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Stormy Kromer Named One of Michigan 50 Companies to Watch After Roller Coaster Year

Katie Thoresen/WXPR

This time last year, Stormy Kromer was churning out masks and hospital gowns rather than its classic plaid wool cap.

Stormy Kromer President Gina Thorsen is proud of the work her employees have done this past year with all the changes.

That work recently got the recognition from state and local lawmakers as the company received the 2021 Impact Award from Michigan Works!

“We put in a lot of hours and we have a lot of folks doing things they had never done here before. Just trying to help out because we could only make PPE and people were just willing to do whatever they needed to do,” said Thorsen.

After resuming normal production, Stormy Kromer came back stronger.

Business is up, online sales are booming, and the brand is getting national recognition.

“We had just our best fall/winter season ever, which is odd to say during a pandemic. I know a lot of businesses have had the opposite experience, have had tough times. I think a lot of things helped us, said Thorsen.

Thorsen attributes part of the company’s success to the rise in popularity of outdoor activities and Stormy Kromer being prepared to meet the demand of online ordering.

Now, the company is one of the 2021 awardees of the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch award presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Businesses.

“It’s crazy that we’re here and we’re getting recognized and now we’re looking, our outlook for this year is really positive as well.  We’ve been able to do somethings for our employees that were really positive as a result of having a good year. I’m extremely grateful,” said Thorsen.

There are certain requirements the company had to achieve to earn the award like employee or sales growth and sustainable competitive advantage.

And they must be privately held and headquartered in Michigan.

“It’s really nice to get statewide recognition when we are in this small town in the western UP that feels sometimes not a part of all things that are happening in the lower Michigan and other parts of the state,” said Thorsen.

Thorsen says the company has big plans to build on the success of this last year.

It includes expanding their products into more nationally known retailors and creating products geared towards spring and summer to make Stormy Kromer more of a year-round business.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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