he’ll be allowed to wear a black cap and the red one will be saved for the next rookie.

Bob brought pasties as promised, and brownies for dessert.  Since there is no oven in the cabin, Bob had to bring them preheated.

Also revealed that night was new plaque that would be set into the sidewalk come springtime, commemorating the 30 year anniversary of the Kromer Kap Kulture Klub.  The plaque was a surprise to everyone except the man who made it that night.

We love to hear stories of fans who truly embrace the Kromer legend, and who even make it a part of their family and community traditions.

Do you have any Stormy Kromer traditions to share?

Now THIS is Legendary.

“In November of 2012, Michigan’s Governor Snyder proposed a 924 mile trail that starts at Belle Isle in downtown Detroit and traverses the entire state, across the Upper Peninsula to the Wisconsin border. I intend to be the first to thru-hike this trail. My name is Chris Hillier but other hikers call me Wolverine.”

So begins Chris Hillier’s blog.  The staff at SK Headquarters – and a whole lot of other folks in the Ironwood area – had the honor of meeting this fine fellow at the conclusion of his ambitious hike this week.

After 11 weeks traversing the fine state of Michigan, sleeping in tents and surviving what might be the buggiest summer on record in the Upper Peninsula, Chris arrived in Ironwood yesterday afternoon.  His arrival happened to coincide with Festival Ironwood, which gave our community all the more reason to celebrate with him.  Rumor has it that large amounts of food were consumed…

Today, he came to see Kromer caps being made and add his name to our legendary wall.

As it turns out, Chris had his own Stormy Kromer story to share with us.  He recalled being given a hunter green cap by his big brother – a sign in his family that he was now considered a man.  A real honor.  He treasured his cap for years, and through a series of unfortunate circumstances, he lost his cap during a hike somewhere in Pennsylvania.

We were happy to replace it for him.  Cheers, Chris!  You’re a legend in our book.

A father, a daughter, a Kromer: it’s a little bit more than a Father’s Day gift.

When other kids had to go to Disney World, a young Amanda Dinkel got to go to the U.P.

She grew up in Gladwin, Michigan, smack in the middle of the lower peninsula, with two older brothers and parents who loved the outdoors. Her father, Larry, who spent his days as an engineer, spent his life as a hunter and fisherman, and he often brought his kids out onto Superior or Huron for hours on end.

“We loved the outdoors, too, but he’d drag us on that boat, and we thought it was torture,” said Amanda, a middle-school reading teacher in Caro, Michigan, just an hour or so from her hometown. “We’d tell him ‘No, don’t take us. We’re gonna die!’”

Long days on a boat can be tough for any kid, but after her college graduation, Amanda set a goal for herself: to learn something her dad really loves and to have him teach her.

“I’m a girly-girl, but I wanted to connect with my dad. Fishing and hunting was a way to do that.”

It was on one of those trips—a venture to Larry’s favorite bear-hunting hideaway near the Keweenaw—when Amanda and her dad really found something to bond them.

“We stopped in Brevort for some smoked fish, and they had a whole selection of Kromer caps,” added Amanda. “I squealed! I’d been following Stormy Kromer on Facebook for a couple years, but this was the first I’d seen them. I was so excited. I got myself a Petal Pusher, hopped back in the car, and my dad said ‘Well, what did you get?’

“Naturally, being from Michigan, being an outdoorsman, he knew everything about Stormy Kromer—the caps, the gear, the history. There isn’t always a lot to talk about on that eight-hour stretch of road, but we now had Stormy Kromer in common. He just kept saying they were so cool.”

It wasn’t too long after that when Amanda ordered her father an Original in charcoal wool.

“My father is pretty simple in his wants and needs, so he isn’t always easy to shop for. But now there’s no question what to get him,” added Amanda. “I want to thank the people at Stormy Kromer for giving me an opportunity to bond with my dad. Kromer is our connection, and it’s authentic, through and through.”

Authentic. Just like Amanda and her dad.

Do you have a great Kromer Dad story to share??

Curlers in Kromers!

Last winter, we agreed to outfit the Finlandia University Curling Club (in beautiful Hancock, Michigan) in Stormy Kromer caps.  Their coach recently emailed us these great photos and this report from the 2013 College Curling Championships in Duluth, MN, March 8-10:

  • Our team was ranked 7th in the nation after the event.
  • Our national team upset the #1 ranked team in the country during the initial round-robin.
  • Our other 2 teams placed 2nd in the “C” pool and 1st in the “D” pool of the event.
  • Our Stormy Kromers were asked about constantly during our appearance, and the students proudly stated where they were from and what kind of hat it was.
  • We were one of the best uniformed teams at the nationals…partly thanks to the Kromers!
  • The event coordinators, other teams and coaches, and observers stated to me and the team, that: “Finlandia Curling Club showed the epitome of what respect, sportsmanship, fellowship and team is all about.”
  • Going in, everyone was asking where and who Finlandia University was…no one really knew.
  • Going out, our team gained respect for our club, the individuals and the University and look forward to the 2014 College Curling Championship!

Our hats are off to these great young men and women for representing their team, school, sport and the Upper Peninsula so well.  You’re all legends in our book!