Chopper Mills mitten company partners with Protect our Winters

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Chopper Mills mittens

Photo submitted by Jill Kaufenberg

Mother and daughter playing in the snow, hands kept warm with cozy Chopper Mills mittens. Jill Kaughenberg, founder of the company, and Protect our Winters foundation is helping kids get outside and enjoy the snow without getting cold.

Chopper Mills is an e-commerce women-run business based in Stillwater. They sell high-quality children’s mittens and have a special replacement system for them. This leads back to Jill Kaughenberg’s dream of children enjoying the winters and getting outside more often. To help support that dream, she partners with Protect our Winters, a nonprofit organization made up of climate change enthusiasts.

“In 2020, the year that there were a lot of bad but also a lot of good things happening, it forced us to think about what we really wanted to do. And for me I finally was like, I’d rather try and fail than not try at all. So I jumped with both feet in,” CEO Jill Kaughenburg explained.

Kaughenberg’s dream was sparked back in the winter of 2018 when her son Kai lost a mitten. This got her thinking and researching a company that would sell a single replacement mitten because she did not want to keep buying new pairs every time Kai lost one. When her research hit a dead end, the idea of a company that would sell single mittens was born.

“I thought, why can you not just buy one because it seems to me to be very wasteful? You are always buying these pairs over and over and you end up with lots of singles,” Kaughenburg said.

Chopper Mills’ goal is to support children and nurture their love for winter. Kaufenburg explains that the design of the mitten includes waterproof goat leather and “every pair is crafted to keep fingers cozy and dry no matter the weather.” The warm design helps keep kids outside for longer.

“Families should be playing and making more memories rather than having kids complaining about cold hands,”  Kaughenburg added.

Our mission is to make a positive impact on families through our products and our contributions to organizations that set out to better our children’s future.”

— Chopper Mills website

The design of each mitten has been carefully crafted to last generations, and they have customizable patches to ensure children do not mix them up and have a way to be returned if lost. There are also single choppers available for purchase so it is not necessary to buy a brand-new pair if one is misplaced.

The Chopper Mills website states, “We understand the frustration of lost mittens—the frozen hands, family arguments, and headaches to replace. Because missing mittens happen, we created the re/PAIR™ Plan.”

Another way the company seeks to support kids’ love for the winter is by partnering with Protect our Winters, a non-profit climate change activist group. The partnership ensures that Chopper Mills always has a purpose and impacts people on a larger scale than just their mittens.

“Our mission is to make a positive impact on families through our products and our contributions to organizations that set out to better our children’s future,” Chopper Mills said

Next winter Chopper Mills is planning on releasing adult-size mittens. With popular demand and more women purchasing large children sizes for themselves, Kaughenburg decided it is time to expand.

Freshman Jonahs Peterson thinks that the mittens are very practical, especially for people from Minnesota.

“They look well made. I feel like I can see myself doing anything in these mittens. Perfect, all-purpose,” Jonahs added.