July 26, 2021
Meet Santa Jim
"I started portraying Santa about 25 years ago. I bought an inexpensive Santa suit at a local costume shop. On Christmas Eve I would dress up as Santa for my grandchildren. I had a photo of my grandchildren and I as Santa on my desk at work and the word spread I was Santa! Soon I was doing Santa visits on Christmas Eve for my coworker families and a few neighbors. A friend of mine who was a Wegmans manager needed a Santa for their breakfast with Santa and his event. 15 years later I am still there Santa. More commercial opportunities became available and I have enjoyed putting smiles on young children’s faces and creating lasting memories for them it’s been a wonderful adventure."
" I love my cooling vest, never have to worry about overheating again. Keeps me cool for up to 4 hours. It’s so slim it’s invisible under my vest or Santa Coat. Keeps me cool during those home visits setting near the fireplace or in the hot sun at the Christmas in July events. My ThermApparel vest will always be part of my Santa Outfit, summer and winter"
ThermApparel (TA): Hello Santa, thank you for joining us from the North Pole. It's very good to see you and hear from you.
Santa (SC): Yes we're up here at the North Pole but we relocated to Rochester, New York today.
TA: What are you doing in Rochester, New York?
SC: Well we kind of came down here because, obviously you know, we have residents here and the grass needs to be cut, house needs to be maintained, grocery shopping, all the regular routine stuff so we're here. It's so good to see you, so good to be here, it's good to see you too.
TA: Now I know that we have been talking for a couple years now and you have one of our ThermApparel UnderCool Cooling Vests and you said that it has really helped you out, so tell me tell me about it.
SC: Oh wow yes, yes. I'm so thankful to have one of these. It's like a partner to me, it's a second skin really, especially when I'm at the mall. I am a mall Santa and sitting for long hours at the mall gets warm especially with those warm Santa suits on.
The vest has kept me cool and more comfortable for long hours than years ago before I had the cool vest. When you start to perspire it would be uncomfortable. You didn't want to be there, you wanted to take a break. This allows me to sit there, cool, calm and collected for hour after hour. I can't be without it. It's just part of me, it's part of my outfit and I wear it all the time.
TA: Oh that's wonderful, that is absolutely wonderful. You were telling me that you wear the vest not only when you're a Santa but for other reasons too.
SC: Oh of course I do, I say it's part of me especially around here in Rochester. We've had some really warm weather this year which means I have to be outside, I have to cut the grass, I have to do the gardening, I have to do all these little chores that Mrs. Claus wants me to do so when I go out I have to wear my vest. I
f I don't wear my vest outside I can only be out there a short time. I put the cool vest on and I can be out there, I cut the grass comfortably, I don't perspire, it fits well. I just love that vest, I can be outside in the sun, in the warm air for longer than I can without it.
It's comfortable, extremely comfortable. I don't even know I have it on most of the time I’m so used to it. I wouldn't be outside without it in the summer days. It's wonderful, my neighbors see it and they say what are you wearing and I show them and they say wow they're thinking they should have one too. So anyway, it's a great item and I wouldn't be without it.
TA: What do you see as the biggest benefit for wearing the vest?
SC: I think the biggest benefit that I have wearing the vest either at home around the house or especially at the mall is comfort. I can stay cool, I can stay calm, I can concentrate. It's just comfortable, it's very comfortable and I can stay cool. I don't sweat. I'm not worried about perspiring and I can sit on the set a lot longer than without it.
TA: How did you hear about ThermApparel and what has changed the most since you got your cooling vest?
SC: I heard about it from a fellow Santa who told me about it and he praised it. He put me in contact with ThermApparel and I eventually have one.
The biggest change it's made for me is the level of comfort and how I can interface with the children without feeling uncomfortable or a little embarrassed, possibly at times when I’m perspiring. It just doesn't happen so it's made a big change in my life.
As far as being Santa I feel comfortable, I'm not worried about it being visible, nobody sees it. It's not bulky. It keeps my core temperature down, keeps me cool all over. So that's a big benefit from not having it and the other Santa’s out there know what it's like to not have one.
TA: What did you feel like when you didn't have the cooling vest?
SC: When I didn't have it you get warm.You can get really warm in the early part of the season in these malls. Especially if you have a mall with the glass ceilings in them and the sun beats down, it gets quite warm there. The back of your suit starts to get wet, you're uncomfortable, you want to get up and have water, you want to get out of the sun. It was not fun, it was not fun at all and that reflects in your attitude with the children, you try not to but you know it definitely has an effect. Those were not the best times, they were all good times, but not the best.
Once I had the ThermApparel unit it really turned around and made it much more comfortable and enjoyable. I could concentrate more. I wasn’t worried about, how can I get out of the sun, how can I cool down. I can concentrate, you can talk to the kids you're not pressured to move on to the next one so you can get a drink of water. Now you can sit there and concentrate and chat with them and be comfortable. I think that's the key word, comfortable
TA: It sounds like you're you're more comfortable but you can also provide a better a better Santa experience to the kids
SC: That's definitely true if you're comfortable you definitely can interface with with the children much more effectively and make it a much more enjoyable time for them and that's what it's all about, making the children have an enjoyable experience, a memorable experience and I think we can accomplish that much better when we're comfortable and cool
TA: Prior to using your vest, after you were done with one of your sessions at the mall what was your fatigue level like?
SC: My fatigue level was definitely down but you've used a lot of energy just trying to maintain your good attitude, your happy smile, trying to just make that a comfortable experience with the children. It was very hard to do that and after you're done you go back, you take your jacket off and the rest of your suit and you're soaked back there.
Physically I was wiped out and now I’m not, not at all and my fatigue level is not down where it was. That really drains you down when you're uncomfortable and not happy.
You know we've had hot days here you know I wear it on the lawn mower all the time. It's just part of what I do when it's warm out. I put the vest on and I go out and do what I have to do outside and I really like the response from my neighbors when they see it. You know they see it and they're very curious.
TA: What do you tell them?
SC: I tell them where to get it. Go to ThermApparel.com it's right there. They'll find it and all the information is there. I'm surprised that well, I haven't seen anybody with them but I hope they get them because they're interested in them and they want to know why am I smiling when it's 90F degrees out and cutting the grass and they're perspiring and just want to get out of the sun. There's me happy, happy, happy, probably for four hours plus. I use a double pack and they last well over four hours.
TA: When you say a double pack do you put two packs in each pocket so you have eight packs total? Okay so, tell me about that because typically we sell the vest as just one vest and then you put one set of packs in it, but you find that if you put two sets of the extended cool packs in there it lasts longer. Tell them tell me about that.
SC: Well I have the ExtendedCool packs with two units, two frozen units in each one and I have not used just a single pack. I've always had a double pack and as I said that lasts well over four hours and when I take it off after a four or six hour shift it's still cold. I've only known that but I'm very happy. It stays cold for at least four hours. Going up to five and six hours it's cool.
The double pack, as far as I'm concerned, doesn't really add much more bulk to it, very little if any, because it's all across your back. That’s what I have and that's what I would always have and if I was to order another one I'd definitely order the double packs again.
TA: How much bulk does that add when you have the coat and the whole suit on? Is it noticeable?
SC: No it's not noticeable at all. It's only another half inch maybe and it's around your back.
It's not noticeable at all and again there's no bulk in the front none whatsoever so the children don't feel anything up front. It's all around the back it adds no more bulk, none whatsoever and I say that it lasts four hours, five hours easily even at six hours as a stretch but they're still cool when I take them off.
TA: One unique thing about our packs is their freezing temperature they freeze and melt at 7F degrees, so when you're doing your sessions at the mall or private one-on-ones with Santa, transporting it in the car is okay because it is definitely below 7F degrees and those packs are going to stay frozen until you need them. But when you're doing your Christmas and July events how does the vest help for summertime Events?
SC: Well as I mentIoned, very similar to when I'm doing outside work. I do numerous Christmas in July events. Most of them are in a shopping mall type environment, outside usually under a small tent but sitting on asphalt and you know it's 90 degrees or 85 degrees out. It's hot.
They last the same amount of time. They're still good for four five six hours and uh I love it. I see no difference really between the winter time at the mall and summertime out in a heat on asphalt under a tent where the heat gets easily 100 degrees and that's a little too warm.
Especially in the suit. Well, I use a summer suit during the summer and that's a little lighter. That's just a light North Pole shirt and a little vest and some shorts. So it's a little cooler outfit but, yeah I can still warm up under those tents sitting or standing on asphalt. Without the cooling vest, wow I don't know how long I could stay there or if I even would attempt to stay there. You know, that's a good question Julia. I don't know if I would really want to be there without that cooling vest because it gets so warm.
TA: I appreciate you talking to us today.
SC: Well thank you so much. I appreciate it and I do, I truly appreciate the vest and I think it's a great addition to my wardrobe. I truly believe it's just part of me. I just put it on when I put on my jacket and it's not bulky. I love it, nobody knows it's there, it's everything that you advertise. It's wonderful. So thank you for developing it.
TA: You're welcome.
ThermApparel is a small business making big waves in the heat sensitivity world by designing the first lightweight, comfortable and invisible cooling vest, UnderCool. Check us out online, on our blog, or on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram.
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