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Storm Creek Named Dakota County Regional Chamber 2021 Small Business of the Year

Storm Creek Named Dakota County Regional Chamber 2021 Small Business of the Year

Eagan-based outdoor apparel and outerwear company recognized for sound business operations, eco/sustainability practices and philanthropy

 EAGAN, Minn (Nov. 18, 2021) Storm Creek, a leading supplier of premium, eco-friendly, outdoor-inspired apparel and outerwear, was named Dakota County Regional Chamber Small Business of the Year at the chamber’s 2021 Business Excellence Gala on Nov. 5.

 “We are extremely honored to be recognized by the Dakota County Regional Chamber as small business of the year,” said Storm Creek CEO, Teresa Fudenberg. “We are a small but mighty and growing company with an unwavering focus to be better and do better in every aspect of our business. The chamber award is a testament to our mission and results. I am so proud of our team for how far we have come in the past five years, and I am even more excited about our future.”

 “The Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce champions the promotion and improvement of the region’s business environment and cultivating vibrant regional and local communities,” said chamber president Maureen Scallen Failor. “Storm Creek is an exemplary business community member, not only in terms of if its growth and excellent business operations, but also its commitment to sustainability and philanthropy. They are a growing, thriving small business with superb leaders, and a good corporate citizen.”

 Storm Creek highlighted three key business strengths in its chamber award application:

1.  Strong business practices and growth: A Women’s Business Enterprise National Council Certified Woman-Owned Business, Storm Creek uses Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) tools and concepts, a simple yet powerful framework that helps small, growing businesses to define and achieve business goals and results.

EOS tools helped the company to solidify its core values to be curious, purposeful, growth-minded and seek better, and to define its target markets, and short-, medium- and long-range goals. The company’s corporate branding annual channel growth has exceeded 35% since 2015, except in 2020 due to COVID.

 As an employer, the company maintains a culture where all team members have a voice and are rewarded (and can recognize and reward each other) for living the company’s values. Also, all employees are evaluated and rewarded through the Shared Success Bonus Program for reaching goals and living values throughout the year. Storm Creek’s staff has grown from seven staff members in 2014 to more than 30 today.

2.  Sustainability focus: Storm Creek demonstrates its commitment to positively impacting the environment through its sustainable sourcing practices. In fact, the company’s 2022 catalog marked the completion of a five-year quest to transition its entire product line to eco-friendly, using recycled and/or sustainable components, and following sustainable and ethical production processes.

3.  Philanthropy: A member of Minnesota Keystone Club at the 5% level, giving back is at the heart of Storm Creek, explained Fudenberg. Despite COVID-related business challenges in 2020, the company donated over $30,000 to non-profits, gifted 900 pullovers to COVID frontline heroes, launched the “Live for Better” beanie with the American Cancer Society, donated 150,000 meals to Feeding America, and gave over $25,000 in apparel to those in need.

 About Storm Creek

Inspired by the passionate pursuit of the finest fabrics, design details, fit and performance, Eagan, Minn.-based Storm Creek supplies premium quality and value, eco-friendly, outdoor-inspired apparel and outerwear to retailers and promotional products distributors throughout the United States. A certified woman-owned business, the company believes its product line can be a catalyst for greater good. As of 2021, Storm Creek’s entire product line contains recycled materials and sustainable components. To date, its products have saved over 7.5 million plastic bottles from ending up in landfills and oceans.

 To ensure its garments are non-toxic and safe, Storm Creek avoids products that could be deemed harmful or considered a health concern in its apparel production and packaging. Many of its mills are Bluesign® or Oeko-Tex® certified for sustainable practices, water conservation, and environmentally safe chemicals, and all of the factories it uses are certified by the Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production and Business Social Compliance Initiative programs to meet incredibly high standards required by the world’s top apparel brands. The company is a 1% for the Planet partner and a Minnesota Keystone Program member, with a goal of donating a total of $5 million to charity by 2030.

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