By John Ewoldt, Star Tribune
Eagan-based Storm Creek, an outerwear maker for women and men, doesn't yet have the name recognition of North Face or Patagonia.
But the company, which began in 2006 making jackets and other items branded for companies, wants to make its name known for quality at a less-expensive price and its eco-friendly practices.
"We get compared to [North Face and Patagonia] often," said founder and President Doug Jackson. "Our fabric quality is as good as theirs and in many cases it's in the same factories, but we price it to be approachable. If Patagonia is at $200 for a garment, we're at $110."
Jackson owns the company with his wife, the company's chief executive, Teresa Fudenberg, and the pair decided to take the company in a new direction in 2016, branching out from wholesalers to distributors, specialty retailers and promotional marketers that put company names and logos on apparel and accessories.
Since then the company has grown about 40% a year with revenue of more than $10 million last year. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a 25% setback this year, but the company is hoping for 30% growth in 2021.
Nearly three-quarters of revenue comes from corporations wanting apparel with their promotional logo. Most of the remainder from specialty retailers.
Storm Creek follows the sustainability and eco-friendliness of Patagonia by using recycled materials. Some products, such as woven shirts, are Bluesign-rated, meaning they are manufactured with responsible use of resources and lower impact on people and the environment.