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Hello and welcome to XIKAR Nation.  Here you will find all the latest information on what is happening with XIKAR.  We will be posting Newsletters, Instructional Videos and the latest cigar and accessories news.

Stay tuned for much more!

The XIKAR Team

January 2016 Newseltter

XIKAR NATION
January 2016
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Kurt's Corner

 

Twenty years is a short time. Twenty years ago, I had just one, not two kids.  They are now in college, and have grown up so fast that I like to say, “in a few short years, they’ll be older than me!”

And just twenty years ago, Scott and I started XIKAR.  Out of an idea we built in our garages and sold to our local cigar retailers, Scott and I built an iconic* cutter – and then a brand.  Of this, I like to say, “the brand is bigger than the product.” 

How does this happen, when the road to success is littered with innovative product?  We began with a product of great function, form (artful to the eye), feel (ergonomic) and sold it at a fair price.  And we didn’t stop there – we added a lifetime guarantee, with a commitment to treat our customers as we want to be treated: with concern, good communication, consistency and quickness.  Add in a little luck (the cigar boom), and a lot of persistence (we didn’t pay ourselves the first two years!), and that’s how it happens.

How does it continue to happen?  You make it happen. You continue the now twenty-year-old dream by supporting why we exist – through your appreciation of cool product and service you can trust. Thank you!  In the coming weeks, you’ll see a 20th Anniversary commemorative edition cutter, as well as a “thank you tour”.  I hope to meet each of you in person at one of these events.  And at that event, if you can tell me where the name XIKAR originated, I’ll hand you a cool XIKAR pin.

*XIKAR is extremely pleased to announce, on our 20th Anniversary, the award of a Trademark by the United States Patent & Trademark Office on the shape of our cutter. In order to achieve this honor and its perpetual protection, we had to prove to the patent office that our cutter had achieved “iconic” status. From Idea to Icon!


 
 
Kurt Van Keppel
President, XIKAR Inc.

December 2015 Newsletter

XIKAR NATION
December 2015
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Kurt's Corner
Happy New Year!


   Happy New Year! We all say that as a matter of course to celebrate the passing of the old into the new. What does that mean?  In my case, I take a moment of gratitude for the good things of 2015 (your support for example), and hope to find, create and enjoy even more blessings in the coming year.
   I’ve also noticed that my festive greetings have changed over time. Certainly into my mid-twenties, happiness (and a good party) were my primary motivations. Between 25 and 45, I usually also wished people a prosperous new year, hoping for the same myself, I’m sure.  More recently I have offered greetings of a joyful new year, as “joy in the journey” has risen in value now that I’m in the third phase of my career (I’m in my mid 50’s).  I anticipate wishing people a peaceful (and healthy) new year in the not too distant future.
   I think “Happy New Year” means all the above, depending on where we each find ourselves in life’s journey.  I wish, for 2016, that your own needs and dreams are fulfilled, so I wish you a Happy New Year!
 
Kurt Van Keppel
President, XIKAR Inc.

#XiDay Black Friday Giveaway

November 27-29, 2015
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#XiDay Black Friday Giveaway

 

   In celebration of #XiDay Black Friday '15, we are giving away a Single Cigar Envoy Case every 15 minutes from 8am-8pm on Sunday November 29th*! 

How to enter: Take a selfie with a #XiDayBlackFriday flier at any of the participating retail locations Friday 11/27-Sunday 11/29. (Feel free to include the new accessory you just purchased at 20% off!) Post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with #XiDayBlackFriday and tag/mention the retail location for your chance to win!

That’s not all! If you are selected as a winner for an envoy case, you will be entered into a drawing to win a Vintage Bronze Xi3 Luxury Cutter from the Limited Edition Bronze Age Collection.


20% off All Accessories PLUS your chance to win a FREE Envoy Case AND Limited Edition Xi3 Cutter?! XIKAR has you covered!

 
All winners will be announced Monday 11/30.

  

*Limit 1 Envoy Case per person.

October 2015 Newsletter

XIKAR NATION
October 2015
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Kurt's Corner

A Cigar Lifestyle

   I love to travel.  Hunting and fishing trips, cigar events, vacations, in a variety of combinations fill my calendar each month. And I fill my bags with cigars for each, to smoke at the end of the day, or on the trail, in the boat... throughout the journey.
   Even when I am not on the road, I celebrate leisure time with a cigar, whether at golf (the cigar is definitely the most successful part of that outing!), in the garden, or around the fire pit. Actually, I’ll smoke a cigar with friends and associates any time we have a restful moment of camaraderie.
   Very clearly I have made a cigar central to leisure and camaraderie. In fact, I believe “a cigar is an hour-long vacation”, a source of happiness and pleasure.  The cigar creates the opportunity to celebrate with friends, whenever and wherever I can. I have a cigar lifestyle!
   I bet you do too!  In the coming months, I’ll share some of my recent celebrations with you.  And, I’ll invite you to share yours with me. 

Happy smoking!

Kurt Van Keppel

President, XIKAR, Inc.

September 2015 Newsletter

XIKAR NATION
September 2015
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Kurt's Corner

   
   All of us at XIKAR are sad to see summer go, but are thrilled that the fall season is upon us! Autumn surrounds us with cool and crisp weather (perfect for smoking!), bright and festive colors and one of America’s favorite past times: football. These elements helped to inspire the new 12th Man collection of cutters. These 2-tone Xi1’s are the perfect accessory to show your team spirit and enjoy the fall smoking season in fanatic style. And just like your undying passion for your favorite team, the 12th Man cutters are guaranteed for life!
   Wishing you a joyful and refreshing fall season. Happy Smoking, XIKAR Nation!
 

August 2015 Newsletter

XIKAR NATION
August 2015
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Kurt's Corner
The Nature of Innovation

 
   Nature may be the best innovator.  As Darwin suggested, adaptation to needs (survival) encourages solutions which over time succeed in achieving the goal. These adaptations appear in slow form, with nature favoring one trait over another, or appear in sudden changes such as a genetic mutation of superior survival skill.

   Product innovation follows a similar path, although not always with the survival goal. More often, at XIKAR for example, innovation answers a consumer need or problem that has common appeal.

   For example, Scott and I invented our Xi cutter, which celebrates its 20th anniversary early next year, in answer to my need for a superior cutter function (like scissors) with an ergonomic and artful form. "Nature" or the marketplace, favored our invention to the degree that the U.S. Patent and Trademark office recently awarded it iconic status through a Trademark on the cutter shape. We are very proud of the recognition, and delighted with the perpetual protection it provides!

   Not all our innovations will achieve this.  Some provide solutions over time though evolution of existing products or synthesis of ideas from disparate sources. Our recent launch of the Volta and Forte lighters demonstrate the first, while the PuroTemp, our remote readout hygrometer, illustrates synthesis.

   Whatever the scale of the idea, it begins with a source - you and your "problems" or needs.  We know these needs only if you tell us, through our solicitation in person, in newsletters or in surveys. We value that feedback like gold - because real solutions start with real needs.  Of course, we also smoke cigars daily, and realize some of those needs on our own.  We definitely produce, test and market the best of those.  And we are hungry for more!  If you've got a need, or perhaps even a solution that has common appeal,  let us know - you might have your name on a patent that one day becomes an icon!!

Kurt Van Keppel

President, XIKAR, Inc

July 2015 Newsletter

XIKAR NATION
July 2015
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Kurt's Corner
 

You're invited to Kurt Van Keppel's Birthday Bash!!
 

On Friday, August 7th, XIKAR and Twins Smoke Shop in Londonderry, NH are teaming up to celebrate Kurt's birthday! Join us for a classy night with the best deals on XIKAR you'll find. The festivities will include food, prizes, entertainment and an extra special collection of XIKAR items! Come celebrate with Kurt on Friday, August 7th from 4-7PM!

Kurt Van Keppel

President, XIKAR, Inc.

 

June 2015 Newsletter

XIKAR NATION
June 2015
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Kurt's Corner

 

   Please bear with me: this is about cigars!  In her seminal work, The Classic Italian Cookbook, (Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1978), Marcella Hazan writes, (p.335):
 
"I cannot imagine Italy without its vegetable stalls, filling ancient squares and animating dusty side streets with mounds of fabulous forms in purple, green, red, gold, and orange. In a land heavy with man's monuments, these are the soil's own masterworks.
                                      
Perhaps one day the vitality of these still flourishing markets will be replaced by the pallor of deep-freeze counters, those cemeteries of food, where produce is sealed up in wax boxes marked, like some tombstones, with photographs of the departed.  But I hope it never happens. I would sooner be deprived of all of the marvels of Michelangelo."
 
What creates the “cemeteries of food” she so eloquently describes?  Regulation, the hidden tax on small business, prevents small operators - manufacturers and retailers, from competing (surviving) against well-financed larger corporations who will make up the cost of regulation through increased market share.
 
Can you imagine the USA without its brick and mortar cigar shops?  Can you imagine buying cigars in their plastic tombstones, with a brand label on top and no images whatsoever?  I can imagine it, I have seen it!  If you doubt this – take a quick trip to Canada. 
 
I would sooner be deprived of the works of Mark Twain, who, through his cigar smoke, I imagine would chuckle and agree!  If you also agree, join the CRA!!  This, your (consumer) cigar rights organization, leads the defense charge for you in the halls of Congress and among the States, to prevent over-reaching regulation at both the factory and retail level.  Their work has already accomplished much – and yet they still need your help. We can win this fight! We can win, if you join today!

Kurt Van Keppel

President, XIKAR, Inc.

May 2015 Newsletter

XIKAR NATION
May 2015
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Kurt's Corner

 

   "Summer: Hair gets lighter. Skin gets Darker. Water gets warmer. Drinks get colder. Music gets louder. Nights get longer. Life gets better." 
--Unknown   

   It's hard to believe that the prime cigar smoking season is just right around the corner! As you begin to fill your schedule with fishing trips, barbecues and baseball games, the XIKAR Team is hard at work to bring you the latest accessories to take your summer from hot to smokin'! We'll see you at the herf!

 
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