Category Archives: SK Life

Stormy Kromer to sponsor US ice fishing team

Stormy Kromer to sponsor US ice fishing team
Signs on as official headwear of USA Ice Team

Ironwood, MI, January 25, 2016 — Stormy Kromer, makers of functional headwear born in the wilds of the northern Midwest, has been named the official headwear of USA Ice Team.  The team is preparing for the upcoming World Ice Fishing Championship, February 15-21, 2016, on Lake Ternopil in the Ukraine.

USA Ice Team Official CapIn support of the team, Stormy Kromer is selling official USA Ice Team caps on its website, with a portion of sales going to support the team.

“Ice fishing is a big part of our area’s culture – our ice fishing season is almost longer than our open water season,” said Gina Thorsen, president of Stormy Kromer. “We wish the team the best of luck and know that along with warmth, our caps will bring them some luck on the ice.”

The 2016 USA Ice Team was named following tryouts last February in Rhinelander, WI.  In World Championship format each team is made up of five anglers, one alternate, a captain and a coach.

The championship format consists of two days of three-hour competitive sessions.  One fisherman from each team is randomly selected to fish in one of five designated zones.  Following a Le Mans style start, the fishermen are responsible for drilling their own holes by hand and managing their catch, while a designated spotter and coaches are allowed to give advice from outside the zone.

World Championship rules state that no motorized or electronic equipment is allowed during completion or practice sessions.  In a competition session competitors will hand drill one hundred or more holes.  World Championship anglers can hand drill holes with amazing speed, able to complete a drill in less than 30 seconds.

“Ice fishing is a true test of one’s skill, determination and endurance,” said Sean Warner, USA International Delegate. “Donning our Stormy Kromer caps we look to take on the world and bring the championship home again.”

2015 Ice Team with Stormy Kromer2016 marks the 13th year of the championship.  Team USA won the gold in 2010 when the event was held in Rhinelander, WI.  At last year’s championship in Finland the team finished 11th.

The World Championship is scored on a points system where points are awarded based on each competitor’s place and determined by the weight of fish caught in each zone.  The country with the lowest total points after day two is awarded the championship.

Learn more about the USA Ice Team and follow the team’s progress during the World Championship on its Facebook page.

For more details on the 2016 Ice Fishing World Championship click here.

About Stormy Kromer:
Established in 1903, Stormy Kromer is an outdoor apparel company comprised of genuine, hardworking artisans who strive to provide classic, yet contemporary products with the same passion, purity and practicality as the first Stormy Kromer cap over a century ago. Located in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula, today Stormy Kromer proudly continues its tradition of hand-crafting American made products and supporting American made jobs. For more information, visit


Christmas in Minnesota

Guest Post by SK Brand Ambassador, Joe Whitson

A Winter Lake in Minnesota

After a reluctant arrival, winter in Minnesota is finally beginning to take hold. The rough waters of our 10,000 lakes are slowly, slowly freezing over, exchanging their ripples and waves for icy crystals, spider webbing their way across the surface in endlessly complex patterns. Nature has replaced her faded greens and grays, lovely in November, but out of style in December, for a new coat of unblemished snow. In winter, the stars seem crisper and even the sun herself celebrates the season, rewarding early risers with her sundog, the multi-hued ring she wears on only the coldest and clearest mornings.

Winter in Minnesota

It might sound cliché, but in winter, the world truly is transformed. Of course, every season brings change, but the changes of other seasons speak to growth and progress, always looking forward. In winter, the alterations seem more foundational, more primal; it looks back, a time of reflection and heritage. Colors are simple and honest; sound is subdued beneath the snow. When I walk through the knee-high snow drifts of one of Minnesota’s evergreen forests, the heavy boughs drooping threateningly above my head, my breath drifting out in miniature white clouds, the sound of the sudden crack of ice as it expands in one of the nearby lakes, thoughts of the future are set aside and nostalgia is allowed to run free.

A Winter Trail in Minnesota

I know what you’re thinking, it’s easy to romantically philosophize about the season when you’re sitting peacefully by a fire watching the flurries come down outside, but the realities of winter often make it hard to appreciate. For my sister, trying to survive winter with two toddlers can be far from magical. Every errand is a lesson in patience as gloves and hats and boot and coats are put on and taken off and lost and found. Every icy sidewalk is a potential fall and every icy road a potential accident. Every outdoor task that is hard enough with two babies in the summer, becomes something to be dreaded in the winter. You don’t think about the lightly shrouded fir trees, you think about the painfully frigid wind and hope your daughter’s nose won’t freeze.

Peninsula Cap, Urban Workpack and Tough Mitts from Stormy Kromer

This year for Christmas, I wanted to give my sister the gift of seeing winter as it should be seen. I wanted her to look back, to rediscover the magic winter holds for all of us before the realities of life gets in the way. The question was how to translate an experience, a way of seeing the world into a concrete gift. I decided on a Stormy Kromer Christmas. Stormy Kromer is a heritage brand from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that I know values winter the same way I do. There is just something about wool and flannel that jump starts winter nostalgia. My sister will be getting the new Peninsula cap, a pair of wool Tough Mitts, and an Urban Workpack. I also threw in a Minnesota State Park pass for good measure. But of course, the real gift isn’t about the gear, it’s about the experience, so the gift also includes a January trip to wintry woods north of Lake Superior, hosted by yours truly. The kids can stay home with dad.

So this winter, get outside, rediscover the season and from all of us at Stormy Kromer, have the happiest of holidays.

A Kromer Christmas Miracle

The Reynolds Family

On August 10th of this year, the newest member of the extended Kromer family was brought into the world – Hunter George Reynolds. While the family is celebrating now, little Hunter has had to fight to get here.

You see, Hunter was born 3 months premature and weighed in at just 1 lb, 10 oz on that August day. Members of the Kromer family contacted us soon after his birth, and his Stormy Kromer family here in Ironwood immediately joined the large group of people sending prayers his way.

His family just sent us this photo this week – and you can see how tiny little Hunter still is 4 1/2 months later. His Lil Kromer Cap is still way too big on him!  He has been quite the fighter these months – and the best news is that he has been able to finally go home after spending months in the NICU.

So how does Hunter fit into the Kromer family? Hunter is Stormy’s great-great-great nephew, and his middle name of George is in homage to the many “Georges” in the Kromer family, including our namesake, George “Stormy” Kromer.

One last note. Hunter’s parents are named Tyler and Angela. Do you see what happens when you correctly arrange the initials of their first names? H. A. T.

Tyler and Angela say this was completely unintentional. Maybe. Or maybe there was a little divine intervention from his great-great-great uncle.

Please join us in welcoming Hunter home for Christmas, a Kromer Christmas miracle!

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Cabin

Guest Post by SK Brand Ambassador, Jill Emmer

Jill in her Huron Poncho

Hi! My name is Jill Emmer. I am a mom, a photographer & a bit of an adventurer. I live in Minneapolis, MN.  It is an honor to also be a Stormy Kromer brand ambassador. You can learn more about me at Today I am going to tell you the story of how I became involved with Stormy Kromer.

Kids playing by Tree

About a week before school started, I decided to take my boys on a spur-of-the-moment road trip. My husband had to work, so it was just myself and the boys. We went up to the North Shore of Minnesota, then down along the southern side of Lake Superior and through Upper Michigan and into Wisconsin until we reached the family cabin on the northeast side of Wisconsin.

Along the way we visited places such as Gooseberry Falls State Park, Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, Park Point Rec Area in Duluth, Amnicon Falls State Park, Brule River State Forest and the Porcupine Mountain area.

Kids playing on rocks

It was a wonderful trip. The sort of trip you hope will give your kids memories for years to come. Skipping rocks, collecting rocks, hiking near waterfalls, singing silly songs, seeing all sorts of wildlife, rainy nights in hotel pools and all three of us accidentally falling asleep in the same bed nearly every night.

Boy in a canoe

While we were traveling, I made a point to take us through the towns of Ironwood, MI and Hurley, WI. I remembered how beautiful the area was from countless ski trips up to that area growing up. I had seen the area many times in the winter, but never in the summer.

Kids by the Stormy Kromer statue

While we were driving through Ironwood, MI, my son Arlo pointed out the window at a statue of a giant hat and said “Grandma Lynn!” Sure enough, it was a statue of a hat my mom wears all the time! A Stormy Kromer! How funny to pass right by that giant hat. I have always had a love for the brand: my dad is an avid outdoorsman of all types – hunting, fishing, skiing, etc. In fact, he grew up in a small town not too far from Ironwood, MI. He is a very practical outdoorsman who would never consider spending more than $30 on a pair of jeans (he has bought his jeans from Fleet Farm for as long as I can remember) and he has always had a Stormy on his head. I have heard him say many times that it is the best hat possible for ice fishing. Warm. Keeps the sun out. Easy to grab on and off. And most importantly, it allows you to cover your ears on an as-needed basis!

Chopping Ice

Anyways – my dad converted all of my family into Stormy lovers. My mom (and dad) volunteer at a humane society and spend 20-30 hours a week walking dogs. No matter what the weather is – they walk for hours! My mom has at least 4 Stormy Kromers.

Walking dogs in Stormy Kromer

So, of course I pulled in and we bought our first and only souvenirs (besides rocks of course) of the trip! A round of new hats for all!

In a canoe with Stormy Kromer

That night I stalked Stormy Kromer out on social media and found out they were looking for Brand Ambassadors! It seemed a bit fateful that I happened to pass through their hometown at just the right time. So I threw my name into the hat and a little while later I found out I was accepted as a Brand Ambassador!

Canoeing with Stormy Kromer

I have turned down many offers from other companies to act as their rep. To be honest, I am not a big fan of advertising in social media. I try to use my photography and my Instagram account for art, not marketing. This was certainly the first time I asked a company to be their rep!  However, I am already taking photos of everyone in my family with these hats on so it seems logical – and exciting.

Hugging a tree with Stormy Kromer

These are some of my favorite Stormy products:

The Button-Up hat and the Huron Poncho.

The Highland Vest

The cozy Benchwarmer Mittens

The red/black scarf with the black hat combo

And the men’s red/black flannel shirt

Thanks so much for reading my blog post! I look forward to sharing future adventures with Stormy & you!




In the Community: The Way We Worked

The Way We Worked Logo

Stormy Kromer is a proud sponsor of the upcoming exhibit, “The Way We Worked.” This traveling Smithsonian exhibit will be on display at the Downtown Art Place in Ironwood from April 4 through May 31, 2015. The exhibit explores the central role that work plays in our culture and traces the changes in workforce and work environments over the past 150 years.

For more information on the Ironwood presentation of the exhibit, click here. While you’re in town for the exhibit, be sure to stop by for the Stormy Kromer Factory Tour, where you can see how we work today!


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?





















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?


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.


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.


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.


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?