Butane

April 2015 Newsletter

XIKAR NATION
April 2015
View this email in your browser


Kurt's Corner

 

 Ten days ago I joined a group of the cigar trade's leading retailers and brand distributors for a four day conference in the Dominican Republic. You can imagine the camaraderie of a cigar translates well to a cigar conference in the DR! A cigar makes a plumber and and president friends, so why not competitors too?! So it goes for at least a week every year.

   Two presentations stood out for their value and urgency. First, most urgent and important, are the fight for tobacco rights in the US congress and in the halls of many state legislatures. We cannot let up either fight, lest our beloved past-time get regulated  and taxed out of existence. The fight is real and the time is now! Please click this link right now and head over to the Cigar Rights of America (CRA) web site. Join, sign the petition, and contribute your financial support.

   We also viewed a presentation by Ken Schmidt, a former VP of marketing for Harley Davidson, who painted a stark portrait of a company that went bankrupt by focusing marketing on product features instead of the lifestyle it creates.  The turnaround at Harley apparently coincides with the birth of the "why" buy a Harley (the experience). You can view an abbreviated version of Ken's speech here.

   I am extremely grateful to enjoy business in a trade that is already "lifestyle", where the why is already well known. Furthermore, I delight in providing you an experience that supports the why, a cool tool for every celebration, and I deeply appreciate hearing from you on your experience with our product.  So, please do keep sending us your thoughts in emails and letters. I like to receive both positive (who doesn't want an 'attaboy'?!), and negative (so that we can improve) news.

Happy spring, and good smoking!

Kurt Van Keppel
President, XIKAR, Inc.

December 2014 Newsletter

XIKAR NATION
December 2014
View this email in your browser


Kurt's Corner


I hope it was a safe, happy and healthy holiday season for the XIKAR Nation! From all of us at XIKAR, I want to thank each and every one of you for your tremendous support in 2014. We look forward to introducing the new product innovations that have been designed for the upcoming year as we continue to build on our core foundation of superb Form, Feel and Function, all delivered at a Fair price.

Wishing you a safe and prosperous new year! 


 
Sincerely,

Kurt Van Keppel
President, XIKAR, Inc.

 

September 2014 Newsletter

XIKAR NATION
September 2014
View this email in your browser

Kurt's Corner

 

Recently, reflecting on the power of observation, I have discovered that in so many of life's facets, observation provides the best first step to success.  There's power in doing nothing!

How can this be true in a world of fast-paced go get 'em business?  First, observation requires quiet, which tends to remove ego from the matter.  So, we stop talking when the sale is made, or more importantly, we listen to the customer's suggestion or complaint.  And by doing so, we learn so much about what's working or not. That's why we developed the PuroTemp remote humidification system - by listening to customer desires.

Secondly, observation gives us the opportunity to deploy the trio of great communication: ask, listen and (really) hear.  This is exactly how we understand the needs of others - whether product needs as noted above, or perhaps just individual needs among team mates. Not only does this integration of others' thoughts make them relevant to the discussions (be they inside XIKAR or out), but they also help us to communicate our respect and appreciation for them.

Most importantly, observation, combined with the tools of listening, enables us to achieve collaborative creativity.  And this powerful result has catapulted us into areas we didn't before dream possible.  You can imagine that we accomplish more and better solutions through collaboration.  And more importantly, everyone is part of the process.  Recently, we attended the Intertabak cigar show in Dortmund Germany, where we had the "official" launch of the Allume lighter family.  Our European distributors collaborated with us in the design and color choice of this lighter family - and it is now the #1 selling launch item in the history of XIKAR.

Enjoy the results of our observation process.  And if you have some observations of your own to make, please let us know!

Sincerely,

Kurt Van Keppel
President, XIKAR, Inc.

June 2012 Newsletter


June 20, 2012
Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.
Kurt's Corner

 
Dear XIKAR Customers and Friends:
 
      In honor of Father’s Day, I want to take a minute to thank my father for helping make me the man that I am today. In my childhood, Papa (as I still call him) was very strict about work, but liberal regarding life’s adventures and experiences.  His goal: to create in us a sense of adventure, with independence and responsibility.  I think he succeeded greatly!  He succeeded the old fashioned way, by sharing, and by engaging us in his passions for art, history, travel, cars (racing and collecting) and reading.  
 

      By the end of high school, he had taken each of us on several art and history tours, to China, Ethiopia, Russia, Egypt, Europe and Central America, where he drug us in and out of museums and churches (which was even a regular excursion at home in Kansas City.  By the way, as an "expert" in the world's museums, I can tell you that the Centro Leon in Santiago, Dominican Republic, created and donated to the Dominican people by the Leon Jimenez cigar family, is one of the worlds great museums, right in the heart of cigar country,  it's a must see visit!)
      I share all Papa's passions except cars (reliability is good enough for me), but particularly history, travel and reading.  I also share his love for cigars!  For as long as I can remember, my dad always smoked two cigars a week, one Saturday afternoon and another on Sunday. On Saturday mornings, he would take me in to see Fred Diebel and get a couple of cigars. I loved the smell and the easy warmth of the place and the people - we now call that camaraderie.
      When Cigar Aficionado first came out, I decided to get him the inaugural issue as a birthday gift - that’s what really got me to start smoking cigars. I remember looking at the magazine and thinking, “Wow, there is really something to this.”  Is there ever!
      After retiring, my dad has worked at XIKAR since 2003. He inspects returns and “tests" cigars. We all love having him around for his help, and his stories and "observations".  (I think people of a certain age have earned the right to have those comments kindly dubbed "observations"!)
      I have my dad to thank for my sense of adventure, austerity, curiosity, and of course, my work ethic. These traits have all had a great impact on my life and reflect the essence of XIKAR. Without the values my dad has instilled in me, XIKAR wouldn’t be where it is today. I hope that after this Father’s Day, you can reflect on your father and how he shaped your life. As you smoke a cigar, I hope you do it with him, in person or in spirit!   

 
Kurt Van Keppel
President & Founder
XIKAR, Inc.
 

How to Fill and Bleed Your Butane Lighter

XIKAR's Kurt Van Keppel guides you through the process of filling a jet flame lighter with butane. He then explains the importance of bleeding your lighter once a month to extract propellant that has gone in with the fuel.

Syndicate content