To those who poo-poo the notion of a manufacturing renaissance in the USA, I give you Bob Jacquart and the Stormy Kromer.

Bob’s dad ran the tiny little local fabric and sewing shop in my hometown of Ironwood, Michigan. Bob took it over many years ago and steadily expanded it into a full-fledged sewing factory.

Meanwhile, the Stormy Kromer, a winter hat invented by a railroad man in Wisconsin, George Kromer, in 1903, had hit its zenith and was declining for many years. In 2001, word came that it would no longer be produced.

Bob saw an opportunity, bought the rights, and restarted production of the hat in his shop. He’s grown the line to include offerings for women and children, clothing, and even luggage. And it’s all made right there in little Ironwood, Michigan, by about 120 people who can’t possibly compete with offshore workers or robots, right?

Except they do compete – seemingly very well.