MILWAUKEE-- One local Milwaukee business who makes winter hats is finding a way to give back
If you step outside on a day like today you’re going to hope you have on a nice warm, cozy hat. Well, once business in Milwaukee is hoping to do just that.
"We do hats, we do thousands of hats, thousands of names, all year long," Wisconsin Knitwear Owner, Steve Arenzon said.
Wisconsin Knitwear is a family owned business that's been around for decades. It all began with Arenzon’s parents who came to Milwaukee from Argentina.
"My mother and my father, in 1979, opened us up, and we've been around ever since," Arenzon said.
The company makes the iconic winter pom-pom hat the old fashioned way, with machines that are around 80 years old.
"Everything is done by hand there are no computers in the house," Arenzon said.
The factory is home to dozens of colorful spindles making their rounds as thread is being fed through the machines. The hats are pumped out mechanically, and it’s one of the last few shops in the country that operates like this.
One Arenzon’s greatest joys, is seeing his hats being worn around the community.
"Making the hats and either seeing it on the street or getting that phone call or an e-mail saying this is fantastic," Arenzon said.
It’s something employees say they take pride in as well.
"A lot of people are wearing these hats outside. I told my kids and my wife, you know, i made that hat at work!" Wisconsin Knitwear employee, Isacc Saavevra said.
Since it is one of the busiest times of the year for the company, its machines are constantly running.
"The weather is great for business now. It’s going to be non-stop until the beginning of March or beginning of April," Arenzon said.
Even though the winter season is pretty lucrative for this type of business, the owners say the best part about it, is being able to give back.
"That's something I don’t like to see is people not being warm," Arenzon said.
Wisconsin Knitwear has been donating thousands of hats each year to police departments and other agencies to hand out in the cold weather.
"My car is full of hats and I'll stop and I'll hand out a hat, and it’s just something that... I can do it," Arenzon said.
It’s a simple gesture that goes a long way to the people throughout the Milwaukee community.