Old Friends, New Story

Old Friends, New Story

Posted by Adam Lane-Olsen on

Sixteen years ago, I was living outside Milwaukee, Wisconsin, working as program director of a youth alpine ski racing team. Wisconsin is a beautiful state filled with great people. To folks outside of the upper Midwest, it may sound strange to hear that there is ski racing. However, there is a rich ski culture and history based around many, albeit smallish, ski areas scattered across Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

During my time in Wisconsin, I came to know many wonderful folks. One family in particular, provided my wife and I use of an in-law cottage for a few months while we were organizing a move. It was a much appreciated gesture.

Fast forward to April 25, 2022 when the Seidel Tanning Corp in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. reached out to us via Instagram DM. "Hey, if you guys are ever in need of some leather, let us know." 

Seidel Tanning Corporation Full Grain Leather for Limmer Boots

Over the years, Limmer boots have always been built with the highest quality leather. Much of this leather was sourced from Peter Limmer Sr.’s home in Bavaria, the Meindl family, some from other parts of the world, and of course some here in the United States. Similar to the challenges of sourcing all high-quality materials, we closely examine both our partners and the overall footprint that goes into building Limmer customers an incredible pair of boots. The idea of sourcing more locally, Seidel had my attention. 

Limmer Leather Drying During the Tanning Process at Seidel Tanning Corporation

First, Seidel Tanning is known to create beautiful, rugged leather. Second, they are among a limited number remaining US based Tanneries. Finally, they are based in Milwaukee, and are owned by the family of the children I coached, the family who graciously offered my wife and I lodging in their cottage all those years ago. In a very small world moment, it was Fritz Seidel Jr. (4th generation in the family business), who reached out, looking to see how they could help.

After an initial catch up in the spring of 2022 we started the work. Leather swatches were sent back and forth, phone calls and emails were exchanged, sides of leather shipped, and test boots were built. With a reputation for quality, longevity, and stoutness, we have always taken our leather selection seriously. Throughout the process, multiple pairs of boots were built, worn and given to folks who could put on years of wear in a few months of time. Throughout this process, Fritz was patient and worked through the specifications that we have always looked for in our leather. In August of 2023 Peter Limmer & Sons placed an order for domestically tanned black boot leather.

Adam Lane-Olsen and Fritz Seidel Jr. Old Friends, New Boots, New Story

In early September, I traveled to Milwaukee for the first time since 2011. Fritz provided a detailed tour of the tanning facility (his passion for the business and for quality is clear), and we spent much time going over more leathers, talking about boots and heritage brands. The Seidel Tannery was busy sending products around the world. What is noteworthy was the time, effort and concern that went to working with our small business.

Walking through the tannery, my mind kept going back to a grainy old black and white photograph of Peter Limmer Sr. in the leather room selecting a hide, or to my mentor Pete, examining a hide. Much of what happens at Peter Limmer & Sons is connected to the past, from foot measurements to methods, but through this process I felt connected in a deeper way.

Peter Limmer Sr. Examining Leather in Jamaica Plains Boston Massachusetts

With our heritage and the expectation of durability and longevity, our leather choice will always carry a great deal of gravity, and while we look to the future to bring the highest quality boots, we only need to embrace our past for guidance. 

Thank you, Fritz Jr., for your commitment! It has been a wonderful reconnection for me personally, and an exciting new relationship that will benefit Limmer folks long into the future.

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