Year-One Review: A Letter from the President

Year-One Review: A Letter from the President

What a year it has been! Last month marked our one-year milestone since my brother and I took the torch from the founder, and our friend, Susan Schurke. We reflect on the amazing story this company was built on and have likewise been truly inspired by all of you. We...

So They Closed the Boundary Waters... Reading Year-One Review: A Letter from the President 4 minutes

What a year it has been! Last month marked our one-year milestone since my brother and I took the torch from the founder, and our friend, Susan Schurke. We reflect on the amazing story this company was built on and have likewise been truly inspired by all of you. We can’t help but be excited as we look to the future.

The path forward seems simple at times, that is to maintain tradition while evolving and discovering new ways to fulfill our ongoing mission: "To inspire and connect people to the outdoors; steeped in tradition, quality and respect for nature.”  


Progress

Fulfilling our mission will balance thinking differently with our 35-year legacy. This has become a value that our team here at Wintergreen has taken seriously. Our team has come together and has taught us a lot this first year. They continue to help us understand where we have come from while embracing the changes necessary to strengthen our operations. This allows us to produce more lifetime goods for our growing community. We have come a long way, and we are proud of this progress.


Although growing a small business is hard, some things will not change. We hand-make every article of clothing here in Minnesota, we pay livable wages, and we are dedicated to the communities we serve. So with our core value of Thinking Differently in mind, we wanted to be transparent about some of our new initiatives and the why behind them.


Looking forward 

We have a vision of creating a timeless wardrobe of essential pieces needed to live the outdoor life. This requires a commitment first to maintain integrity in our lead times. Over the past few years, we have had to shift our business to largely made-to-order. While we continue to make great headway in our ability to have in-stock items, we have adopted an improved made-to-order policy that we monitor and update daily. Our newly launched website provides a higher level of accuracy to our production times, while internally we continue to focus on adopting manufacturing software to improve the visibility of each order through our production process. 


New product development is also a critical capability that allows us to pursue our vision. At times, it’s difficult and costly to understand the needs and wants of our customers. We also have the capability to create versions of existing products that are outside the standard offerings of colors or fabrics. We call these our Limited Edition runs and you will see these offered throughout the year. This process starts with an idea that comes from our passionate employees, our incredible ambassadors who use our products in the most extreme conditions, or from one of you who shares your ideas for inspiration. We regularly review these ideas and prioritize them, then we enter our prototyping phase where we work on design and function. When we feel we have a piece that is up to our standards of quality in craftsmanship and material, we launch our limited run of a new product or color variation! This offers early adopters a one-time opportunity to enjoy a piece that will likely never be replicated again. It also puts a small amount of these quality prototypes into your hands for field testing and feedback. We’ll evaluate your feedback and make improvements with the hopes of arriving at the next piece to add to our lifetime wardrobe. 


As we enter into the colder months, we look forward to sustaining this great tradition and creating our future together. We hope you are as excited as we are!



Jackson Harren
President

5 comments

Steve Bussler

Steve Bussler

I recently received my third anorak from Wintergreen! While we are enjoying mild temperatures I am looking forward to wearing the latest anorak as the season changes. Thanks for sharing your vision for Wintergreen and know we appreciate the quality of your products, and being made in Minnesota. I am am thrilled to have had the opportunity to order a limited production anorak and will be wearing it for winter seasons ahead!
Kind regards,
Steve

I recently received my third anorak from Wintergreen! While we are enjoying mild temperatures I am looking forward to wearing the latest anorak as the season changes. Thanks for sharing your vision for Wintergreen and know we appreciate the quality of your products, and being made in Minnesota. I am am thrilled to have had the opportunity to order a limited production anorak and will be wearing it for winter seasons ahead!
Kind regards,
Steve

Gay Christofferson~ Tackaberry

Gay Christofferson~ Tackaberry

Carrying on the tradition of Wintergreens is an honor which you have done.. Good Luck & I have been a fan of the clothing for 25years.. if you live in the cold you most definitely need quality layers & coat to keep you warm during the Arctic cold weather that blows in here in Northern Minnesota & WINTERGREEN is my go to…

Carrying on the tradition of Wintergreens is an honor which you have done.. Good Luck & I have been a fan of the clothing for 25years.. if you live in the cold you most definitely need quality layers & coat to keep you warm during the Arctic cold weather that blows in here in Northern Minnesota & WINTERGREEN is my go to…

Mike Stiefel

Mike Stiefel

Love the mission, love the people and the idea that I am buying high quality products made in MN, giving people a living wage. My wife and I will keep coming back to support this treasure of the north country!

Love the mission, love the people and the idea that I am buying high quality products made in MN, giving people a living wage. My wife and I will keep coming back to support this treasure of the north country!

Sue and Paul Schurke

Sue and Paul Schurke

Great blog! We are pleased and proud about the great initiatives you’ve got underway with the company we launched nearly 35 years ago. Thank you for sharing this fine update!

Great blog! We are pleased and proud about the great initiatives you’ve got underway with the company we launched nearly 35 years ago. Thank you for sharing this fine update!

Bob Whaley

Bob Whaley

Just a note of gratitude. I bought my wife one of your anoraks in 1994 for a Valentines Day gift. Since then we have bought two more plus mittens and hats, the last one being last Christmas. We use them all almost everyday in the winter and even the oldest ones still look great. Keep up the traditions that you have established and know that the effort is appreciated.

Just a note of gratitude. I bought my wife one of your anoraks in 1994 for a Valentines Day gift. Since then we have bought two more plus mittens and hats, the last one being last Christmas. We use them all almost everyday in the winter and even the oldest ones still look great. Keep up the traditions that you have established and know that the effort is appreciated.

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