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Employee Spotlight on Crystal Mechtel

She is one of the rare Simms employees who does not fish, but her job has supported hundreds of thousands of people in their fishing ventures. Her job: sewing, hemming and pressing Simms waders.

Crystal Mechtel is part of the Wader Makers team at Simms Fishing Products. She has been with the company for seven years and is trained in three departments; body sewing (sewing major parts of the wader together), hemming (attaching the trimmings, suspenders, gravel guards and the parts to make the waders attractive), and pressing (making pockets, belt loops, cutting gore fabric, and bundling the materials to send to body sewing). 

Crystal describes she does most of her work between Body Sewing and Pressing.  

“In pressing, I back label, put all the glued labels on and perform a quality check all pieces. Then I bundle the wader material for the body sewing department,” she said. 

Crystal got her start as a pharmacy technician before seeking out career in manufacturing, a setting she said she really enjoys. 

And, she’s good at it.

She is the recipient of the Wader Maker of Distinction Award, a biannual award that recognizes exemplary employees who uniquely embody and transfer company culture and values to other team members. 

In attempt to describe her, Crystal’s coworkers use some very positive descriptors: Team champion. Versatile. Eye for detail. Team player. Willing to help in other departments. Always able to make you laugh or smile. Commonly found dancing on the job. A positive force since the beginning. Always fitting into the job she’s doing without complaint. 
Ultimately, Crystal is the teammate who wants everyone to be comfortable and successful.

Her coworkers have plenty of material to rave on about Crystal, But one might wonder what she feels are her greatest accomplishments.

First, she shared she was honored to play a role in Simms’ initiative during COVID-19 to produce over 9,000 medical gowns for frontline workers.  

“Simms formed a group of workers to make reusable gore medical gowns for the hospitals and nurses in need during the pandemic,” she said. “It was really rewarding, especially when I had the chance to talk to one of the hospital workers and see how grateful they were for what we did.”

In her personal life, Crystal shared another life-altering accomplishment. 

“About five years ago, I lost over 100 pounds. I changed my diet and habits and started walking a lot – and I mean miles,” she said. “I feel amazing – physically, emotionally and mentally.”

These changes in habits were a pivot point for Crystal, as was a recent book she picked up. 

“‘A New Earth’ by Eckhart Tolle changed how I live my life,” she said. “I learned how to quiet my mind, get my ego in check, and live a more full and present life. The author helped me to understand my state of consciousness determines how I experience life.”

Crystal has enjoyed a 23-year marriage with her amazing partner. The couple has three cats and a 220-gallon salt water aquarium with about 20 fish including a sailfin tang, shrimp and crabs.  

“I love to just hang out at our home with my partner and the cats. I also love a great mountain bike ride with my partner.”



How you’d spend a day off with no obligations:
Definitely include mediation, reading, hanging with my three cats, a bike ride and some painting.

Something you’ve been scared to try?
A ride in a hot air balloon.

Last book you read?
“Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss.

Most likely to buy in bulk?  
Cat litter and Temptation cat treats.

Most interesting job you’ve had? 
Working at Ford Motor Co on the assembly line building trucks.

Least favorite candy?
Circus Peanuts.

Best type of meat and how it’s cooked?
Steak. Grilled. Medium.

Worst Injury?
I cut my ring finger 40% through.

Secret talent?
I love to help people. I will probably be the first to volunteer.

Something most people don’t know about you?
I love crystals, minerals, and rocks. I have a collection and love learning about them. I am currently reading/listening to four crystal/rock books and wearing them.

Best advice you’ve gotten?
From the author Eckhart Tolle of the book A New Earth: “When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept it. All else is madness.”

Biggest fish you’ve ever caught? 
I went fishing when I visited my father-in-law in May and caught an 8-inch bluegill. Aside from that outing, I am one of the rare Simms employees who does not fish.

Something new you recently tried?
Kundalini Yoga