Innovative Manufacturer: Janska

Briefly describe your company’s products and services:

Janska designs, manufactures and distributes women’s outerwear and accessories. We currently serve over 900 women’s specialty shops in the United States and Canada and 10 catalogs.

What makes your company unique?

Janska was born from a literal dream by its founder Jan Erickson. We have a mission of comforting millions and millions of people with Janska’s stylish, colorful garments. All of our garments are manufactured in the United States. About 20% of our garments are manufactured in our own facility in Colorado Springs.

How does your company innovate?

One of our core values is “continuous improvement”. We constantly strive to make ourselves better. Our leadership team reads applicable books on business and leadership. Currently we are reading Verne Harnish’s Mastering the Rockefeller Habits. Our leadership team attends workshops to improve our strategies and metrics. We share books such as Mike Rother’s Toyota Kata and Masaaki Imai’s Gemba Kaizen with our staff. We receive training in LEAN management from the Colorado Association of Manufacturing and Technology. Jan Erickson, President, and Jon Thomas, Vice President, are constantly working on personal and professional development.

Please describe an innovative company product, service, or process.

In the past two years we have added three fabric collections to our line. We have created over 25 new styles within those collections.

What is a recent highlight of your company’s success?

Janska was one of 50 companies recognized as “Companies to Watch in 2012”. Janska was recognized as the “2012 Small Business of the Year” by the Colorado Springs Chapter of SCORE. Rising Star 2013 Outerwear finalist presented by the Fashion Group International of Denver.

What separates you company from the competition?

We are in a small niche market of women’s outerwear for women 35 years of age and older. We have outstanding customer service. Our styles feature warm, comfortable, stylish clothing that women love. We live our core values of Excellence, Stewardship, Inegrity, Respect, Team Work and Continuous Improvement, and our suppliers, customers and partners experience those commitments.

How is your company advancing your industry?

We are actively seeking to bring greater collaboration and cohesiveness to the garment industry in Colorado. We believe through shared experiences we can further all apparel manufacturers in Colorado. We advocate the expansion of US made garments. Within Colorado Springs, we are working with local community colleges to create programs to train sewing operators to create a larger workforce for garment manufacturers in Colorado Springs.

Where do you see your company in five years?

We have a goal of reaching $10 million in revenue in the next five years. We plan on exporting to at least five countries. We plan on having our internal sewing manufacturing division to produce more than 50% of our garments. We Janska as a nationally recognized brand exemplifying excellence and comforting millions and millions of people.