Tag Archives: winter

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.

2015 Gift Guides: Baby It’s Cold Outside

When Old Man Winter brings his worst, Stormy Kromer has gear to keep you covered. Check out these great gift ideas for those brave souls for whom winter is their favorite season.

The Rancher Cap – $49.99

Rancher Cap

The Rancher is a seriously warm cap for seriously cold conditions – over four times warmer than the Original. We make it with our premium wool/nylon blend, then line it with 200 gram Thinsulate® to ramp up the heat. To that we add two extra inches of fleece-filled comfort on the earband, creating the mother of all head protection systems. In Red/Black Plaid (shown), Blaze, Black, Charcoal and Olive.

The Mackinaw Coat – $279.99-$299.99

Mackinaw Coat

Our ultra-durable, 26 oz., virgin-wool coat protects you from the elements while wrapping you in the warmth of over 100 years of hand-stitched heritage. In Olive (shown), Charcoal and Red/Black Plaid.

Tough Mitts – $59.99
Ida’s Mittens – $49.99

Men's and Women's Mitts

Our product development tried to prototype a new mitten with even more added warmth. Guess what they found out? There was much difference between the high-tech materials and nature’s finest – wool and goatskin. Time and time again, serious winter outdoors people tell us these are the warmest mittens they’ve ever owned. In two colors for the men; five for the ladies.

The Ironton Vest – $179.99

Ironton Vest

Okay, so it’s not as warm as the Mackinaw Coat – but – the Ironton is definitely our warmest vest. Made with a tough waxed cotton exterior, lined with soft polyester and filled with high loft fill, this quilted vest is great for those cold weather working days. Dark Tan shown; also available in Black.

2015 Gift Guides: Apres Ski

Whether you’ve spent a long day skiing, snowmobiling or just taking a walk in the woods on a crisp winter day, these items are perfect for taking the chill out and relaxing.

The Cabin Blanket – $99.99

Cabin Blanket

This cozy blanket features our brushed cotton flannel on one side and soft polyester fleece on the other and is perfectly sized (52″x 68″) for cuddling up by the fire. Shown in Red Cedar, also in Chocolay.

The Brimless Cap – $34.99
The Curveball Cap – $39.99

Brimless and Curveball

No one likes helmet hair, and the Brimless and Curveball Caps are two of our favorites cures for that potential style disaster. Comfortable, casual and easy to carry, they’re easy enough to take with you anywhere you go this winter. Brimless in Charcoal (shown), Black and Winter White; Curveball in Cobblestone (shown) and Dark Charcoal. Discontinued sizes/colors in our outlet.

Long Sleeve Tees – $34.99

Long Sleeve Tees

These soft, 100% cotton long sleeve tees with fun Stormy Kromer-inspired graphics are easy to throw on after a day of playing in the snow.

The Woolover for Him – $139.99
The Woolover for Her  – $134.99

Woolover Quarter Zips

Our take on the fleece quarter zips filling everyone’s closets, the Woolovers feature a washable wool blend, unique seam details on the arms and Made in the USA quality you can depend on. 3 colors available in each style.

On Location: Salt Lake City

Last week, the Stormy Kromer sales and marketing team were in Salt Lake City for the winter Outdoor Retailer Show. We had a great time showing our new 2015 fall/winter products to retailers from around the country. Read on for a few sneak peeks from the show!

Stormy Kromer Winter OR Booth

This photo shows off about 2/3 of our full booth. Can you spot anything new?

Alan, Kirsten and Gina at Winter OR

Gina, Alan and Kirsten take a break to model some of the new upcoming caps and apparel.

Our favorite booth visitor

This cute pup took a break under our women’s apparel display while his owner took a look at our catalog.

Presenting the 2015 Sassy Awards

During the show, the 3rd Annual American Made Outdoor Gear Awards were given out, hosted by Kokatat in the Liberty Bottleworks booth. We were incredibly honored to be a finalist again this year, after being a category winner in 2013. A big congratulations to this year’s Category Winners, Voormi, Dahlgren Footwear, Polar Bottles, and Cascade Designs, and to this year’s Grand Prize Winner, Sterling Rope. It is always inspiring to learn more about what other American made manufacturers are accomplishing.

Our 2015 fall products will be available to the general public beginning this summer. Stay tuned for all the details!

 

 

Spend $100, Receive $20

Spend $100, Receive $20Now through 12/31/14,  for every $100 spent on our website (excluding tax and shipping), receive $20 to spend in January. $20 voucher will be emailed within one week of your purchase.

SHOP NOW!

Legal: For every $100 (USD) in one purchase at StormyKromer.com between December 10, 2014 and December 31, 2014, you will receive a $20 online gift certificate via the email address provided at purchase. The $100 spend amount may not include taxes or shipping costs, and consumers may not aggregate multiple purchases or use prior purchases to redeem this offer.  Gift certificate will be distributed about one week following your qualifying purchase and will be valid for purchase of any products available on the StormyKromer.com website between January 1, 2015 and January 31, 2015.  Available products are subject to change. The gift certificate may not be reloaded, sold, transferred, used in combination with any other offers or discounts, used by anyone other than the person to whom it was issued, may not be applied to prior purchases, multiple purchases, gift card purchases or shipping charges and is not redeemable for cash except as required by law. One time use card only. Void if reproduced and where prohibited, restricted or taxed. Stormy Kromer is not responsible for, and will not replace, lost, stolen or misdirected gift certificates. Use of the gift certificate constitutes acceptance of these terms. All gift certificates will expire at the end of the day on January 31, 2015.

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?

roof1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROOF2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pano

 

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?

bwblog

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.

bagsblog

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.

coats

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?

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!

 

Ski Flyers to Soar Again at Copper Peak in 2014

By Pete Graves,
Published on 06/07/13

PARK CITY, UT–June 7, 2013-—It’s been twenty years since the last ski flying tournament at Upper Michigan’s famed Copper Peak took place—for many a season since there have been no cheering crowds, no daring flyers, no network television—but that’s about to change for this upcoming winter in a joint announcement made today by USA Ski Jumping (USASJ) and Copper Peak Ski Flying’s Bryan Sanders.

In a simultaneous announcement, Copper Peak’s Bryan Sanders and USASJ’s Athletic Director Alan Johnson said that dates have been set for an exhibition ski flying event at the mammoth ski flying hill in Ironwood, Michigan, with competitions to be held from February 28-March 2, 2014.

USASJ’s Alan Johnson noted that resurrecting the largest ski jump in North America was cause for my optimism and excitement saying…”to bring the thrill of ski flying to athletes and spectators back to the States will play a vital role in show casing the efforts that both USASJ and Copper Peak aspire to in creating greater visibility for the sport. This will also allow us to look at more creative, non-traditional ways to format and showcase “big hill” jumping.” Johnson also praised Copper Peak officials for their brilliant efforts saying…”the changes and development of the sport since Copper Peak closed are significant. The sport is much safer and controlled than 20 years ago, enabling skiers to jump much further and control their flight. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that the old hill record will fall this winter. The question should be how many times, this is just a win/win concept for all involved.”

Copper Peak’s Bryan Sanders, who was a US Olympian in ski jumping at the 1992 Olympic Winter Games in Albertville, France said that Copper Peak’s Board of Directors are thrilled about rolling out the welcome mat for this series of events. “It’s been a long time coming, we’ve had massive debt to retire since the last event in 1994, and the venue has seen huge improvements that are bringing this historic ski jump back to FIS standards. We’ve now got a positive revenue stream and have improved the chairlifts, the elevator, the drainage on the hill, and have recountoured the landing hill with over 2,000 tons of dirt. This summer we are installing our new snowmaking facilities and the take off has been lowered. It’s now a 175 meter hill size (HS) and I think it will be a very safe and really exciting hill, that’s coming back to life.”

In a collaborative partnership between USASJ and Copper Peak officials expect to host about a dozen ski jumpers in an exhibition event, which is expected to largely consist of athletes from the United States and Canada. Invitations will also be extended to foreign nations as well.

Copper Peak has become a year-round tourist mecca offering a host of activities including the newly designed mountain bike trail system and the “Copper Peak Adventure Ride” that includes a trip to the top of one of the world’s most majestic views—high atop the stunning ski jumping tower.

At long last, it looks like this majestic structure will see ski flying return this winter, and the Nordic world is awaiting a triumphant return engagement.

Stormy Kromer Signs On To Support U.S. Men’s and Women’s Ski Jumping Teams

IRONWOOD, MI (May 21, 2013) –  Stormy Kromer is pleased to announce that they have been named the Official Lifestyle Apparel Sponsor of USA Ski Jumping and the Official Fashion Wear Supplier of Women’s Ski Jumping USA.

Stormy Kromer is a division of Jacquart Fabric Products, located in Ironwood, Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula, the heart of ski jumping country and home of Copper Peak, the country’s first ski flying jump.

Like the fate-filled cup of coffee and conversation that lead Stormy Kromer CEO, Bob Jacquart, to take the leap of faith and purchase (and ultimately save) the Stormy Kromer Cap Co., Jacquart took a call from friend and business colleague, Greg Windsperger, and their conversation lead to Stormy Kromer’s new sponsorship.  Over the past few decades Jacquart Fabric Products and the company Windsperger worked for, Federal Foam/Airtex Inc, had come to do business, which also brought Windsperger back to his old stomping grounds as he has been actively involved in the sport of ski jumping.  Greg jumped at Copper Peak from 1971-1976, he also competed in the 1974 World Championships, the 1976 Winter Olympics, and went on to coach the U.S. Men’s Ski Jumping Team in the ’84 and ’88 Olympic Games.  So, when there was talk amongst USA Ski Jumping delegates about investigating the opportunity of a possible future meet at Copper Peak, Greg immediately made a call to Bob to ensure a stop at Stormy Kromer was part of the Ironwood itinerary.

Upon meeting the USA Ski Jumping representatives, Bob knew immediately there was an intrinsic connection and that the stories of the Stormy Kromer caps so many have come to wear and love, particularly in winter, and the area’s ski jumping heritage belonged together. And this was before he really knew the story of the U.S. women ski jumpers, who for the first time in history will compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Which is hard to believe, because many have seen women competing in ski jumping for decades, especially in Upper Michigan, however even with a decree by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1991, committing that all future Olympic sports must be open to both genders, the ruling excluded the 16 original sports of the Olympic Winter Games, of which, ski jumping was one.  For more than a decade female ski jumpers have been fighting for the right to compete at the Olympics.

This tenacity, coupled with the sheer gumption that any person demonstrates when deciding to try the sport of ski jumping, made the Stormy Kromer sponsorship a perfect fit, much like the company’s iconic cap.

“Stormy Kromer is very excited to support the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Ski Jumping Teams,” said Bob Jacquart, CEO of Jacquart Fabric Products, makers of Stormy Kromer.  “We are a proud American-made company set in a location with a rich ski jumping history and have been making a product that has already unofficially been a part of the sport for decades.”

USA Ski Jumping’s Rex Bell was delighted to welcome Stormy Kromer to the USASJ Family. “Like all our sponsors, Stormy Kromer will play a vital role in the continued development of ski jumping in the United States. Their Stormy Kromer cap shares an historic status, used by hard-working outdoor fans for more than 100 years, which is a perfect fit for the sport of ski jumping.”

As the Official Lifestyle Sponsor, Stormy Kromer will supply members of the Men’s USA National Jumping squad with a variety of products, including their Original Stormy Kromer cap, the Night-Timer Duffle Bag and the Town Coat.

“We too are thrilled to align with Stormy Kromer and its unique and rich history in the outdoor world,” said Robbie Beck, Executive Director of Women’s Ski Jumping USA. “Our athletes are proud to wear these beautiful products and represent Stormy Kromer and the United States as they make their long-anticipated and celebratory debut in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.”

The company will be providing the members of the U.S. Women’s Ski Jumping Team with items from the Ida Kromer line including the Petal Pusher cap,  the Ida Cap with Hardware, and Ida’s Walking Coat. In addition to the gear being provided to the Women’s Team, $1 from every purchase of each of the Ida Kromer items listed above will go to Women’s Ski Jumping USA, allowing anyone who wants the opportunity to be a part of their historic Olympic debut, an opportunity to support some strong women while sporting some great gear.

“Women have been ski jumping for decades, something we have seen firsthand in our own back yard,” said Gina Thorsen, Vice President of Marketing for Stormy Kromer. “To see them break new ground and prepare to compete in the 2014 Olympics is thrilling. We feel a close connection to the Team’s spirit and tenacity, similar to the spirit of Ida Kromer that has helped take our company to new heights, after all, if it wasn’t for Ida, Stormy wouldn’t have gotten his cap.”

Even with the rich history and relationship between ski jumping and Stormy Kromer, the company is in need of help hunting down historic photos of ski jumpers wearing Stormy Kromer caps. Fans willing to share any old photos will be given a free Stormy Kromer cap in exchange for their effort. The free cap is dependent upon verification that the cap in the image is an official Stormy Kromer and there is a limit of one free cap per household. To send a photo, please mail to Stormy Kromer, Attn: Ski Jump Photos, 1238 Wall Street, Ironwood, MI 49938 (please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope if image is to be returned) or email contests@stormykromer.com for more information.

The legend of Stormy Kromer began with a unique cap created in 1903 and was originally stitched by Ida Kromer, Stormy’s wife.  In 2001, Jacquart Fabric Products proudly became the Caretaker of the Legend, not only continuing to produce the iconic cap, but expanding the brand and product line to feature a wide variety of men’s and women’s clothing, outerwear and accessories to complement the popular caps.  Today, the company continues to strive to provide classic yet contemporary products sewn with passion and practicality and still proudly made in the USA for more than a century.