Rock-steady is often used to describe people who are consistent and dependable. That description is fittingly applied to St. Croix Sale Representative Rick Hencier. Rick has been part of the St. Croix family for nearly 29 years, and loves it just as much today as when he first began.
Rick’s path towards his long-term position as a Sales Rep for St. Croix began when he was a packer. He worked for Zero King Outerwear in St. Paul, MN, and was a packer for one of the Sales Reps in that organization. Rick literally packed the bags, packed the car with the goods, and drove to all the customer locations with the Sales Rep, learning the ropes as he went along.
After a time, he became a sales trainee, then held a sales position for eight years. Eventually, he saw an open position with St. Croix, applied for it, and as he puts it: “was lucky enough to get the job.” Rick took over from another long term and beloved St. Croix Sales Rep Frank Shurman, who was retiring. And now, almost 29 years later, Rick, who covers the Midwest region, jokes that he thinks his position with St. Croix “might just turn into something permanent.”
It might seem to some that 29 years in one career with one company could become a bit tedious. Not to Rick. He claims that sitting in an office for a typical 9 to 5 business day would be torture. “I love that every day is totally different. Even if I show the line 50 times, it’s different and new 50 times,” Rick shared.
It’s no surprise that as a salesperson, Rick really enjoys meeting new people as part of his job. And he simply loves selling St. Croix clothing, because, as he says; “It really is the finest. It’s fun to sell that type of product. It’s a luxury that not everyone can afford, but there’s no one that doesn’t love it. Everyone loves it.”
In 29 years, Rick has seen many fashions and items come and go. His favorite St. Croix item to wear is the Merino Wool Vest. He owns about 4 different colors, and is found wearing one most of the time. He and another St. Croix Rep, Eddie Gricius, joke that it’s their uniform. “Actually,” Rick said, “we call it the Eddie Vest, because he wears it more than any of us.” Rick’s favorite item to sell, however, is the Techno Cotton Mock. “It’s because of the quality. Everyone loves it, and it lasts forever. You only make friends when you sell that piece.”
One of Rick’s favorite things about his position is seeing the new designs twice each year. He enjoys working with the designers, giving his perspective and suggestions, and understanding how the full line for each season comes together. He’s always amazed that things are continually new and fresh—a testament to the talents of the design team. Trunk shows offer other opportunities for amazement—and excitement. Rick has had a handful of memorable trunk shows where one customer will personally order 20-30 pieces of St. Croix clothing! “That makes for a great day…everyone is happy!” said Rick.
Things have changed in the clothing industry since Rick began his career as a packer. Men’s stores have changed the mix of clothing they sell, with more of them offering a wider selection of sportswear instead of suiting. And there’s just not as many of these independent stores around. You used to be able to find one in almost every town (even the smallish ones), but oftentimes now you need to travel to a larger city to find full-service menswear stores with a penchant for old-school customer service. “They’re still out there, and many of them are thriving, precisely because they offer customer service you just can’t find everywhere,” Rick shared.
When not showing, sharing and wearing St. Croix Clothing, Rick enjoys golfing and cycling. During his down time, he’s often found riding 10-20 miles several times a week. Rick’s rock-steady demeanor also means that he’s been married, to wife Nancy, for 33 years. They have 2 boys: Kevin, who recently was married, and son Erik. They live in Vernon Hills, IL, north of Chicago. Rick shared that he can’t believe how quickly the last 29 years have gone, and he can’t imagine doing anything else. We agree.