Picked up another batch of Anoraks from the tailors ...
Today I had the bright idea to add a Blog link to the Main Menu at the top of every page. Well, duhhhhh! ... Also today, we picked up from the tailors another batch of Anoraks, including some custom-made Anoraks, plus a Mouton Vest going to Alaska, along with a Mouton Hood.
Speaking of our tailors, here is a photo I grabbed earlier today from Instagram. Martin H DiBattista is the tailor whose shop sewed our Anoraks and the Peacoats from American Trench, and he is wearing the Peacoat in this photo. Martin made a Peacoat in size 2XLarge in Lynx Pattern for me -- the only Peacoat made in Lynx -- but I've got to slim down some to get into it.
We have been getting the most wonderful feedback from our customers. This is not a new thing (THANK YOU!) but the volume of feedback and the way people are posting on social media and offering us pictures and quotes for our website means a great deal (THANK YOU THANK YOU!!). Our Open House on Sunday was great. It seems like a good idea to start earlier ... this was the first time we invited people for brunch, and that will probably be the way we go from now on. We really enjoyed everyone's company and THANKS AGAIN for coming! The tailors continue to work on the Anoraks production run. We'll be picking up some more Anoraks on Thursday and shipping them out ASAP! Thanks for your patience!
We have been shipping the first Anoraks from the current production run ... something we have been looking forward to for a couple of months! Today, I heard back from an engineer in the US Air Force ... I didn't remember, but he'd ordered WarriorWool from us about a year ago, and he was calling again to order another Anorak for his wife. Both of them work outside year-round in all kinds of weather, and they can wear the Anoraks. He said he was really happy with the wool ... it kept him comfortable in both warm and cold weather. Both he and his Mrs will be wearing Lynx Pattern! Also today, we shipped to Spain for, I think, the first time. AND ... Debby bought a sewing machine with a specific attachment to handle stitching the Neck Gaiters. Getting ready for the Open House on Sunday.
2018-12-01 ... Open House, Sunday, 16 December 2018, in North Jersey
Please click for details!
2018-11-30 ... Traction
WeatherWool is now 9 years old, and it has been a long road, but finally we are gaining real traction. HUGE THANKS to everyone who has helped us, made suggestions, worked with us and for us, and of course everyone who wears WeatherWool!!! --- Ralph, Debby, Alex, Denali
18 November 2018: Prepare for the Worst! WeatherWool Saves A Life?!!!!!!
Well, we cannot say for sure that this customer would have died, but he just phoned to tell me WeatherWool saved his life. ...... The customer asked to remain anonymous for a while because he doesn't want to worry his family over the kinds of things he does, and because he is a little embarrassed at having gotten himself into trouble. ..... He was hunting deer in one of America's Northern States, not far from the Canadian border. It wasn't really cold, right around freezing. But a front came in suddenly, and although it didn't get any colder, it became tremendously windy, with pouring rain. He walked for a couple of hours, but realized he wasn't where he thought he was. It was 4PM at that point, and not much daylight left in the forest. He decided the chance of regaining his bearings, versus the chance that he'd still be lost come full dark were very bad, so, even in the horrible conditions, he prepared to spend a night out. He is always somewhat prepared for this sort of situation: he wore nothing but wool, and carried some extra wool in his pack. He also had a good ax, a saw, a small tarp and firestarting tools. He fashioned a little bit of a windbreak and awning up against a huge blowdown, laid down a thick layer of pine boughs for a bed and using dead pine full of resin, he managed to get a good fire going, despite all the rain and wind. Then he had to simply dig in, try to get some rest and some heat and keep the fire going until real daylight. It was a long night, but by sort of curling around the fire and leaning over it, a little bit of heat could be had. (One of the reasons to wear wool is that it handles fire, embers, heat and rain very well.) When he had set out that morning, he wore Woolpower base layers, WeatherWool MidWeight Pants, and All-Around Jacket with Double Hood. In his pack he also had TWO WeatherWool ShirtJacs -- one MidWeight and one FullWeight. I was surprised anyone would actually carry two "extra" ShirtJacs, but he explained that he needs the insurance because if you've never gotten good and lost, you haven't really been out there much. Well, he made it through a terrible night, but at least the wool kept the water and the wind off his body. Come morning and good visibility, he figured out where he was after a couple more hours of wandering and compass readings ... still out in terrible conditions and still a few miles from his cabin. ... But he made it back to real shelter, with a good wood stove and plenty of dry wood to warm the place up. The All-Around Jacket had soaked through overnight, but before settling in he had added both ShirtJacs as extra underlayers, and they had not soaked through. He called to tell me WeatherWool kept him alive, and he doubted he would have survived had he been wearing anything else.
15 November 2018
We have a lot fewer Anoraks on hand than we expected, so we have devoted almost all of our remaining Fabric to making more Anoraks. The tailors have already cut the size Mediums, and we hope to have them by the end of Thanksgiving Week.
19 October 2018
Couple of nice whitetails with the muzzleloader this week. Pennsylvania has a mid-October antlerless muzzleloader season that I really enjoy. Such a splendid time to be afield, and the muzzleloader suits my favorite style of hunting -- stillhunting -- which, hereabouts, means sneaking slowly through the woods, trying to spot the deer (and make the shot!) before the deer is aware of you. I see way more tails than anything else. And no doubt I spook plenty of deer that I never see at all. But, one thing I've learned from talking to probably thousands of hunters over the years is that everyone has his own ideas, and this is the way I like best. Anyhow, this week I got lucky and it's nice to have a couple of deer laid away by mid-October. It's also great to have Alex's ATV to retrieve the deer!!
15 October 2018
WeatherWool is still a long way from where we hope to take it ... BUT ... it has come a long way, too, and we are getting attention and building a worldwide reputation for quality! It is great to be hearing from people in so many countries!! ... Military folks, police departments ...
5 October 2018
Holy Cow ... It's been a very busy month on the personal side and the WeatherWool side, and I've been bad about blogging. My Mom is coming up on 93 years now, and she seems to be winding down. So there has been a lot of time spent with her in the hospital and nursing home. It would be great to have Mom here at our house, but she needs round-the-clock specialized care. Debby's Mom is also 92, but she is not having the difficulties my Mom is having, so she is here with Debby and me ... and our daughter Denali and niece Sandra.
20 September 2018
This was pretty cool ... Yesterday, a customer from Pennsylvania ordered an Anorak. He received it today, and sent us a quick note with the words shown on the Anorak below, except he put a brand name instead of XXXX.
Great work on the USPS getting the Anorak there overnight ... but what was really cool was a couple of hours later, he wrote me again saying a second identical Anorak was just delivered. First time (I hope) we have ever done that. So here is the rest of what I posted on Instagram and Facebook:
We get this pretty often, and it makes us happy, for sure. Funny thing, too ... we accidentally duplicated this shipment, and the customer could have kept the 2nd Anorak for free. But he told us what happened, and bought the 2nd Anorak too. One of the best things about WeatherWool is that almost without exception, our customers are just really great people ... a pleasure to work with. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . #Trust #GreatCustomers #ThankYou #GoldenRule
18 September 2018
We don't have much Fabric left ... We'll be using almost all the Fabric we have for another run of Anoraks and keeping a little bit of FullWeight to make Mouton Jackets and Mouton Vests and Blankets.
11 September 2018
This was interesting ... kind of warm, rainy ... what to wear for a hike? A WeatherWool ShirtJac in MidWeight ... Versatility is what we are about, more than anything else!
8 September 2018
Open House coming ... September 22nd ... Saturday ...
The HEAT WAVE gripping the Northeast has finally broken and things have really cooled off ... and we were more than ready for it! Getting much more like wool-weather now. Today we took a quick trip to The Swamp to get our old puppy (her 18th season afield) out there a little bit. Goose Season is open, and geese are her favorite, but ... no geese to be found.
We've decided to use the Fabric we have remaining for a run of Anoraks.
21 August 2018
This summer has not been like previous summers ... business has not trailed off. We don't know what that means for the fall, but it does not seem like it can be bad. People are hearing about WeatherWool! Yesterday, a couple of new customer-friends wore WeatherWool when they summitted Japan's Mount Fuji and honored the sunrise.
15 August 2018
Working on the North Maine Double Coat ... We are going to see if we can make the 3rd layer a removable cape that can be worn over various other pieces of WeatherWool.
14 August 2014
We got a few pictures of WeatherWool in Ireland. I'm not sure if we've ever been in Ireland before, but I am sure these are the first pictures!
2 August 2018
We have plans to offer WeatherWool in a few retail stores soon, so I just put up a new page ... Retailers ... only one store there now, but I hope plenty more ... we need places where people can touch and feel WeatherWool.
27 July 2018
Earlier today I spoke with Griffin and Howe, the renowned American gun dealers. They have a shop at Hudson Farm, a shooting and hunting preserve not far from our house, and they will have some WeatherWool in the Pro Shop soon! These last few days I've been speaking a lot with Cliff Jacobson, and just now posted on Instagram and Facebook the announcement that he has joined us an Advisor. I was on the phone with him only a few minutes ago, talking about the posts, and asked him if he was familiar with Griffin and Howe. He was ... and is. Turns out, Cliff is as much of a shooter as he is a canoeist! Cliff has been a serious shooter for many years, competing at the national level!!
26 July 2018
Wow, this is cool! Cliff Jacobson just joined us as an Advisor. Cliff is known worldwide as a canoe-expedition leader, writer and instructor. And more! Welcome Cliff!!
23 July 2018
I just put up a new page ... SOAP BOX ... it seems like political controversy is everywhere these days, and although I try to avoid it with regard to WeatherWool, one thing that comes up in the course of running WeatherWool is hunting. So ... extremely briefly, hunting is the first WeatherWool Soap Box topic.
We also spent some time today working with our tailors on the North Maine Double Coat
22 July 2018
We just scheduled our next Open House for Saturday, 22 September! Please stop by!
17 July 2018
Megan Hine and Stani Greenway have just joined us as Advisors. Both Megan and Stani are fulltime outdoor professionals with extreme and fascinating experience. Both of them travel almost constantly, tho ... and they haven't given final approval of their Advisor pages yet. Once they give me the green light, I'll announce on Social Media that they have joined us.
9 July 2018
Cool! -- Handling orders from four countries today! ... USA, Canada, Italy and Mexico.
1 July 2018
Somehow the Aussies are really noticing us ... no doubt it has to do with winter just getting underway there. But we got another order or two from OZ today.
Also, we've been working a lot on the website ... putting together a comprehensive list of outdoor clothing companies for reference and comparison. Nobody is doing what we are doing, it seems, but there are a huge number of companies offering outdoor clothing!
One other thing .... suddenly we are in the 2nd half of 2018. The older I get, the faster the time goes!
28 June 2018
Pretty cool that we had orders yesterday from three other countries: Australia, Canada, Germany. We decided to put up a page that lists all the countries where we know WeatherWool has been!
10 June 2018
We returned home last night from a few days in Northeastern Pennsylvania, at the Hausmann's Hidden Hollow Sporting Clays Shoot. We had met Ernie Hausmann through a mutual friend only a week before the event, but Ernie is a real "wool guy" and he invited us to exhibit WeatherWool at his event. We had a great time mixing with some wonderful people in a remarkably beautiful setting. Thanks Ernie!!
5 June 2018
Things slow down in the wool business around this time of year, due to the summer season, of course. But interestingly, we are getting more and more attention from Australia, where winter is coming on, and Canada, where a gent just told me snow is possible at any point in the summer. MANY THANKS to our friends Up North and Down Under ("Down Under" isn't an insult, is it??)!!
18 May 2018
Did some fishing in the New Jersey surf. We did not catch any stripers large enough to keep, but the wool got an interesting workout. Thanks to my friend Bill Walters for the photos, and for taking me fishing!
The conditions, and the clothes I decided to wear, were somewhat off beat ... Here in New Jersey we are having "April in May" ... it's been a weird spring in Northeast USA ... the weather far behind the calendar! Yesterday I was dressed in wool ... and barefoot ... fishing in steady, light rain, strong wind (15 knots / 28 kph) and cool temps ... both air and water at 55F/13C. Chest waders would have been the normal choice, but they can be extremely dangerous ... and anyway, I always like to see what the wool can do. MidWeight Pants and FullWeight ShirtJac were fine in the surf and fine in the restaurant afterward. My buddy Bill caught three undersized striped bass that we released ... But we love seafood and would love to put some striper on the table ... so we will try again!
12 May 2018
Working on our Pants again ... we are working on the rise, the crotch, and the cargo pockets. Not completely sure what we can do about the rise ... there is just a lot of variability among people, and how they wear their pants. The crotch we have reconfigured to have the same amount of room, same size gusset, but less bulk. Same with the cargo pockets. The tailors did a great job reconfiguring the bellows and the corners of the cargo pockets.
We are also working on the North Maine Double Coat. A few customers have requested a sort of big brother to the All-Around Jacket. The NMDJ will be similar to the AAJ, but will have a second layer of wool over the entire jacket, and it will be longer than the AAJ. We are happy to receive your design ideas! Thanks!!
5 and 6 May 2018
The Catalog Shoot went well, and we have the new images up on the website! Here is the gang (except Alex had to leave early):
It's important to have a little fun ... from the left, Denali, Camo, Hampus (model), Yasma (photographer), me, Debby
4 May 2018
Working on updates to WeatherWool Pants and preparing for a catalog shoot this weekend.
24 April 2018
We bought a few tons (!!!) of raw wool today. Most of the wool came from the ranch of Mike Corn, who is one of our Advisors and from whom we have purchased before. Mike is also the current President of the American Sheep Industry Association. We also bought some wool from Andy McMurry, another rancher who has been an important previous source from us. Many THANKS to Advisor Bob Padula, without whom we would hate to buy wool!!
19 April 2018
The last week or so has been kind of crazy ... picking up the new Anoraks, working on Pants and a few odds and ends. We have shipped quite a few of the new Anoraks but still have a bunch of work to do tomorrow, too!
4 April 2018
It is a kick for us to get international orders. We get more orders from Canada than any other country, which probably won't surprise anyone. But we also get orders from quite a few other countries. In the last couple of weeks we've shipped to customers in Australia, Germany and Italy. We really appreciate the international attention!
3 April 2018
Another Anorak production meeting. Things are going well and all is on schedule for completion of new Anoraks in about 10 days.
31 March 2018
Really cool ... photo shoot in NYC with Model and Fashion Influencer Fazon Gray. Fazon is a really fun and energetic young guy (younger than my kids, anyway!) and great to work with. We are very keen on the versatility of WeatherWool, and so we want to have more cityscape photos. Fazon is great for this because of his modeling experience and his large following on social media. Thanks to Fazon and our own Denali DiMeo, WeatherWool's in-house pro photographer, for a great shoot. Thanks also to New York City Fire Department who happened to be on the scene and let us take some pictures with their truck as a background.
28 March 2018
We just got another WarriorWool order ... this one from Iraq ... and that prompted me to do a WarriorWool post on both Instagram and Facebook. And I guess I should do a Youtube as well, now that I think about it. It's a very big deal for us that our reputation is growing among the US Military, and that we, and the American public, can do a little bit to help these guys!! HUGE THANKS to everyone who has contributed to WarriorWool!
26 March 2018
Another meeting with the production crew. New Anoraks coming along on schedule. Please call us if you are interested in finding out about the changes. We don't want to actually update the Anorak page until the new ones are available. Thanks! -- Ralph
24 March 2018
We love getting pics from people in their WeatherWool. Here is a picture of a guy from Georgia (a former professional haberdasher!), who attended a wedding in a tuxedo. Over the tuxedo he wore his All-Around Jacket in Solid Duff Color. We love pics like this, that emphasize our versatility, because versatility is a huge thing for us. The more versatile our garments are, the more likely our customers will be wearing WeatherWool when it is really needed.
23 March 2018
We are hearing more and more frequently from people outside USA and Canada. In the last couple of days we have heard from and/or shipped WeatherWool to Denmark, Germany and Australia.
21 March 2018
Prepared Mind 101 just published a Youtube Video about his WeatherWool Anorak. We got an unexpected flurry of attention and it took us a little bit to figure out what had happened. You can see the video by clicking here.
13 March 2018
Putting together the materials for the next production run of Anoraks, sifting through models pictures for our upcoming catalog shoot, compiling SPECIALS for the website (lots of used and prototype pieces hanging around here!).
12 March 2018
Heard from a gent in the US Military today ... they are still interested in working with us to develop a garment or two or three with features customized for Special Forces.
11 March 2018
The Price Brothers (Scott and Ryan, @price.brothers.outdoors) spent a few hours with us today. We're going to try to figure out ways to work together. A couple of days before Scott (left) and Ryan visited, a nasty nor'easter took down the big white pine behind us.
9 March 2018
A Military Contractor spent several hours with us going over various aspects of our gear. He has worn Al's Anorak in many situations over the last several months, and it looks like he will become an Advisor. But like many of the people involved with Military and security work, he needs to keep a low profile.
5 March 2018
Uh-oh ... Your truly turns 64 ... and Alex bakes me a cake! And Denali gave me a much-needed selfie-stick!
2 March 2018
This is the first Blog entry since about August ... Until now, I didn't do any Blogging since we started the new (Shopify) website last summer.
Today has seen some intense weather! Yesterday was sunny and warm but today is a bomb-cyclone-blizzard. Extreme winds ... hurricane strength at times ... temperature just above freezing (any colder would have been real trouble!), snow, freezing rain, slush everywhere, roads bad, fallen trees everywhere, lot of folks without power, background noise of WIND and police sirens. But we've been lucky ... no direct effect on our house. However, we have a very large white pine tree just 5 yards from the house that was snapped in half. The tree grazed our neighbors' home and caused some damage, but nobody hurt and no loss of power.
Earlier in the day I took our Ancient Puppy out to enjoy the storm. Camo is almost 17 now, and she has slowed down quite a bit. Until lately, she liked nothing better than crazy rain and wind and snow. Today, she didn't mind when I turned back to the truck. But still, she was happy to get out for a bit. And, fact is, I wore some serious wool, whereas Camo had only her fur, which is not oily like a cold-weather retriever's, and she is also very lean, with really no fat on her at all.