GROWTH MODE: Creatures of Comfort, the multibrand store and women’s collection of ready-to-wear and accessories by Jade Lai, has hired its first chief executive officer, Jenn Krouse. She joins Creatures of Comfort from Tory Burch, where she held the position of director of international sales, heading up expansion in the Asian and Latin American markets for the past five years. Lai made the decision to take on a ceo as a result of the growth of Creatures of Comfort collection, which now accounts for 65 percent of the business and has doubled in volume year-on-year.
“The goal is for me to step away from the day-to-day business side and focus on the creative,” said Lai, noting that she has no formal business background and has been running the company “intuitively” since opening her first store in Los Angeles in 2005. “Jenn can help us structure the company as far as wholesale growth.” Lai said Creatures of Comfort, known for its earthy minimalist aesthetic, is primarily sold in specialty stores. She’s hoping to develop the collection to reach a broader market — read: department stores — without diluting its niche look, and open more stand-alone stores, including monobrand outlets. Creatures of Comfort’s New York City store opened in 2010, the same year Lai launched the collection.
“I’ve known about Jade’s company and store for years, and we’ve always kept in touch as her business grew and I went into retail,” said Krouse, noting that her primary focus will be developing the private label collection from a product and distribution standpoint.
Creatures of Comfort is independently run and Lai and Krouse declined to disclose sales volume.