Tag Archives: family

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.

The Family Behind Stormy Kromer

For those of you who don’t know, Stormy Kromer is part of a larger company called Jacquart Fabric Products (JFP). Founded in 1958 by Bob Jacquart, Sr., JFP employs about 120 folks in the Ironwood, Michigan area.

Earlier this summer, Gina Jacquart Thorsen – the founder’s granddaughter – sat down in front of a camera to talk about her memories of growing up in the business and her role with Stormy Kromer today. We think you’ll enjoy it.

Business is a Family Affair

Father’s Day is a great reminder that for Stormy Kromer, business is a family affair. You see, my sister and I have the privilege of working with our Dad – it’s kind of like every day is Father’s Day. For those that don’t know, Stormy Kromer is a part of Jacquart Fabric Products (JFP) – a sewing factory started back in 1958 by my grandfather, Robert Jacquart, Sr., right here in beautiful Ironwood, Michigan. Today, Bob Jacquart, Jr. is our CEO, and my sister KJ and I manage various aspects of the business.

Gina and KJ running a sidewalk sale at the original factory.

For KJ and I, business and family have always been deeply intertwined. We learned early on what it means to be an entrepreneur and my Dad took every opportunity to expose us to the business.

Whether it was spending an evening with him delivering a finished product to a customer (with the promise of ice cream if we shook the customer’s hand, looked them in the eye and asked, “How are you today?”), combining a summer vacation with a quick stop to a supplier’s office, or learning how to make change at the cash register on Saturday mornings, business was ever present for the Jacquart daughers.

Gina at the storefront
Gina at the doorway of the original JFP storefront.

It worked out pretty well for Dad, as he now has his two daughters working with him every day, and preparing to take over the business when he’s ready to retire. (Although, who I am kidding, he’s never going to really retire.)

We’re living proof that you can combine family and business – and when you do, you actually make both the family and the business even better.

Bob, KJ and Gina
Bob Jacquart with his daughters Kari “KJ” Jacquart and Gina Jacquart Thorsen.

Happy Father’s Day Dad. KJ and I are proud to call you both our CEO and our father.

A Cap for Any Season and Any Dad

Every dad needs a great go-to cap, and most dads need more than one. A hunting cap. A fishing cap. A Sunday cap. A work cap.

Stormy Kromer has all these options and more. Choose any of them for the perfect Father’s Day gift.

Caps for Dad

From top left:
The Original Stormy Kromer Cap – in 11 colors including blaze orange, there’s a cap for every day of the week and more.
The Original with Deerskin – in Partridge Plaid with a touch of deerskin, this cap gets noticed.
The Original with Hardware – in 4 colors and featuring a classy metal badge, this cap goes uptown as well as it goes downtown.
The Rancher Cap – with Thinsulate and over 3 times warmer than the Original, this is the ultimate sub-zero cap.
The Cabby –  new to the line last year this cap adds a touch of class to the Kromer cap offerings.
The Brimless Cap – an Original without the brim, the Brimless is perfect after skiing or snowmobiling, or even under a helmet.
The Waxed Cotton Cap – in water-repellent paraffin-treated cotton, this cap keeps you dry even if the conditions aren’t.
The Field Cap – the lightest cap in the SK line-up, the Field Cap features brushed cotton canvas and a longer brim. Also in Realtree.
The Curveball Cap – a classic baseball cap in brushed wool flannel.
The Flat Top Cap – a cadet-style silhouette for any laid back fall day. In solids or plaids.

Which cap is your Dad wishing for?

Keep Dad Dry With Waxed Cotton

While wool is most certainly the favorite fiber here at Stormy Kromer, waxed cotton has to come in a close second. We are proud to exclusively use Martexin® fabrics for our waxed products because their commitment to quality meets our own. They begin with cotton that has been mercerized and dyed with reactive dyes to ensure deep dye penetration and finish with their Martexin process (which they have been using since the 30s), giving the cotton a water-repellent finish.

Keep Day Dry with Waxed Cotton


Featured in this gift guide is the Wear Weather Jacket  – a tough, lighter-weight jacket that blends ruggedness with style. Pair it with our Waxed Cotton Cap to keep Dad dry from the top down. Pictured here is the cap in black – grab a great deal on this discontinued color!

Last but not least is the Tagalong Bag. Made with our 10 oz. waxed cotton and lined with soft cotton twill and foam padding, this messenger-style bag will protect Dad’s laptop or tablet from all the elements.

Which waxed cotton item would the Dad in your life enjoy most?

Plaid, Camo & Blaze for Father’s Day

The first week of June means so many things. Warmer temps. Sunny skies. Baseball. Graduation. It’s also not too soon to be thinking about Father’s Day!

The first in a series of gift guides focuses on the hunting Dad. We know there are a lot of them out there and while hunting season may still be many months away, these gifts will be appreciated by the true outdoorsman.

Hunting Dad

Our Mackinaw Coat in Red/Black plaid is the classic hunting jacket and a must for any traditional outdoorsman.

For the modern hunters we offer two wool caps in Blaze Orange – the iconic Original Cap and the ultra-warm Rancher Cap. And while we’re talking about staying warm, our Tough Mitts will keep those extremities toasty while waiting in your deer stand.

Finally,  the Field Cap in cotton twill Realtree AP is a non-wool option for warmer seasons that don’t require blaze headgear.

We’d love to hear your favorite hunting stories with you and your Dad. Share them here or on our Facebook page!

Last Minute Gift Ideas for Mom

Mother’s Day is just around the corner – do you still need a gift for the most important lady in your life? If so, we’ve got some great ideas for you!

Gift Ideas for the On The Go Mom

Your busy mom will love our versatile Ida Outfitter vest, which pairs perfectly with these three caps – the Petal Pusher Cap in White/Raspberry, the Flat Top Cap in Aurora or the Petal Pusher Cap in Raspberry/Chocolate. And we won’t tell mom, but that last cap is on sale!

Gifts Ideas for the Outdoorsy Mom

Moms are the hardest working people we know. And they deserve apparel and accessories that work as hard as they do – AND – lend a bit of style while they do it. Our cozy Parkland Vest and Ida Mittens, both lined in thick sherpa, are the perfect companion for any outdoor activity from feeding the horses to walking the dog. Add in our generous Carryall Bag and Mom will have everything she needs right by her side when she needs it.

Gift Ideas for Mom in Waxed Cotton

There’s a reason waxed cotton has been used for apparel since the late 1800s – it’s tough, water-resistant, and great looking. Used in our Wear Weather Jacket for Her, it will keep Mom looking good and feeling great walking down main street from Seattle to Boston. Paired here with our popular Kromer Tote, and another great sale item, the Ida Kromer in Blue Spruce.

Worried your gift won’t arrive in time? Orders placed by 1 pm central time typically ship the same day. If you live in Michigan, Wisconsin or Minnesota, ship time is just a few days. If you live farther away – you can always try our upgraded shipping of 3-day, 2-day or overnight delivery. Really stuck? Our email gift certificates arrive immediately and are always a perfect fit.

Stormy Kromer selects Pale Morning Media for PR Support

Stormy Kromer Logo

Ironwood, Michigan (March 4, 2015) – Stormy Kromer, the iconic US manufacturer of boldly original headwear, apparel, and accessories, announced today the selection of Pale Morning Media as its national public relations partner.

Founded in 1903 in Michigan’s still-rugged Upper Peninsula, Stormy Kromer is known worldwide for its unmistakable “cap” … a brimmed hat with distinctive earflaps added for warmth and comfort. The brand’s growing collection includes additional original hat designs, men’s and women’s apparel, bags, and other accessories.

Stormy Kromer fans include generations of outdoorspeople seeking durability andwarmth; crowds of trendsetters attracted to American workwear as a fashion trend; and thoughtful consumers eager to support family-owned, made-in-America products.

“The Stormy Kromer story is being told every day in Ironwood, Michigan. It’s about family tradition, American quality and unquestionable style,” said Gina Thorsen, Stormy Kromer Vice President. “Pale Morning Media’s direct experience in promoting outdoor gear, lifestyle fashion, and Made-in-America manufacturing stories make them an ideal partner for the coming seasons.”

Pale Morning Media (www.palemorningmedia.com) is an independent consulting agency that drives sales by increasing the quality and quantity of brand visibility. Founded in 2001, Pale Morning Media has offices in Vermont and Maine, and supports a growing roster of brands in a diverse array of outdoor and lifestyle markets.

“It may seem obvious, but there’s only one Stormy Kromer. Only one brand that has created such a special product while still staying true to their family goals. Only one brand that is right in the sweet spot of the ‘cool American workwear’ movement. Only one brand that’s done all this while only strengthening their dedication to local manufacturing,” said Drew Simmons, president and founder of Pale Morning Media, adding “I can’t wait for my new hats to get here.”

The first Stormy Kromer hat was born in 1903 when the wife of George “Stormy” Kromer, a semi-pro baseball player and railroad engineer, affixed ear flaps to his old baseball cap to keep it in place while riding the rails in cold winter winds.

The current collection features new interpretations of the Original Stormy Kromer including the new women’s Button Up, which replaces the traditional front tie with an offset large button. Stormy Kromer’s apparel collection continues to expand with men’s and women’s made in the USA designs including jackets, vests, shirt-jacs, shirts, and layering pieces.

In fall 2015 Stormy Kromer is expanding its Legendary Partnerships program of brand collaborations with the additions of Harris Tweed and Wolverine. Stormy Kromer has created capsule collections that weave the best qualities of each brand with Stormy Kromer’s, resulting in distinctive timeless designs.

Stormy Kromer is available at specialty outdoor retailers nationally and online at www.stromykromer.com.

For additional media information, please contact Michael Collin at Pale Morning Media, michael@palemorning.com, 207.619.4253.

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 www.stormykromer.com.


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.

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.