Jytte Mau (pronounced You-Tay) was born in Denmark and immigrated to North America with her family when she was a young girl. “My parents moved the family to Canada speaking only Danish and German and having very few possessions,” remembers Jytte. “In our family, learning to knit was a rite of passage, but my dad instilled a great sense of outdoor adventure in all of us so it wasn’t too surprising that as I got older my interests veered towards skiing, biking, and camping.
Internationally, the name Jytte is synonymous with high-quality beanies made from the highest grade Merino wool available. “I’ve been a part of the outdoor industry for over 30 years, working my way through the ranks of several large corporations,” Jytte notes. “As a clothing and fabric designer, I design all of the patterns for our beanies and we knit the fabric and build the beanies in-house.” And, in an effort to reduce the impact her production facility might have on the environment, Jytte has her team use every scrap of material to make cat beds and cat toys that are donated to animal shelters around the country.
Having spent many years designing outdoor clothing for others, Jytte made the leap in 1998 and opened the first JYTTE Hat manufacturing facility in south Bellevue. “I remember being very determined to make sure anything we made was of the highest quality,” Jytte notes. “The machines we bought were made in Germany. Most knit hats on the market today are being made in China on large sock-making machines. If you’ve ever had a hat the starts to scrunch up the side of your head, your hat was made on a sock machine.”
Today JYTTE beanies are being made in a production facility off Airport Way in Hailey. “We ship world-wide from our shop here in Hailey,” notes Jytte. “We create custom beanies for a great number of different events, microbreweries, sports teams, even the National Geographic Explorer ships.”
Jytte is happy that her love of skiing led her to find the Wood River Valley. “I love this Valley,” Jytte enthused. “When I wanted to open a manufacturing facility, the decision on where to put it was an easy one. Amazing people in a beautiful Valley is hard to beat.”
JYTTE will be starting a new tradition this Thanksgiving as they have agreed to produce the beanies for Hailey’s venerable Turkey Trot. “We’re so excited to be able to be a part of Turkey Trot,” Jytte notes. “It’s such a great family tradition for many people in our Valley and now to have a custom-made JYTTE beanie be included each year is really pretty special.”
The first 400 registered runners or walkers will receive a Turkey Trot inspired JYTTE Beanie in their race packets. Register at HaileyIdaho.com.