cigar lighter

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.

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.

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!

 

March 2015 Newsletter

XIKAR NATION
March 2015
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Kurt's Corner

 

    Kurt is currently out of the office traveling, but the XIKAR Team is excited for spring! We have been lucky enough in the Midwest to enjoy some ideal spring weather over the past couple of weeks, and are hoping that the Lion of March doesn't retaliate with the typical winter storms as the month wraps up.
    Whether you are hunting, dusting off the golf clubs, wrapped up in March Madness or gearing up for baseball season, we hope you are able to find time to sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful season, great cigars and joyful camaraderie!

The XIKAR Team

October 2014 Newsletter

XIKAR NATION
October 31, 2014
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Kurt's Corner


I am in costume and can't be found, as I
"(cigar) stick or treat" throughout the neighborhood. 

Happy Halloween XIKAR Nation!

Sincerely,

Kurt Van Keppel
President, XIKAR, Inc.

 

September 2014 Newsletter

XIKAR NATION
September 2014
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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.

August 2014 Newsletter



XIKAR NATION
August 28, 2014
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Kurt's Corner

 

Kurt is currently away from the office on a fishing trip, putting his hunting/fishing themed Outdoorsmen Gift Pack to good use! 

We hope you all get to experience a similar escape soon, as the upcoming fall season provides the ultimate weather and activities to enjoy the outdoors and your favorite cigar with friends and family! (Don't worry, XIKAR has developed the perfect accessories to accompany the season as well!)

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