Hardcore Luxury® ..... No Brag, Just Fact

Blog 2023

WeatherWool news and topics of interest.
BLOG entries by Ralph unless otherwise noted. Feedback welcome!
-- Ralph@WeatherWool.com / 973-943-3110 (mobile)

 

2023-01-30 ... Random Bits

  • We will be picking up FullWeight Drab and Black Anoraks early Wednesday morning. Almost all of them are already reserved. We'll ship them beginning Wednesday, as each piece passed Quality Control. Alex will have his hands full, literally and figuratively
  • We'll start Quality Control inspections on ShirtJacs soon and ship in first half of February
  • Yesterday, a youth of 16 came to the Open House and purchased for himself a Hooded Jacket for which he'd been saving a long time. I'm not sure we've ever had a customer who valued the wool more highly
  • This afternoon, Alex and I took about three hours for a quick deer hunt at The Swamp. We'd not gotten out together all year, and the season is nearly over. The Swamp was pretty-well flooded, as it often is in winter, we only hunted about 90 minutes, and neither of us saw any deer. And actually, we both felt kind of like we were playing hooky. WeatherWool has gotten a strong hold of both of us. We stopped for burgers on the way home, just like we always did when the boys were little. It was a splendid afternoon and great to be out with Alex
  • It seems we are getting better-known, and that has led to some of the Partners upon whom we rely for garment and Fabric production getting new customers. Advisor JR Morrissey was lately been in touch with three new clients who want to do their own American-made woolens
  • Padula tells me people were asking him about us at the ASI (American Sheep Industry) Annual Meeting 10 days ago. It's kind of amazing to Debby and me that people would know about little-old-us!
  • The website is still 99% me, and it's hard to keep everything up to date and keep up with the email, phone calls and production. But we believe the first-person style of the website is important, and a great many people have told us they appreciate that there is a lot of info available here. This is definitely contrary to industry-norms, but we do a lot of things we're not supposed to do. And we don't do a lot of things we are supposed to do. Being contrary in some fundamental ways is ... fundamental to us
  • Our daughter Denali has been handling requests for Fabric Samples from her home in Wisconsin for the past 13 months. But the business founded by Denali and her husband is taking more and more of her time, and so we have decided to handle some of the Sample requests from here in Jersey. Samples have become very important to us and fulfilling all the requests (making the Sample Packs!) takes a great deal of time.
  • AWA Certification. Padula tells me the importance of AWA (American Wool Assurance) certification is something we need to think more about, talk to our Ranchers about. I have complete confidence in our Ranchers, and the way they care for their animals and land. But consumers more and more want to see a 3rd party certification. Our friends in Australia have pioneered in this area, and they have made an impression on consumers. We've featured ranch-sourcing since we began, so no change there.
  • As we grow and become better acquainted with more Ranchers and their operations, we are considering doing our own sampling (for testing) of raw wool at the ranches during and shortly after shearing.
  • Knitting Sourcing ... Our knitted products, Watch Caps and Neck Gaiters, have been increasingly popular, and so we are working to make our own knitting yarn from raw wool, just as we do with the wool for our woven products

2023-01-29 ... Horse Power Heat ... New WarriorWool Recipient Group
A couple of days ago I received email from a soldier who is in the thick of things in Ukraine. He surprised me by observing that a Poncho is great kit for his present circumstances because it can envelop a rider and a good bit of his horse ... and a working horse generates a tremendous amount of heat. That was an unusual bit of info to add to the Poncho page. But probably no surprise to anyone who spends time with working horses.

On Wednesday I spoke with a couple of guys in the US Army National Guard Civil Support Team. I'd actually never heard of this group before, but one of their primary duties is detecting and neutralizing Weapons of Mass Destruction, mostly in the 48 States. The gents I spoke with explained a lot of their efforts are focused on fentanyl, which has become the leading cause of death of younger Americans, killing over 100,000 of us annually now. I asked if fentanyl is really as dangerous as I've heard, that even a very tiny amount can kill. It is. It's poisonous enough that dealing with the fentanyl labs -- aside from the people operating them -- can be extremely dangerous, requiring HazMat suits and medical teams (one of the guys I spoke with was a medic) standing by.

The 10th Civil Support Team is the newest addition to our WarriorWool Program. (It seems the crazy inflation has really affected donations.) The articles linked below describe the 10th CST:

https://mil.wa.gov/10th-civil-support-team

https://mil.wa.gov/news/washington-national-guardsmen-makes-an-impact-as-volunteer-firefighter

https://mil.wa.gov/news/no-rest-for-the-10th-civil-support-team

https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdwa/pr/two-marysville-washington-residents-indicted-fentanyl-distribution-and-gun-possession

2023-01-27 ... WeatherWool Mark Registered in Japan
Yesterday we received a Statement of Grant of Protection for our mark, WeatherWool, issued by the Japanese Patent Office. We are attracting more international interest, and have registered (or registration pending) our mark in Australia, Canada, EU, Japan and UK.

2023-01-26 ... It's a Little Bit Funny ...
We have had numerous Military units flirt with us ... ask for a quote on 20 or 30 pieces for some Special Forces Group. But someone higher up the food chain has always nixed an actual Uncle Sam order, except for ONCE. A guy working Explosive Ordnance Disposal for Trump and Pence wore one of our jackets, and the feds did pay. But we've always thought, eventually, some governmental body would buy some wool, given that hundreds of government employees have purchased from us -- with personal funds -- so they could wear our wool on Active Duty.

Well ... what's a little bit funny is that a Coroner's Office has lately purchased  Watch Caps for the Coroner and his assistants. Their work is no laughing matter, of course, but it's not the government order we had envisioned.

I was reminded of the WeatherWool coroner-connection while watching a coroner describe the autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein, ultra-rich pervert whose supposed suicide while in max-security federal custody has been the subject of much disbelief. I am interested in the coroner report and the whole Epstein saga because I nearly became his assistant in 1979, when he was a whiz-kid at Wall Street firm Bear Stearns. We had a good interview, and I thought it would have been fine to have him as a boss. He was friendly and focused and seemed a very sharp guy. He'd impressed everyone at a place where it's not easy to impress people. The starting salary was kind of a lot, but I'd been self-employed and really didn't want the loss of freedom that comes with a trading-desk job. But I was tempted, and we stayed in touch for a couple of months. There was only one thing I remember that gave a hint of the personality that was to make Epstein famous and, I think, get him murdered. He asked me where I was living, and I said I had an apartment in Tarrytown with my girl (Debby). Considering we were 25 and 26 years old, this wasn't anything out of the ordinary. But Epstein was very excited by that info. Very weird. And memorable enough it was still fresh in my mind some 20 years later when he was becoming famous for wealth and perversion. The coroners wearing our Watch Caps have nothing to do with the Epstein autopsy (as far as I know), but made me think of it.

2023-01-24 ... Heat Straps Vest Coming
Most of the FullWeight Drab Fabric Alex and I picked up today at American Woolen will be used by Heat Straps in a new collaboration ... A Waxed Canvas Vest with Leather Trim, lined with our FullWeight Drab Fabric. Nicks Handmade Boots is providing the leather and managing the offering. Please note that our role is limited to providing the Fabric. Click here to get on the mailing list.

WeatherWool has enjoyed working with Heat Straps Founders Jordan and Tyler Lang and the team at Nicks Handmade Boots and our collaboration has produced some great garments!

2023-01-23 ... Batch 7, Batch 8, Batch 9 and even Batch 10
Batch 7American Woolen has finished the last processing of Batch 7, and we'll be picking it up tomorrow. Most of this pickup will immediately go to Jordan and Tyler at Heat Straps, who will use it to make a Vest, another collaboration among Nicks Boots, Heat Straps and us.

Trailer is hitched to the truck, gas tank is full and we will hopefully cross the George Washington Bridge by 5AM! ... Maybe I wrote this before ... but NYC is a huge tourist destination and I think one of the best things to do is walk across the GW Bridge. The air is great, tremendous views of New York City, the harbors and of the Palisades (cliffs) on the Jersey side, and it's kinda scary how solid the bridge ISN'T!, particularly when looking down on the Hudson River 213 feet (65 meters) below.

Batch 8: American Woolen is spinning Batch 8 now. Weaving should start in mid-March. Batch 8 is all Drab.

Batch 9: Still greasy (raw) wool, but headed to Chargeurs for scouring in about two weeks. Our biggest batch yet!

Batch 10: We hope to buy the Greasy for Batch 10 in April/May of 2023.

2023-01-22 ... Personal Side
The choice today was no entry here, or a personal entry.

Debby and I have been together since 1973, and officially were married on January 22nd, 1983. Forty years ago today.

In those days, getting hitched required passing a blood test and a physical exam, and a ceremony. If I remember, we were the 519th couple of 1983 to file our paperwork in City Hall, Manhattan, New York.

I'm certain that without Debby there would be no WeatherWool. And by now there probably would be no "me", either. A wife and children famously have a civilizing and stabilizing influence on a young guy, and very very much so in my case.

PS -- Our daughter, Denali, born on our 5th Anniversary, turns 35 today!

2023-01-21 ... Garment Industry Enviros
I've been watching with interest and bemusement the garment industry's dances with the folks who are trying to assess the environmental impact of clothing. Probably everyone will agree these efforts are in their infancy. Nevertheless, it's seemed to me all along that important considerations have been overlooked.

A couple of days ago, Apparel Insider published Location, not fibre type, impact fashion emissions (view for free), by Brett Matthews, that brought up points that needed to be addressed but had so far been ignored by the reviews I've seen.

[This article focuses on GHG -- Greenhouse Gas Emissions -- upon which the fashion-enviros are fixated. I try to keep politics as much as possible out of WeatherWool, so I won't get into it here except to say that the enviro-crowd seems completely unfazed or unaware of their sometimes-spectacular wrong-headedness in recent decades.]

The title of this piece tells the basic story. Some jurisdictions work much cleaner than others. And I'm not at all focused on or restricted to GHG when I write "cleaner". Generally, the poorer the country, the less concern for cleanliness. People who are barely surviving are going to dispose of their trash in the cheapest, most convenient way possible ... like throwing it in the river. But it isn't just a question of money. That's the way it was done in New Jersey in the early 1960s, when I was a little guy and Jersey was perhaps USA's wealthiest State. The older kids, in their mid-teens, remembered the 1950s, when people used to swim in the Saddle River, which was only a few hundred yards from my house in the town of Lodi . But by the time I was old enough to "go down the river", nobody was swimming anymore ... "too polluted". There were still plenty of turtles and frogs and snakes for us to catch, and we would wade in the water. But I don't remember anyone really swimming and diving or leaping off the Tarzan swings. There were factories upstream from where we mostly spent our time, and the factories had pipes coming out the back with multi-colored, foamy liquids simply discharging into the river. Other factories used the river bank as a garbage disposal. Throw trash out the back door and eventually it would wash down into the river and be carried away. There was no attempt to conceal these activities. I don't know how long that sort of thing had been going on, but by about 1970 it was no longer tolerated in Jersey.

I'm sure as (if!, hopefully) prosperity increases and people become more thoughtful, they'll work cleaner. Maybe the day is even coming when (more) people will view GHG/CO2 as plant food (oops, politics!).

The overall thrust of the article is that garments produced in UK do much less damage to the environment than garments produced in Indonesia or China (the examples from the article). This has always seemed obvious to me, and a head-scratcher as to why the enviro-monitors have not used country-of-origin as an input in their work.

The last para of the article touches on what I feel is the much bigger point, and the reason to wear wool in the first place.

It always jolts me to read an article by the fashion-folks and to find nary a word about the functionality of a garment. It's as if they regard all fabrics as equal.

But the last para of this article says "wears per garment produced" needs to be an input in sustainability calculations. HOORAY!!!  They keep going down that road, and they are in danger of finding out that the durability and versatility of wool -- never mind the obvious enviro friendliness of sheep -- is a big reason why WOOL STOMPS THE COMP!

2023-01-20 ... ShirtJacs Soon
Spent some time today with Martin DiBattista, CEO of Better Team USA. Martin's team is making our ShirtJacs now. These are the "front panels" being put together. The ShirtJacs should be shipping in about two weeks.

WeatherWool works with Better Team USA in Clifton, New Jersey, to make many of our woven garments

 

2023-01-19 ... A Few Watch Caps
Debby was able to get a small quantity of Reversible Watch Caps made in Solid Colors Black and Natural Cream/White. The Watch Caps can be ordered online.

2023-01-17 ... WarriorWool® Registers
This morning the United States Patent and Trademark Office notified us that WarriorWool has been registered as a trademark of mine, to be used by WeatherWool.

Our WarriorWool Program was a primary reason for us to found the company. We have always felt strongly that our Military ought to be equipped to maximize performance. Probably nobody will disagree with that. But from talks with hundreds of Military (and now, Law Enforcement) personnel, it's clear that government agencies rarely provide the garments preferred by those in the field. From efforts that pre-date WeatherWool, we came to believe we could make clothing that would be preferred by our Military. And so WarriorWool has been part of WeatherWool since drawing-board days in 2009.

The basic idea of WarriorWool is to offer Anoraks at our cost of delivery to those who will purchase with personal funds and wear the Anorak as part of Active Duty kit.

We don't mean this program as a criticism of anyone in supply and procurement ... I've spoken with a bunch of those folks, too, and have heard their frustrations. But the "situation on the ground" is that people working at the points of engagement frequently (almost always!) feel inadequately equipped. Perhaps the craziest bit of info I've gotten was from a gent in LE who said he is required to purchase his own badge.

(This para is purely by way of explanation!) People are sometimes surprised  the WarriorWool page states our cost of delivery of an Anorak as $395, on average, whether for WarriorWool or otherwise. It's the same product. Actually, our cost is higher. Time to update! Fabric costs us about $180, tailoring $175, zippers, thread, cord, cord locks, buttons, ribbons, packaging, postage, exchanges for different size, credit card breakage ... And then the hidden costs such as time, labor (Alex is salaried), cost of capital, risks, developmental costs, storage facilities, transportation ... Total costs are north of $425. The retail price of an Anorak, by industry standard pricing, should be at least $850.

None of the foregoing explains the trademark registration, tho. Registration will prevent others from using the term WarriorWool ... if that happened, it would have made me crazy (crazier).


 WeatherWool is very proud that members of the United States Armed Forces (and related government workers, such as the US Secret Service) and US Law Enforcement choose to wear our Anorak.  Through WeatherWool's WarriorWool Program, both WeatherWool and the public donate Anoraks to the United States and Allied Military Forces (and others). And members of the Military (LEO) who are buying Anoraks for Active Duty use and spending their own money can purchase at WeatherWool’s break-even price.

We gratefully acknowledge Polson Intellectual Property Law, who handled the registration and advises us on IP matters.

2023-01-15 ... Treasure (Almost)
We've (really just me) have been hungering for the Bronze and Titanium Slot Buttons for a long time. We just received the first 500 Bronze Slot Buttons (thanks to Dutchware Gear!), and I feel like they are pirate's treasure.

 WeatherWool uses Slot Buttons, which are far more reliable than standard buttons because they are secured to the garment by a strip of nylon. Our commercial Slot Buttons are made in the USA by US Button. WeatherWool is also developing Slot Buttons of our own manufacture. We are working with Titanium, Bronze, Wood, Tagua and perhaps other materials.

The fire is typical for my office in cool and cold weather, and I thought it made a nice backdrop for this photo. The buttons are sitting on some of our Brown Fabric which is sitting on an ancient Indonesian Rice Mortar that was given to me by a local dealer of antique wood (Real Antique Wood) who has coincidentally been interested in WeatherWool for years. (Whew, long sentence!)

Titanium Slot Buttons coming next. We'll use these Buttons for the upcoming production of Peacoats and North Maine Double Coats.

2023-01-14 ... Good Meeting!
Today, Debby and I were in NYC to work with Advisor JR Morrissey regarding production scheduling and some design details of our Basic Vest and North Maine Double Coat. We also got the great news that Anoraks in FullWeight Black and FullWeight Drab should be complete by end of January. About half the sizes/Fabrics are already completely reserved, so if you want one of these, please do SHIP ASAP right away.

Debby and Advisor JR Morrissey discuss construction details of the WeatherWool Basic Vest at JR's Garment District (NYC) Studio in January of 2023

When Debby and JR start in on the finer points of garment construction, I am happy to stand back and relax! Here, they work the waist adjustment on the Basic Vest

 

2023-01-13 ... Email Down
Well ... Closing in on midnight and there is more to do BUT my email has suddenly choked and that seems a good signal to call it a day. I asked Steven Martinez, our IT guy (and friend of the family) and Alex to check it out in the morning.

2023-01-12 ... Wool and the Flu!
We are flattered and inspired by customer feedback every day. Earlier today I was treated to a new angle on our Anorak. A customer phoned to give me his credit card info. He said he really likes our wool, and said he was in fact wearing his Anorak while we spoke. He's been wearing the Anorak continuously, for a week, with no base layer ... fighting the flu, but still working outdoors during the day, mending fences ... constant fever.  He wears the Anorak without a base layer because everything else was less comfortable. Anyone who's had the flu will understand how miserable it can be. And will understand, also, trying to work through the flu, although in my case it would have been better if I hadn't worked, because I made so many mistakes. The caller said indoors, outdoors, working, dog-walking, relaxing or sleeping in bed, or just trying to get some rest on the couch, the wool was better than everything else he'd tried ... and he was no longer experimenting with anything else. Wool does famously seem to somehow understand what the body needs (another caller a few days ago said to me "God knows what He's doing!") but I'd never before heard from anyone wearing the wool for a week of fever!

2023-01-11 ... Advisor News
Two new Advisors have joined us lately. I haven't put their pages up yet. Soon, I hope.

Jason Ramos is joining us as an Advisor. Jason is a very heavy-duty gear-guy and has spent an enormous amount of time outdoors. He does a lot of training, consulting and product testing, review and recommendation. He has had a long career as a smokejumper and is still heavily involved in Search and Rescue in remote and rugged areas of Washington State. Check out Jason's book SMOKEJUMPER!

Brad Veis, Cameraman for Mountain Men and other TV and media work. As of Jan 1, Brad headed off to Alaska to begin filming a new season and new characters of The Mountain Men. Brad will definitely have some WeatherWool with him! Actually, we custom-made a Mouton Jacket and Mouton Hood for this trip. I haven't yet put up Brad's Advisor Page, but he has had a page on this website for a year or two already.

Advisor David Alexander is the Senior Naturalist for Essex County, New Jersey, the county of my residence (and WeatherWool, too). David is currently managing the annual deer cull in South Mountain Reservation, which is very near my home and where I often walk and hike. The deer meat is donated to homeless shelters. This part of New Jersey is too built-up for much normal hunting to take place. Even bowhunting is almost entirely prohibited around here for safety (and political, of course!) reasons. But the deer have so overrun the park and surrounding areas that a cull has been carefully managed for the last 10 years or so.

This photo was taken from my front lawn, 10 miles (16 km) from Times Square.

Hunting with David is interesting and different than hunting with anyone else I know. He has a professional naturalist's knowledge of the plants and animals, and is really good at sharing it. He is the only hunter I've met who carefully inspects the entrails of a kill to assess the health and condition of the animal. As manager of the cull, he inspects hundreds of deer per year, and records a great deal of data. But I was still surprised last month when he did his entrails-inspection at the WeatherWool Swamp!

The deer cull has been an amazing political battle. The county hired a series of foresters and naturalists to recommend management of the deer, which were clearly destroying the Reservation's forests, and starving. All the professionals recommended a cull, but the locals wouldn't accept that. So the county built a large enclosure at great cost, and baited it. Then occasionally they would shut the gates and tranquilize the deer trapped inside. The deer were shipped off to a deer farm in the Catskill Mountains, a couple hours drive away. People had been under the impression the deer would live out their lives peacefully at the deer farm. But it came to light the deer were being "finished" at the deer farm, then butchered and sold to restaurants in New York City. This caused a lot of hollering but finally everyone (almost) agreed to the cull. And the deer enclosure is now The Dog Park, which gets huge use.

2023-01-10 ... All-Around Jackets ... BUSY! ... THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
Wow, it's been really hopping here. I hope to post a blog almost every day, but haven't done so the last few days. I've just been hammered. When I worked at Morgan Stanley, my boss told me when you stop being busy, when the phone is NOT ringing, that's when you have a problem. Sure enough! Glad to not have that problem. No complaints!

As mentioned in the previous blog (from Friday the 6th), I was dropping off Fabric with Advisor JR Morrissey and picking up finished pieces (All-Around Jackets and Double Hoods) in the Garment District on Saturday. Processing the Jackets and Hoods takes some time. It's mostly Alex, lucky for me, but still takes my time, too. So, I've fallen behind in mails and website work. Really, really glad we have Advisor Trustin Timber doing social media for us now!

A great many of the NYC Garment Workers are Asian-born, and about a month ago, when I did the same routine, there was a tiny Asian woman who volunteered to help us unload. I mention Asian-born only because her limited English and my Zero-Chinese sharply limited our ability to speak. She was on the scene again Saturday, and remembered me. "HAPPY SEE YOU!" she said in a bright voice with a big smile that definitely brightened my morning. I thanked her for her help, and she thanked me for the tip from last time. It was JR who had tipped her, and she was being extra-courteous by thanking me. But I told her anyway TIP JR!

This time, besides JR and me, we had two guys from the cutting company (specialists whose work is cutting the rolls of Fabric into the pieces that will be assembled into garments) unloading the Fabric and bringing it straight to the cutting room.

The owner of the cutting company stopped by, and initially wanted to divert the Fabric to a storage facility on the next block. But JR explained to him all the Fabric would be cut immediately, and would be in and out of his shop quickly. The owner then THANKED ME for the business, and I THANKED HIM for his work.

As a little kid, I was very interested in what I have recently learned economists call the DOUBLE THANK YOU. As a little one, you learn/see a PLEASE/THANK YOU/WELCOME sequence. But I noticed when my parents bought something, or when someone paid my Dad for fixing a car, there was a DOUBLE THANK YOU!! We hope and strive that all WeatherWool transactions conclude with a DOUBLE THANK YOU.

That morning I also got a little lesson on the inside workings of the Garment District. JR explained to me why the cutting shop owner was initially reluctant to accept our Fabric. Being this is NYC, space is expensive. It's very common for garment makers to bring fabric to the cutting companies, claiming a "cutting ticket" will be coming right away. Without a cutting ticket telling the cutters how many to make, what sizes, colors, etc., they cannot work. And if the cutting ticket does not come for months or even years, the cutting company has a problem. And this happens frequently. Cutting companies are always fearful people will use them for storage!

2023-01-06 ... Garment District in the Morning
Tomorrow morning we'll be at Factory8 in the Garment District of NYC. We'll drop off FullWeight Black and Drab Fabric to make All-Around Jackets, Hooded Jackets, Double Hoods and Basic Vests.

I do the 'cutting tickets' that tell the tailors what to make. Factory8 estimates how much Fabric we'll need, and, along with Alex, I load the truck and trailer. Debby also works with the sewing pros to determine the needed zippers, buttons, cord locks, different types of thread, cuffs, ribbon, and some other items. I'm really glad Debby handles all this, because it would drive me crazy.

Putting everything together ALWAYS takes longer than I expect. So I allocate extra time, with the goal of being fully loaded hours before dark. I think that sort of prudent approach has something to do with being old. But also, it's really nice to get it done once and right.

Cool, clear night coming, with a full moon. It will be really fine, hitting the road right about sunrise, my favorite part of the day.

We should be picking up some All-Around Jackets and Double Hoods in Brown (formerly Duff) and Lynx Pattern. And then we'll be filling orders. There will be extras in some sizes, colors, but most of what we'll pick up has been reserved by SHIP ASAP.

2023-01-05 ... Blankets and ShirtJacs
This afternoon I stopped by Better Team USA, who is making Blankets and ShirtJacs for us now. Martin DiBattista, the CEO, gave me the welcome news that ShirtJacs should be finished by the end of the month. I dropped off some "notions" and brought home some finished Blankets.

Supply chains are still a mess. And considerably more shaky for us, because we use only American-made notions (zippers, buttons, thread, cord locks, shock cord, etc., etc.). I heard zippers are being rationed! I have also heard of one large production run (not ours ... a much larger run) that had to be postponed for lack of zippers. And that meant the tailor shop had to give people time off.

We bought a lot of extra notions over the last year or two, so we are well-prepared/well stocked ... for now. Debby and I have decided that although we might appear over-stocked, we will re-order notions as we use them, and try to keep our inventory of notions very flush. Being unable to make a production run because we couldn't lay our hands on cord locks or size tags or thread would drive me up a wall. Can't let that happen.

 

Better Team USA is making WeatherWool 100% American ShirtJacs in January of 2023, and these are some of the instructions to the sewing professionals

Instructions for the sewing pros working on our ShirtJacs at Better Team

WeatherWool 100% Wool Jacquard Weave Merino-Class Blanket in King Size being sewn at Better Team USA

 A King Blanket in the making!

 

2023-01-04 ... Not Much to Sell
I just finished the year-end inventory, and was surprised we have so few garments available. We still need to grow -- a lot! -- before WeatherWool becomes what I have been hoping for. But it's tremendous to see how interest in what we do has picked up. We ended 2022 with some CPOs still on hand, and only a smattering of other garments. We have a lot more garments coming shortly, and we've got a lot more Fabric in the works, too.

2023-01-02 ... Great to Hear!
We had a long talk this morning with a US Navy Vet. He told us he was calling because he'd recently visited Quantico for a range event. In attendance were a couple of Green Berets who said they'd been wearing and relying upon our Anoraks (Lynx Pattern) for years in Afghanistan. That's the kind of feedback that keeps us going, and it really made our day!

2023-01-01 ... Happy Ending of '22 and Into 2023!
Wishing everyone the Best Year Yet!

We certainly have many people to thank for all the good things of 2022. Customers, Partners, Family, Friends. And it's very meaningful to us that a lot of people fall into more than one of those categories.

For '23, we hope to keep going as we have been, only more so ... the best Hardcore Luxury, 100% American, 100% Wool All-Purpose Outerwear that we can figure out how to make. With the best Customer Service we can figure. But also, more inventory, more production, more offerings. As for the website and social media and occasional mailings, we are aiming for more information presented more clearly and in a more polished way.

Since we began this odyssey in 2009, we have sought the input of experts, our Partners, in the many phases of production. But we've not sought outside, professional help with our presentation. We still have no plans to advertise, but we have just begun to work with Advisor Trustin Timber, who has worked for years in both fashion and media, and has been wearing our wool for five years. Trustin (his business name) is our main media guy. Here is what Trustin posted to his own Instagram account when he announced his work with us to his 210,000 followers:

Life works in mysterious ways. Six years ago I quit my job working in fashion to scratch a few things off my bucket list. I couldn’t take a chance my hands, knees, and back would still be up for the challenge when I retire and I’d rather go through life with these experiences defining me instead of a fading dream. It was certainly a risk to give up a great job for a canoe, and an axe and some dreams but looking back I don’t regret it. The adventures, the friends, and the things I have accomplished certainly filled a desire no young man can satisfy sitting behind a desk. And as life would have it, it’s all come full circle. My most trusted companion throughout all the backcountry canoe trips, winter camps, documentary film shoots, and most of the days building my cabin has been WeatherWool garments keeping me dry and comfortable. So it’s an incredible honour to announce that I’m now officially part of the @weatherwool team. There are so few companies left in the world that prioritize quality, craftsmanship, and customer service above all else so I’m really honoured to be part of this one. I really hope I can help this family-owned and operated company gain the credibility they deserve for their decade + commitment to making the softest and strongest wool garments possible. 

In many ways, I get to keep doing what I’m doing, but even more importantly I will get the opportunity to take my camera on the road with WeatherWool and share some of the great stories of others out there that might not otherwise get told. So if you don’t already follow @weatherwool please do so to keep up with some of the adventures we’ll be getting up to over there in the new year.

As for my woodworking and building projects, not to worry. This is only a part-time gig so I’ll still be making plenty of sawdust. I just cleared an area for a 20x28 TimberFrame workshop with a loft and there are even a few more cabins in the pipeline. Should be a good start to 2023.

WeatherWool Advisor Trustin Timber has a long history in the fashion and photography and video spaces. He is also an expert at turning timber into housing and furniture and spends a great deal of time in the outdoors, often in wilderness conditions. In late 2022, Trustin began to provide his media talents in direct work with WeatherWool.

 

Trustin will create content, as well as curate and edit content produced by others. He'll be posting to our Instagram and Facebook accounts, and some of the photos and videos on our website will also come from Trustin. Thanks to Trustin for this sharp start to 2023:

 

 

Our new efforts at presentation will absolutely not divert attention from our production and service, nor will we compromise our goals of ever-improving quality and service. But we have heard many times that our website, imagery, marketing, branding, etc., are nowhere near the level of our products and service ... and that these shortcomings hurt us. So, we will be very seriously attempting to bring our image up to the level of our products. However, I'm completely against becoming a company that relies on marketing, advertising and presentation to move product. Instead, I hope our products always outshine our presentation. But it's time that our presentation stops hurting us.