A Maine-based Industrial Glove Manufacturer Ventures into the Consumer Market

by IS_Indust

A Trenton-based company, traditionally known for producing industrial personal protective equipment, is embracing the term “Mainers” to extend its reach into the consumer market. Tempshield, established over 40 years ago as a manufacturer of industrial gloves designed for handling extremely cold industrial equipment, opted to diversify its offerings by introducing retail mittens, coinciding with the onset of the COVID pandemic in Maine.

The timing was less than ideal, though the pandemic inadvertently boosted demand for their cryogenic products due to the specific temperature storage needs of the Pfizer vaccine. Consequently, the small enterprise held off on further promotion of its new retail brand for another year. Presently, the company’s premium “Mainers” gloves and mittens are available through renowned Maine retailer L.L. Bean and select other outlets, both in physical stores and online. This product line represents one of the latest offerings from local manufacturers in the Ellsworth region, as the company has also recently extended its operations in Trenton.

Paul LaRochelle, the company’s chief operating officer, explained that their premium mittens and gloves cater to individuals who engage in outdoor activities in below-freezing temperatures. These products serve as a natural extension of the company’s PPE business, where they manufacture gloves and aprons for handling extremely cold industrial equipment like frozen vials or pressurized canisters of liquefied gas.

“As an avid snowmobiler myself,” LaRochelle shared, “we initially developed and marketed our mittens to winter sports enthusiasts.” Starting with an initial range of four styles of long, wrist-covering mittens, the Mainers lineup has expanded over the past year to include 20 varieties, encompassing gloves and shorter mittens.

LaRochelle emphasized their commitment to quality insulation, stating, “We use more insulation than probably anyone else on the market.” He noted their use of premium materials such as genuine 3M Thinsulate and other well-known insulative materials, after scrutinizing various gloves available in the market.

According to LaRochelle, the company’s Mainers gloves and mitts are priced between $160 to $270 per pair. While these price points may exceed those of many other consumer gloves, they align with the pricing of other high-end gloves and mittens targeted towards winter outdoor enthusiasts. He further explained that the pricing reflects the products’ exceptional durability, handcrafted quality, and comfort.

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