October 23, 2014

Jen Lorentzen: Friend of the studio, Aaron Rose, was recently in town to do screen some of his films for Design Week PDX. We sat down after to catch up over some pints, and our discussion became focused on two of them. Both featured action sports athletes but of opposite gender. There had been a great disparity in the responses he received about them. I proposed that the differences stemmed from the subject’s gender as both films are beautiful and subjects look amazing.

The men’s piece, “New York La La La”, was heavily criticized as “wheel biting” or using skateboarding in a non endemic way in order to look “cool”. The men in the film were all well-respected skaters, and the man behind the lens is heavily connected to the skate industry – so claims of being unauthentic are difficult to make. The goal was to make something sexy – and they did.

In his film for “Nothin’ but Time”, Aaron and his team showed up with crates of Tucker clothing to showcase the clothing line and bring life to the song. The girls in this film live in rural New Mexico, they had never seen or worn a designer piece and likely had never heard a Cat Power song. People seem willing to accept it, to embrace and even be inspired by it.

It begs the question – why is the reaction so different between the two? It does seem that gender is the polarizing difference between them.

Why does it appear to be more acceptable to see an artistic interpretation with female athletes?



July 1, 2014

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Clutched Key Collective partnered with MAHFIA to host a second MAHFIA Sessions for women in the action sports industry, titled “Speaking To Women Authentically: Tools To Start The Conversation.” The event was held in Portland last weekend and supported by Skate Like A Girl, XS Helmets, Nikita and Group Y. The three-day event began on Thursday, June 19 and featured a networking happy hour at Rontoms. The event continued on into Friday with a panel and roundtable workshop at Union/Pine and wrapped up on Saturday, international Go Skateboarding Day, as attendees participated in a private girls skate session.

“We really wanted this event to be something more participant driven, women share information and working together will help elevate the positioning across the industry.”

Transworld Business Q&A
Transworld Business Recap

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Mahfia Sessions – Mammoth

May 3, 2014

Jen Lorentzen:

The recap video for the Mahfia Sessions Mammoth is up. A great piece of inspiration from some legendary ladies. The video is focused on telling the story of the women who paved the way in snowboarding. “Finding community and like-minded people in the industry in the industry is really really important for girls. Thats how we made it… we relied on each other..”



Using Google Tools to Bridge the Marketing Gap between Online and In Store

January 21, 2014

Jessica Dalpiaz :

We’ve all heard that online retailers like Amazon are on the verge of eating small brick-and-mortar retailers out of existence. Lots of data has come out to back this up. According to a Fleishman Hillard study, nearly 90% of consumers surveyed use Internet search engines to make purchasing decisions. This demonstrates the importance of having an online presence no matter what kind of shop you are. However, business trends still show proof of the smaller entrepreneur, especially female ones, starting up shops and doing well with them. How does this wash?

In a study done by Pew asking teenagers if they shopped online, the answer was almost 80% “yes” for both girls and boys—but when they were asked whether they preferred shopping online or in stores, almost 80% preferred in store. More than likely, this is because brick-and-mortar retailers provide more than just products—they deliver an experience and social atmosphere most people still crave.

So how do smaller retailers bridge the gap between their online presence and getting the customers in the stores to make purchases?

Case study:

I wanted some new snow boots for a trip to the mountains, but when I Googled the brand and style I was interested in to find a store in town where I could check them out/buy them, no results came up. I wondered … surely there is a shop here in Portland that carries some of these styles (the brand is even local!)—why isn’t Google finding them for me?

A recent article in Forbes sums up this missing piece of retail marketing:

“If a woman is looking for a moisturizer, she may search by problem, by solution, by product type, by product name and/or by brand. For instance, if I’m looking for a moisturizer, am I searching the words ‘dry skin’, under the word ‘moisturize’, or ‘moisturizer’, or am I searching ‘Estee Lauder’?

The takeaway from this is that presence on the Internet helps companies become an authority figure online, where women shop first. And since online is how busy women shoppers plot out their shopping mall expeditions, online presence could even usurp a brand’s brick and mortar experience.”

It’s a two-step process. First: Use Google Tools and Trends to expand your searchable keywords (to include product names, brand, etc.), and suddenly you’ll have new customers walking in your physical door—ones who may not have found you had you just been listed under searches for your shop name or other randomly chosen adjectives. Second: Transform your new customers into loyal return customers with your consistent and thoughtful in-store experience.

It’s worth noting that women research products more than men before purchasing—and they spend 80% of the household budget. Women also want to trust and be loyal to brands and retailers—and they take note when there are inconsistencies in what they’ve seen online and are looking at in store. Therefore it is also crucial to start at step 1 when building a brand look and feel and staying loyal to it across all mediums.

Maintaining a consistent voice in this moving and shifting world between an Internet experience and a physical shop creates trust, especially when expanding one shop into multiple locations. When the consumer sees your logo/name, they should always know who you are and what you stand for—no matter how the winds shift, the consumer moves, and marketing tactics move with them. With consistency comes loyalty.

Clutched Key can help you define and refine your brand voice and structure marketing initiatives to promote them.




OIWC Networking Hour at SIA

January 16, 2014

Don’t miss this opportunity to network with the industry’s most connected females. Get to know the organization supporting women’s advancement and let them know where you (or your brand) could use more support.

The SIA Snow Show and OIWC are partnering to offer a Women’s Lounge available for all show attendees. Within the Women’s Lounge, women-specific product will be showcased for the duration of the show. We would like to encourage all OIWC members to stop by the lounge, check out product, use the Lounge as a meeting place with friends or business partners, or swing by to stop and sit for a few minutes! Register here.

OIWC Mission: Advocacy, education and resources for women in the Outdoor, Bike, and Snow Industries.

Founded in 1996, the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition is the only national organization dedicated to workplace equity, diversity, and inclusion by expanding opportunities for women in the Outdoor, Snow, and Bike Industries. OIWC provides professional development, education, and leadership programming that promotes women’s advancement.


Fun with Macrame

December 16, 2013

Katie McKenney:

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I love macrame but I wanted to put a more modern spin on those vintage ones you come across in thrift stores.  If you’ve ever been a little girl (or boy) crazy for braiding I’m pretty sure you’ll have no problem at all picking up this new skill. A  google search for DIY macrame plant holder comes up with a plethora of step by step directions and videos for various styles of knotting/braiding for creating custom plant holder or wall piece. My favorite simple guide was from My Little Sunshine House her guide was so easy to follow and you can easily pick it up in less than 30 minutes.



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These were my first 2 attempts at a simple option. I didn’t have any cute little jars on hand so an empty coffee cup and salt shaker work just fine. My only advice is I majorly underestimated the amount of rope you’ll be actually using, so use more than you think is necessary.


And from Whimsey Box where you can purchase a kit with all the pieces to build your own macrame. I did not purchase this kit but it was a great resource for picking up on how to make a Spiral Knot. All in all I had a blast learning all the new knots and braids. I will defiantly be creating some more plant holders and wall pieces for my home and studio.


3% Conference SF

November 21, 2013

Jen Lorentzen:

Our recap of relevant insights from this annual conference, focused on the advancement of women in leadership within the advertising industry (only 3% of CDs are women).

“Women are being played back through a male gaze [in advertising]—which is not good for society, culture … [anyone].” Cindy Gallop’s opening keynote was definitely the most insightful and applicable presentation of the conference. “When you advertise to everybody,” she says, “fundamentally you are advertising to men, and when you advertise to women it’s a specialist thing. But that is no longer the case—we are not a subset, we are the norm.”

What we took away from her speech was that businesses and marketers need to understand these facts in order to make a shedload more money:

Women buy. Women are responsible for 90% of all electronics purchases and influence 60% of all car-buying decisions. Businesses are throwing their dollars away if they’re advertising just to men.

Women share. “Women share the s— out of everything. Social media has merely given women a way to do everything we’ve always done since the beginning of time.”

Women do. “We get s— done. We make stuff happen. And that’s why we desperately need a new approach to creativity that includes women–not just white guys sitting around talking to white guys about what white guys want. That’s boring. The new creativity is female-informed. The new creativity is real.”

Women innovate. “Women challenge the status quo because we’re never it. If you start an ad agency today with an all-male founder/leadership team, you’re screwed. You will not own the future.”

We couldn’t agree more. Hire an agency like CKC to help bring this perspective! 

The conference was also largely positioned for professional growth. My notes below focus on being in the creative field, and less about relevant takeaways in the business of women’s communication.

I gave a talk at the Popcorn Sessions this fall about “Redefining Success” – which I think is important for everyone regardless of gender. I have discussed with the #designingwomenpdx about how a system of success defined and designed by men through the years is obviously a part of the problem. For example, Sheryl Sandberg talks about how it took her being pregnant to suggest front row parking for pregnant women. It took someone at the top to make the call, and she was the first one who could relate. Gallop went on to talk about collaboration and community as female models of success.

I attended a panel discussion about female focused accounts, but there were few insights I could apply to my day. What I wanted was to learn how to inspire my clients to talk to their female audience. Having big budgets against women’s specific creative will ultimately move women into positions of leadership – creative and not.

Otherwise, there were some good takeaway nuggets, but not a lot of action items. It was mostly a panel format and in most cases I felt that I had my own stories to tell. I was disappointed to see 400 of the best and brightest in one room and not see them engaged as a team. It was good to connect with JDK alumni, too.

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Kim Woozy of Mahfia does TED

November 20, 2013

Jen Lorentzen:

If you work in action sports and have not yet watched this talk, be sure to set aside 15 minutes and do so. Her lecture focuses on the idea that if you show girls participating, you will see more participation. The female market has the most opportunity for growth. “How to you grow women’s product sales? Utilize marketing strategies that encourage girls to participate. Pick up your board and ride it, not just sit on the sidelines and admire the guys. If girls get into it for the right reasons they will be lifelong customers.”

Not only is there benefit to the business, she explains that girls who play sports will get better grades, are more likely to graduate, have higher self esteem and are less likely to get breast cancer.

Woozy challenges the audience to support companies that show females as real people. At CKC, we always advocate female athletes as models. Showing girls that women are participants and not spectators is an important way to connect with them as customers.

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Design Week : Open House and Bobcat Zine Release Party

October 17, 2013

Katie McKenney :

Bobcat Zine release party during design week open house was a major success. Thanks to everyone who came out to support Clutched Key and Cats! Keep your eyes peeled for the Bobcatzine store on etsy to anyone interested in getting their paws on a copy.IMG_7599

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