Voormi Named Colorado Business to Watch in 2016
LISA RYCKMAN Of ColoradoBiz reviews Voormi colorado business
What the company does: Designs, builds and sells high performance professional grade outdoor clothing built exclusively from a foundation of natural fibers.
VOORMI believes that success comes by changing the existing rules. It set out to bring a brand new 'technology industry' based approach to the historically slow moving textile and apparel world,
beginning with in-house technical textile expertise. A 'direct to consumer' business model has made the company nimble and responsive.
Game-changers: The launch in 2015 of the first product built with the company's proprietary/patented CORE CONSTRUCTION™ Technology, an award-winning breathable, waterproof, lightweight breakthrough in development for four years.
The company's new Elevation Works Studio in downtown Pagosa Springs represents a real-life example of what's possible in local manufacturing. VOORMI now has six machines and perform all
design/development for the brand, production-sew a rugged line of accessories and continually test new concepts for product and market viability.
Disruption factor: It started with developing all of VOORMI's own textiles from scratch, allowing the company to challenge many of the constraints posed by existing producers
Voormi was a surprise winner in the Lifestyle & Consumer category over accessory giant Otter Products and snowsports powerhouse Never Summer, arguably the state's quietest if influential lifestyle brand. Voormi's product innovations are noteworthy -- technical garments featuring new fiber technology sourced from Rocky Mountain wool -- but the company's mission to develop a world-class domestic garment manufacturing outpost, coping with an underdeveloped apparel supply chain, also scored high.
Process innovation relating to workforce development also separated Boulder's uber-focused medical device manufacturer Mountainside Medical. The company's European-style recruitment, training, and mentoring workforce model continues to provide competitive advantage in a contested space. Centennial's Allosource was a highly regarded runner-up in Bioscience & Medical.
Colorado's most high-profile national manufacturing sector may be Food and Beverage, and co-packers like category winner Fresca Foods have been catalysts of a food revolution that arguably began along the Front Range. The company's impact on a generation of food entrepreneurs lifted the Louisville-based firm over one of Colorado's fast-growth companies, Noosa Yoghurt, and beverage innovator Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery.
But innovation in Colorado food and beverage manufacturing is also defined by its powerhouse craft beer sector. One of the first and still the largest in southwest Colorado is Durango's Ska Brewing Company, winner of the Beer & Brewing category over Avery Brewing Company and Wild Goose Canning. Ska's's growing popularity and consumer footprint was only half the appeal to the awards panel. In a recurring theme, the selection committee favored the company's wider influence on the beverage manufacturing ecosystem, citing spin-offs Ska Fabricating (de-palletizers and canning equipment) and Peach Street Distillers.