IRONWOOD, Mich. —Gina Jacquart Thorsen made history as the first female CEO of Jacquart Fabric Products, the parent company of the national brand Stormy Kromer.
In her new role, she will oversee strategic vision, company operations, sales & marketing, product development and more. Over the past decade, Thorsen has been instrumental in growing the Stormy Kromer brand by broadening the appeal of the brand to a younger demographic and expanding the female customer base.
Since 2017, Stormy Kromer has experienced over 90% growth, with numbers consistently being in double digits each year. Over that same period, the brand saw a 146% jump in their ecommerce sales activity. Thorsen has focused on growing the product line into a full lifestyle brand, developing the company’s online presence while also increasing key partnerships and collaborations (i.e., Merrell, Carhartt, Wolverine, and more).
“Much of my young life was influenced by the business – from listening to business conversations around the dinner table to my sister and I spending Saturday mornings with Dad at the shop,” Thorsen said. “After over a decade away from home, I returned to lead the Stormy Kromer division of our sewing company – with direct responsibility for sales, marketing, and new product development for our iconic brand. During my time leading Stormy Kromer, we’ve had some exciting milestones, like intentional designs for women – including the launch of the Petal Pusher Cap in 2011, our best-selling women’s cap as well as the launch of a full pet product line a few years ago. We also grew our team to include a full-time in-house apparel designer and added to the growing list of world-class brands we have partnered with including REI, Tractor Supply, Merrell, Carhartt, Wolverine, and more.”
Stormy Kromer made several major shifts in the past four years under Thorsen’s leadership. Her team developed a strategy around online sales, which led to a significant increase in brand awareness and exposure while also capitalizing on the renewed interest by the public in spending time outdoors, due in large part to the pandemic. Investing in product design, developing retail partnerships, and growing those relationships has taken the Stormy Kromer brand to the next level.
“We were really blessed to have started with very little and still experience the growth we did due to our ability to be incredibly entrepreneurial,” said Bob Jacquart, owner, and former CEO of Stormy Kromer. “It could have stayed like that, but I recognized that the business needed processes, and more for it to continue to grow. Gina understands systemizing and following process to a T. Seeing her become a master in the complexities of the business, has been such a gift to the legacy of Jacquart Fabric Products and the Stormy Kromer brand.”
Thorsen is the third generation to hold a leadership post at Jacquart Fabric Products. She has worked at the company for 13 years, starting as a Customer Service Manager and then moving into the role of Stormy Kromer Division Manager, a position that grew and expanded as the brand did. Her father, Bob Jacquart, will be staying on as Chairman and will continue to play a key role in the future growth of the company.
“I have the great fortune of coming in every day to a company and work that I love, while working alongside my father and sister. Over the past 3 years, I began taking on the larger strategic relationships, with guidance from my dad, that are critical to the future of the company. This process will culminate in July when we officially pass the torch,” said Thorsen.
In the last year, Stormy Kromer has expanded retail partnerships with Tractor Supply Company and REI stores throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. These are tied back to Gina’s dedication and investment in the growth of the brand over the last 13 years.