Up next in our series of employee features is Dan Pavlovich – a longtime employee who grew up with Bob Jacquart, and now plays a key role in product design and development.
SK: What do you do at Stormy Kromer?
DP: Wow, what haven’t I done? I started at the front desk with Bob’s mom (Bob Jacquart, the head honcho here at Kromer). I’d sit there with a sewing machine and a telephone—greeting customers, laying out patterns, sewing and answering calls. I graduated to R&D, so now I work with the prototypes and new designs.
SK: So what sorts of things have you designed?
DP: Oh, I’ve worked on a little bit of everything, but I did the tote bag, messenger bag, overnight bags and developed the plaids for the shirts.
SK: You came up with plaid? How do you come up with plaid?
DP: I’ll just say you need a critical and artistic eye.
SK: How long have you worked for Bob?
DP: I’ve been here since the old store on McLeod Avenue, which started out as Bob’s grandfather’s grocery store. It’s been 25 years for me, but I’ve known Bob since I was little. He lived one backyard away.
SK: Is that how you got the job?
DP: Well, I went to college and got into costume design, then got out of it because I knew I wouldn’t be able to survive on that. Bob knew I could sew, though, so he hired me.
SK: Does costume design influence what you do today?
DP: All the skills I have I learned in the theater in college. Sewing, colors, design—all of it. I did it all by hand and still do. I think that’s the best way to design—you really get a feel for what you’re making.
SK: How does it feel to know you’re helping stitch together a legend?
DP: I really enjoy that. Everybody here has a hand in it, and no one has an ego. I’m very proud that we’re making people happy.
SK: What’s the best day you’ve had on the job?
DP: Every day is my best day! (laughs) There’s truth in that, though. I really enjoy coming here. I won’t say that I don’t like leaving at the end of the day, but I love my job.
SK: What does “Made in America” mean to you?
DP: It means we’re bucking the trend of making a fast buck.
SK: Anything else you’d like to tell Stormy Kromer fans?
DP: Keep shopping! And just wait until you see the great gear that’s coming out next!