When the round peg fits in the round hole, you go for it. In that spirit, Frabill, Inc, legendary manufacturer of premium ice fishing products, acquired Snosuit, LLC, the ice fishing industry’s foremost designer of performance winterwear.
Jeff Kolodzinski, Marketing VP of the 71-year-old Milwaukee-area employer, said it was an inevitable and natural move. “The ice fishing outerwear category is substantial and growing. Frabill needed to be in that space. But to parallel the level of product quality our customers are accustomed to, we had to enter at the top. Snosuit gave us that opportunity.”
Previously headquartered in Cross Lake , Minn. , Snosuit pioneered the high-end of the now well-established ice fishing outerwear category. The gritty northwoods company has never wavered from this pursuit of developing the best of the best, either. Snosuit founder Chris Leonard’s mantra to “design and engineer the finest cold weather garments in the ice fishing industry” will survive and flourish under the stewardship of Frabill, too.
“Frabill and Snosuit share an ideology of excellence,” Leonard said.
Innovation and an emphasis on research and development are shared traits as well.
“Snosuit is built from the ground up,” Leonard said. “Every feature is developed organically, from scratch. We design and engineer garments based on direct input from anglers in the field.” Leonard will stay on to guide Snosuit’s bedrock research and development process.
Sharing such core business philosophies was central to Frabill’s decision to grow via acquisition.
“Our motto is ‘Trusted Gear Since 1938,'” said Frabill CEO Jeff Marble. “Snosuit brings with it that same pride in brand that we believe in at Frabill.
"We feel really good about this partnership. It’s hand in glove.”
The move expands Frabill’s already extensive coverage in the larger ice fishing marketplace.
“We’re a major stakeholder in portable shelters, ice fishing rods and reels, tip-ups, bait management products, and ice fishing accessories,” Kolodzinski said. “The addition of Snosuit makes Frabill’s ice fishing product offering even more comprehensive. If it’s for ice fishing, Frabill makes it.”
Available this fall, the Snosuit lineup will include a redesigned release of the signature two-piece bibs and jacket. An extreme weather, gauntlet-style glove and mitt are also being introduced for ice fishing 09-10. Snosuit products are available through major sporting goods chains as well as select independent dealers.