2017 was unlike any other year for us, as we celebrated our 100th anniversary. For the inside scoop on this monumental year, we interviewed President Mike Korchmar.
What has it been like this year with the Centennial Anniversary?
It has been an extremely special year for Korchmar. We have reached a rare and incredible milestone and we couldn’t have done it without such a great team supporting us. We are very proud and excited to continue being able to do what we love.
Throughout our factory, there’s machinery from all generations of the business – some are pre-1920 and still in operation. It’s really interesting to see equipment that old next to a computer-operated stitching machine in the line; I think it symbolic of the company’s strong heritage and long life.
You stepped into the family business this year as the president. How was the transition?
The transition has been great and extremely rewarding. Throughout my entire life I’ve worked summers and part-time in the company so I was well-acquainted with the team prior to joining. I’d say the most inspiring part about coming into the business has been the incredible level of support the entire Korchmar team has shown me. They’ve made me feel very welcome and it’s really a joy waking up each day and coming to work.
What are some highlights of the year for Korchmar as a brand?
I think the biggest highlight of the year was the launch of the Centennial Collection. The collection had been in the works for over 8 months–with some elements starring the tried and true, styles we knew customers were going to love, and others, a little more unique. At the end of the day, the collection has been extremely well-received and loved by our customers.
I think people appreciate the craftsmanship in each of our items and the heritage they’re becoming a part of when purchasing a Korchmar product.
What are you looking forward to in the next year?
There will be some great product launches and special collections for 2018. The new product launches vary from some of our popular styles offered in different materials to items never seen before. We have been closely watching the performance of our entire collection and garnering customer feedback to determine what the direction should be for 2018. We are seeing a lot of demand for lighter weight offerings as well as backpacks. In discussion also is the development of product that will appeal to women as well.
Are there any exciting updates we should be on the lookout for in 2018?
After a customer survey earlier this year, we noticed a recurring theme in the feedback we received – questions asking why there aren’t more product offerings in the Legacy Collection.
So, in 2018, we’ll be releasing additional items for the Legacy Collection including some of our small leather goods. My favorite new introduction to the collection is one I think we probably should have done a long time ago… look for the Legacy Ryder in 2018!
This summer, we are excited to add three new colors to our Classic Collection of briefcases and travel bags. Handcrafted with full grain mill-dyed American saddle leather selected from the top 5% of available hides, each piece in the collection is designed to age with the richness and beauty expected of a Korchmar bag. Now available in black, brown and tan.