You can find her in the Norrøna flagship store in Oslo every Wednesday and Thursday on the second floor manning the in-store repair center. She’s been working with Norrøna since 1986. At first she worked in product production sewing cotton hiking pants. In the 90’s, she switched over to repairs. After nearly 40 years, Sissel’s knowledge of Norrøna products is extraordinary.
So, Sissel, how did you get the job?
“I found Jørgens father (the current 4th generation owner and CEO of Norrøna) in the yellow pages. I called him up and asked for a job. It was as easy as that back then.”
How long does it take to repair a product?
“Repairs normally happen within two days. It is very rare when a product sits on the repair rack longer than a week.”
What’s the most memorable repair you’ve ever done?
Sissel happily shares that she meets customers all the time to hear their stories. The repair that really stands out most happened in the 90’s. Two men came in with a destroyed Norrøna tent. Both they and their tent had just barely survived a polar bear attack in Svalbard. “You could see the claw shreds everywhere,” says Sissel. “I spent a full day on this one repair. But they needed that tent back for their memories”.
Fortunately, not all repair stories involve an attack in the arctic.
What do you repair the most?
“That would be zippers,” says Sissel. “It makes perfect sense as it is the part of the jacket that is used the most.”
Even though Sissel doesn’t have a lot of time to gaze out the window, she can tell what season is approaching by just looking down at the items she is fixing. “Most customers are usually pulling out their equipment right before ski season, or hunting season in preparation, and that’s when they notice a repair is needed,” she shares.
Do you get a lot of vintage products?
“Oh all the time,” she says. And she knows why. Vintage Norrøna products are in high demand and hold their value (even increasing at times) on the second hand market. “The oldest product I’ve recently repaired was a pair of Norrøna pants from the 60’s,” she shares. “The owner came in to deliver it in the store after noticing a tear on the knee. Obviously, we didn’t have the same fabric of the pants still in stock but I managed to find a perfect match,” she smiles.