This is a story about a new business in Logan, but it’s also a story about a local woman with a new outlook on work and life.
Molly Winborg is the manager and sole employee of a new outlet for Coleman Knitting Mills, a longtime Ogden business specializing in high school letter jackets and cheerleading uniforms. She’s been busy this month setting up the new store, which is tucked into a retail space between Logan Lanes and Domino’s Pizza at 1200 North on Main Street.
“I have a huge, wonderful opportunity that I’m so excited about, and I just feel really blessed,” said Winborg, a 53-year-old single mother who left a position at a national retail chain to work for the clothing manufacturer. “I don’t know how they picked me, but I’m so excited. I just wanted to get out of the big corporate mess. I wanted to work for a smaller, personalized company, and they are the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life. They hired me kind of sight-unseen just from a Zoom interview.”
“They” are Abe and Lisa Dalebout, along with Dan Cragun, who own and run Coleman Knitting Mills and who Winborg connected with through an Indeed job advertisement.
The Dalebouts bought the company in 2018 from the Coleman family, which founded the mill in 1949 using the expertise gained by William Coleman working in a textile factory making bomber jackets during World War II. Cragun joined the Dalebouts as a partner a short time after the purchase.
The company’s forté is custom fitting and designing letter jackets, letter sweaters, sports team uniforms and cheerleading uniforms.
“We have been servicing a lot of the schools up here anyway. We do all the cheer up here, but they had to drive to Ogden to get all the measurements and fittings. So now it’s just more accessible for these students here in Cache Valley,” Winborg said.
In addition to school sports apparel, Coleman is starting to market its jackets to businesses as team-building and gift items featuring company emblems in place of school insignias and sports-achievement buttons.
This month Winborg has been visiting companies to pitch the idea. She’ll be in charge of sales in Idaho and Wyoming as well as Cache Valley.
“People don’t realize you can order a letter jacket even if you’re not lettering. We don’t ask you if you’ve lettered when you come in. You can buy one yourself if you come in. My niece wants one for drama, and she can get it,” Winborg said, noting that only the gold bars added to the jackets require approval from school sports programs.
Winborg raves about the quality of Coleman jackets, which are made from wool woven at the factory and include the traditional leather sleeves. School insignias and other lettering are hand-stitched onto the wool.
Without a school letter or any of the other extras, the jackets sell for close to $200.
As testament to the jackets’ quality, the company website features a story about how their brand caught the attention of rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z.
“The famous Jay-Z once found an old Coleman letterman jacket in a thrift store back east. The jacket was in such good condition for how old it was that he contacted Coleman Knitting Mills and made a line of letterman jackets for his company,” the website states.
The limited line of jackets was sold under the label “Artful Dodger.”
Winborg is the daughter and sister of noted local artists Larry and Jeremy Winborg, and she has been living with her parents in Hyde Park for some time due to tight expenses.
“I’m trying to move out, and that’s why I’m hoping this job is successful,” she said. “My family is really successful artists and done very well, all of them, and I feel like it’s finally my turn to do something. I’ve always loved to sell and talk to people. Now, I wake up every morning and I’m so excited I have a job like this. It’s like a miracle for me.”