“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…
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.
Ladies and gentleman, we’d like to introduce you to three very special employees: Patti, Missy and Allison. You see, these fine ladies package up each and every Stormy Kromer order and send your new caps off to you with pride.
As orders have grown over the past few years, the physical space this team has used to pick and pack orders has been shrinking. We thought they deserved a brand new space to do their very important work.
Our new distribution center – which sits within one of our buildings – is wrapped with a full color vinyl banner, and even has a place for our tour visitors to sign their name.
It also gives our team all the space they need to organize, store and prepare orders for shipment.
The next time you order from us…and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of your package…you can thank Patti, Missy and Allison for its delivery!
Yes, you read it right. The quirky actor was spotted on the golf links sporting a charcoal Original Stormy Kromer Cap. His presence at the Irish Open Pro-Am garnered a lot of media attention, including an interview by BBC News in which he is wearing his cap the entire time. Several celebrity sites have also posted photos – this photo gallery is a particularly good one.
It’s soon to be Father’s Day…and if you’re scratching your head as to what to get the deserving man in your life, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.
We’ve just added some all new colors to our popular Deck Shirts – in a lighter weight than our flannels or twills, these shirts are as versatile as they are fashionable. Choose from the blue hue of Lagoon, or the warm and woodsy look of Sequoia. Either way, the man in your life will be a statement of outdoors style!
For the guy on the go, try one of our all-new wool and waxed cotton bags. The Sidekick is Stormy’s take on the popular messenger bag style, while the Night-Timer, our new rugged overnight bag, works just as well in a hotel as it does in a tent. Both come in four colorways, including our classic red and black plaid.
Of course, you can never go wrong with one of our classic caps, even if it is the middle of June. With your help, Dad will be prepared well in advance of this fall and winter. After all, aren’t we expecting a heck of a winter after last year’s mild days? Try one of our all new offerings – like the Original in Adirondack Plaid, or the Waxed Cotton in Black.
Would your Dad enjoy one of these new products? Is he already a Kromer fan? We’d love to hear your best “Dad” stories here in the comments.
Last fall, we were contacted by the Detroit Skating Club. We were somewhat ashamed that we didn’t realize such an illustrious group was here in the fine state of Michigan, and we sure are glad they reached out to us.
You see, the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills is the training home to some of the most elite figure skaters in the world. We’re talking Olympians, National and World Champions – names like Todd Eldredge, Tara Lipinski and Alissa Czisny.
Jerod Swallow, Managing Director of the club let us know that each January they send the skaters off into the world to compete in a series of events, culminating in the World Championships. As a part of their send-off, they like to give them a little something to remind them of Detroit Skating Club. Of Michigan.
Naturally, he thought of Stormy Kromer.
We thought these fine folks deserved something a little special, so we put together some special edition caps in the Club’s colors.
The skaters just returned from their travels and finally had a few moments for a photo shoot in their caps. Turns out the club members fared quite well at the World Championships: French couple Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat received a bronze medal in ice dance, Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje placed fourth in ice dance, Italian Valentina Marchei placed eighth in the women’s event, and American Jeremy Abbott placed eighth in the men’s event.
Congratulations and hats off to a job well done everybody!
It’s the time of year when fall/winter brands, like ourselves, hit the road and begin showing off what’s new for Fall 2012. We just got back from our first national trade show of the year, the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.
We met with over 80 retailers, current and new, over the course of the 4-day show. While many of our new products attracted their attention (can you spot any in the above photo?), we’d have to say that “made in America” was of key importance for show attendees.
To that end, we met the crew from Liberty Bottleworks – a bunch of great folks who are making the only American made recycled metal bottle in the marketplace. On top of that, they look pretty cool too. Check out their products next time you’re looking for a new water bottle.
The Outdoor Retailer Show also features a fashion show with different pieces from varied brands put together. A number of SK items were featured, including the Petal Pusher Cap – paired here with pieces from Gentle Souls, Fox River Socks and Neve Designs.
What’s next for SK? National trade shows in Chicago and Fort Worth, followed by a host of regional shows where we look forward to meeting with many of our customers.
Then, we start putting our thoughts towards Spring 2013.
What products would you like to see in Stormy Kromer’s first official spring collection?
Have you seen the February issue of Outside Magazine? One of the cover stories this month is “63 Perfect Things.” We’re very proud to say that the Original Stormy Kromer Cap rounds out the list at number 63.
We’d like to send our thanks to the folks over at Outside Magazine for including us in such esteemed company. Some of our other favorites on the list include:
9. No cell service
22. Riding in the back of a pickup truck
36. Scraggly, asymmetrical Christmas trees
46. The U.P.
50. Grilling in the snow
The editors say their “outdoor pleasures are a mix of the good and the guilty.” Which begs the question: What would be on your list of perfect things?
We have a feeling that there were quite a few Stormy Kromer caps under the Christmas tree this year. So to any new members of the SK family who might be reading this blog for the first time, welcome!
Because of our potential newcomers, we thought we’d take a minute to review the use of your Stormy Kromer. You might not need instructions to wear your new cap, but there is a right way and a wrong way. The right way involves putting the cap on your head, grabbing the earband on both sides and pulling down.
There’s no unfolding or flipping of the flaps, and you don’t have to take the hat off to use them. Just pull down and settle in. They’ll stay in place without pinching. And if you want to make a slight shift in snugness, just untie the string, adjust and retie.
Need a visual? Check out this video clip, submitted to us by Hybrid Media last year on Facebook.
RHEBA MABIE ZIMMERMAN NAMED STORMY KROMER LIVING LEGEND AT THE TENDER AGE OF 36. UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine chosen for Stormy Kromer donation.
Unless you’re 90, heck, even if you’re 90, you probably haven’t imagined half the adventures and challenges our newest Living Legend has seen in her young life. Which is precisely why her mom nominated her.
She’s a science and agriculture teacher.
She’s a tap-dance teacher.
She’s a U.S. Golf Association National Team Player and Wisconsin Golfer of the Year.
She’s coached the Wisconsin High School Champion curling team.
She’s a figure-skating instructor.
She’s helped show the #1 Old English Sheep Dog at Westminster for years.
She’s a student pursuing her dream of becoming a veterinarian.
She’s fighting Multiple Sclerosis—and winning.
She’s a clown.
No, seriously. An actual, professional, size-20-shoes clown.
And she’s done it all because she knows life is too short to miss out.
“I am thrilled to have this award, but I really do need to share it with my brother, Hammie,” said Rheba, who grew up in Boulder Junction, Wisconsin, less than an hour from Stormy Kromer. “I watched him grow up struggling against total physical and mental disability. I watched him fight just to breathe and to do things the rest of us so carelessly take for granted. He inspired me to do the most with what I’ve been given.”
What she was given was an opportunity most of us would see as a calamity.
In Rheba’s sophomore year of college, she developed a bout of double-vision that lasted several months. It forced her off the golf team, and as it grew worse and stole her ability to read or study, it forced her out of college. It took over a year to diagnose the problem, and when she learned she had MS, it was somewhat of a relief.
“My disease had a name, and that meant I could face it,” added Rheba, who’s lost and regained the use of her extremities and suffered numbness in every part of her body at one point or another. “I was very scared, though, because you only hear of the worst cases. But I did my research, and now I do everything I can to reduce other people’s fear.”
That’s another thing to add to this Living Legend’s list of accomplishments—work as a national patient advocate —speaking around the country and one-on-one to help every MS patient she can.
“It made me more outgoing,” she added. “I was always the quiet one, which is why it was such a surprise—even to me—that I ended up in clown school. It’s a long story, but the short version is that none of these things would have happened if I’d been healthy enough to stay in school. And I’ve learned that it’s okay to be outgoing and to do silly things. I’ve learned to have confidence like never before.”
Now, as Rheba studies to complete her dream of becoming a vet, she credits this confidence with getting her over her apprehension of heading back to school.
“People are surprised that I’ve done so much in such little time, but that’s what life is all about—doing what’s worthwhile while you can.”
“I want to thank everybody for voting for me and for giving me this award. I want them to know that there are always doors open for them. There is always something positive waiting to happen.”
That’s spoken like someone who’s truly living a legendary life, and at Stormy Kromer, we’re proud to say we know her.
“I am so excited that Rheba is our 2014 Living Legend,” said Gina Thorsen, Kromer VP of Marketing and Sales. “She’s young and vibrant, and at the same time, she has a lifetime of gifts to offer.”
Rheba’s Living Legend prize money will be used to support the Veterinary Medicine
program at UW-Madison. In addition to a $500 Stormy Kromer gift certificate, 3% of sales at www.stormykromer.com between January 7th and January 31st will, according to Rheba, “do a lot of good for animals in the Midwest.”
The legend of Stormy Kromer began with a unique cap created in 1903. 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.