Meet Stacey Thompson: Founder of Therm - Fun and Functional Kids Outdoor Gear
Meet Stacey Thompson, mother of two, a lover of all things outdoor and founder of Therm. Therm make outdoor gear that kids want to wear. It’s fun, it’s comfortable, and most important of all, it works. Therm's mission is to keep your children warm and dry, whatever the weather may bring. Our passion is for inspiring a lifetime of outdoor adventures.
OHbaby!: Tell us about yourself
I'm Stacey, originally from Auckland but have spent almost a quarter of my life living in Canada - this is where I learned to snowboard and what started my passion of designing outerwear! My 'OE' lasted almost a decade, then I moved back to NZ in 2016 to start Therm, and had my 2 kids in Christchurch. In mid 2021 (during covid!) we packed up and moved back to Canada, and have been living in Whistler BC for the past few years and operating the business remotely. We love the lifestyle here, cold snowy winters and hot summers - lots of skiing, biking and laking! We do plan to head back to NZ sometime in the next few years though, it's always hard being away from extended family.
OHbaby!: What does your family look like?
Myself, my husband Mark plus 5yo Asha and 3yo Zach. No pets yet but we do get squirrels and bears hanging out at our place!
OHbaby!: What is your business and what does it do/sell?
My business is Therm - fun and functional kids outerwear! We cater to babies through to teenagers: all sorts of outerwear, baby all in ones, kids rainwear and technical ski/snow outerwear. We love bright colours and bold prints, I love to design gear that kids are excited about wearing while keeping the parents happy too! We value sustainability - why make gear for the outdoors without doing what we can to protect the environment? Our entire range is made from recycled fabric (rPET from recycled plastic bottles), which includes all outer fabrics, linings and padding. We also only use recycled packaging. Plus the range is non-toxic, free from harmful chemicals such as PFCs, lead, phthalates and PVC.
OHbaby!: What is the story behind your business?
I've been a kidswear designer since I was 19, designing for retail stores and chains in NZ, the UK and Canada. After living in Canada for a number of years and discovering a passion for snowboarding and learning a tonne about outerwear, I realised there was a gap in the market for really well designed kids outdoor gear. I moved back to NZ and launched Therm in early 2016, and in the past 7 years the line has grown exponentially with lots of lovely new products and is now sold and distributed across NZ, Australia, the US, and Canada.
OHbaby!: What does a day in the life of you look like?
Our day starts with the usual scramble to get kids out the door! Preschool age kids here in Whistler have a unique life where they attend ski and bike programs 2 days a week instead of daycare, so a lot of our mornings revolve around getting kids gear on and ready for a day biking or on the mountain. Once drop offs are done I work remotely at home, we live right at the base of Whistler mountain so I do like to sneak up for a couple of hours skiing here and there but to be honest that doesn't happen as much as I had hoped! Therm is distributed through a number of fulfillment centres so I'm able to keep tabs on this and anything that may be happening with our online stores, marketing channels or with our retail partners from my home office. I'm also working across multiple time zones so I usually jump back online after the kids are in bed.
OHbaby!: What is your favourite thing about your business?
Definitely the creative side - the buzz of designing the new products and then seeing the samples come to life, then right through to launch and seeing how much our customers love them too! This is what keeps me going through the daily grind! Day to day I do love the flexibility the business gives me - Wednesdays are always 'mummy days' with Zach, and I'm able to be there for after school activities and summer break with Asha.
OHbaby!: Favourite product?
Our All-Weather Hoodies! They are so versatile, unbelievably soft and we love the fun prints! This is the #1 product I recommend to anyone who can't decide which one of our jackets to buy, and the #1 that I reach for for my own kids. We love them so much we've also now released All-Weather Onesies in the same fabric - an all-in-one weatherproof suit for babies & toddlers. A must have for winter!
OHbaby!: Any fun stories you would like to share?
I think it's quite funny that I tend to design new products when my kids need something - I created the All-Weather Onesie when Zach was a baby and I needed to keep him warm & dry while we played outside with Asha. The All-Weather Blanket came about because I was using an offcut of our jacket fabric as a pram blanket. Then we moved to Canada and as soon as we hit our first winter I realised we needed full snowsuits ASAP, a 2 piece jacket/pant set just wasn't going to cut it with a 2yo and 4yo in that much snow all day every day! So of course instead of buying from another brand I mocked up a few samples for the kids to wear then launched our Snowrider Snowsuits. Who knows what is around the corner as the kids get older!
OHbaby!: What is one thing you said you wouldn’t do as a parent that you totally do?
Ha! I'm guilty of all of the usuals... sugar, screentime, you name it. But we always balance it with tonnes of outdoor time!
OHbaby!: Anything else you want to add...
No matter where I am in the world, Therm will always be a Kiwi business!