After 13 years as dealers of Gransfors Bruk, we are eliminating all inventory of GB products ... This includes Gransfors Bruk Axes, Books, T-Shirts and Woolpower Base Layers, Socks and Accessories.
In 2000, long before we created WeatherWool, we were offering King of the Mountain (offered now on clearance) Woolens, which is what got us started in this whole adventure. We began offering Woolpower Base Layers (also on clearance) in 2004, because they were such a terrific complement to King of the Mountain.
Woolpower was, and still is, the best base layer on the market for cool and cold weather, and so we were happy to represent the company. All American dealers of GB products purchase inventory from the sole importer, Grand Forest, in South Carolina. We got to know the owners of Grand Forest well, and we had a great personal relationship with them. In 2005, our contacts at the US Army Soldier Systems Division asked us about base layers, and we brought Grand Forest's main guy, who had become a friend of ours, up to Natick, Massachusetts to meet with the Army Soldier Systems. Around this time, Grand Forest suggested we try out some of the GB Axes ... given that we burn a LOT of wood and really like axes, this seemed like a good idea.
Back in 2005 or 2006, the GB approach to Axes was something of a new thing, and although we immediately loved the quality and were hooked, the axes sold relatively slowly. But we made a point to inventory every type of Ax they made, and sales began to build for us, and for all the GB dealers worldwide. By around 2012, GB had become a worldwide standard for Ax quality. We truly enjoyed offering these fine products and getting to know personally, and hosting in our home, the owners of both Grand Forest and Gransfors Bruk.
More lately, though, our friends at Grand Forest and Gransfors Bruk have sold their businesses and retired. In summer of 2017, a rep from Grand Forest phoned to tell us WE ARE OUT as GB Ax dealers because we do not operate a brick and mortar retail store. Given that we had always operated a very personalized business, meeting customers by appointment at our home and spending time with each customer, we were surprised. But the current management at GB and GF does not feel that a longstanding relationship is important. They said we are bad for the image of their axes.
We think they have it backwards, actually, and that our approach was better than a having being one of hundreds of products offered at a hardware store and a flock of unauthorized dealers selling product on Amazon, which is what is happening now.
It is a bit ironic to note that Woolpower, which we feel is an even higher quality brand than Gransfors Bruk Axes, does not sell strongly. We don't have an explanation for this, but the people at Grand Forest said our sales approach is good enough for Woolpower, tho, and we are welcome to continue as Woolpower dealers. Our family views business as one of many ways people interact, and we do not consider people to be disposable. And so we will no longer represent Woolpower ... but not because of the product.
Gransfors Bruk Axes have changed the Ax industry, and as a result quite a few companies have begun to make much better axes than previously. And some Individual Artisan Blacksmiths are crafting wonderful, working Axes that are real pieces of collectible and functional art. Woolpower still has no comp, tho, as far as we can tell. If that is still the case a couple of years down the road, we expect WeatherWool will make something better. We're just too busy with everything else to start a cold-weather base layer line, which requires an entirely new production process.
So please grab some Gransfors Bruk Axes and Woolpower Base Layers at great prices! And please put some WeatherWool over the Woolpower ... Woolpower remains the only cool and cold-weather base layer we recommend ... although we hope there is something better soon.
Thank You! --- Alex, Debby, Ralph