Spotlighting whoembody embody spirit the Northwest Spotlightingcompanies companies who thethe spirit of theofNorthwest BY SPENCER KELLY ALLISON DAY AND CONNOR CORR
For Grandma Maxine, Who never stopped looking at the world with childlike fascination and wonder.
TABLE OF CONTENTS Deschutes Brewery 1 The Clymb 5 Grove 9 Airblaster 13 Nike 17 Strideline 21
n 1988, Gary Fish founded Deschutes Brewery in downtown Bend, Oregon. “Back then, you could fire a cannon down the street and nobody would notice,” says Jason. What began as a community brew pub quickly grew to two brew houses and distribution in 28 states. The brand prides itself on being deeply rooted in local culture, while also dedicated to tenacious expansion. Similar to many Northwest businesses, Deschutes is also committed to being an eco-friendly company through efforts in decreasing its carbon footprint. Deschutes continues to pioneer the trail for the Northwest craft breweries’ small, but rapidly growing niche in today’s economy. This growth is due to collaboration and camaraderie between craft brewers, on a self-proclaimed “relentless pursuit of quality.”
“The culture and the brand of Deschutes is very much Central Oregon, it’s the Northwest. That’s who we are. Our beer wouldn’t be what it is if we were located anywhere else.” Jason Randles Digital Marketing Manager
Sahalie Falls, Oregon
ounded in 2009, The Clymb is a Portland-based, online retailer for premium outdoor apparel and gear. Exclusive relationships with partner brands allows website members to receive discounts of up to 70% on the finest name-brand adventure gear. This memberonly business model creates an online community of sport and outdoor enthusiasts. At no cost to join, business solely relies on word of mouth and invitations from existing customers. This model allows customers to shape The Clymb’s network by inviting like-minded enthusiasts and athletes. The Clymb is dedicated to cultivating the Northwest’s passion for the outdoors through spreading enviornmental awareness and contributing to local nature and wildlife charities. Its headquarters include nearly-paperless offices and additional incentives for employees who make eco-friendly choices, such as biking to work. The Clymb prides itself on customers and employees being adventurous, healthy, and able to enjoy the outdoors.
“People in the Northwest seem to deeply connect with the coast, the mountains, and the rivers--and for us it always goes back to this passion, our mantra of human powered adventure.”
Mike Steck Vice President of Marketing
Elliott State Forest, Coos County, Oregon
From our hands to yours
en Tomita and Joe Mansfield (pictured above) founded Grove in 2007. As fate would have it, Mansfield, a custom laser engraver, and Tomita, a furniture designer, crossed paths because their respective workshops were located across the street from each other. As a result of sharing a passion for design and innovation, the two became friends instantly. From this friendship came long discussions about product design and eventually these words became actions. The two set off to create a sleek and revolutionary iPhone case, which would ultimately expand to iPad cases and laser-engraved leather notebooks. Their company produces an unparalleled level of craftsmanship due to their family business model. Every step of the product—from the design to production and shipping—is handled in the confines of their Portland-based headquarters. This intimate, domestic business model allows for the highest quality of production and service, while also benefitting their local community. Rooted in thoughtful design and quality craftsmanship, Grove is constantly striving to be a better business, as opposed to bigger.
“We really focus on people, from the beginning. Instead of just talking about a product, we talk about us. The people behind it are connected to the product, and that’s what resignates with our audience.”
Co-Founder of Grove
Goodpasture Covered Bridge McKenzie River, Oregon
t all began in 2002. Travis Parker, Paul Miller and Jesse Grandoski sat in Parker’s Portland, Oregon basement trying to come up with a name for their new project. They were displeased with the direction snowboarding was headed. There was so much focus on gaining sponsorship and getting good. The group felt that snowboarding had become too serious. They wanted their brand to represent an idea: Snowboarding is all about having snowboarding with your friends. And so Airblaster was born. A Northwest company known for fun, family, and freedom. Year after year they exceed the needs of the snowboarding community. Quality, functional gear and vibrant colors have become a staple of their company in the past nine years. “We want clothing that is so ridiculous and fun that you can’t take yourself too seriously...we created this niche ourselves,” says Cale Meyer, Director of Marketing at Airblaster.
The snowboarding market has taken quite the hit in the past few years, “There is a tipping point. How do you continue this organic growth? It’s hard in these economic times. Snowboarding is a luxury,” says Meyer. Their solution: to never deviate from their core value. Promote having fun snowboarding, make quality, “Original Fun Products”, and do honest business with good people. Just add snow.
Big Snowboarding brands are constantly wondering what we are doing. They want to do what we do, but they can’t, because they are not
Director of Marketing
McKenzie River, Oregon
ike has positioned itself as one of the most well known brands in the world over the past five decades. Their mission: “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” It all started as Blue Ribbon Sports in Eugene, Oregon, more famously known as Track Town USA. The company was founded on sport and the idea of creating an athlete in everyone. Behind a successful company are innovative, imaginative and strong leaders. Meet Innovative Director and “Innovator of the Year”, Tobie Hatfield. Tobie gave us an inside peek at some of the projects he has been working on recently. The (1)Nike Sole, also known as the Sarah (Reinertson) Sole, is one of Tobie’s recent design projects. The Sole is a five layer slip-on outsole designed for use with carbon fiber “blade” prosthetics. “We didn’t do this to make money. This was a deal because, Bill Bowerman always said: if you have a body you’re an athlete, so we’re trying to help all peoples, not just elite athletes, we’re trying to broaden our spectrum,” says Tobie. Another recent project designed byTobie is the (2)Nike Special Field Boot, which aims at helping the military, police, and navy move more efficiently. Designing this lightweight, durable and flexible boot changed the game for Tobie.
“Instead of trying to win a gold medal, or break a world record, they’re trying to save their own lives. A fraction of a hundredth of a second could be the difference of winning a gold medal or not, but it also could be the difference of taking a bullet or not. Yeah, that’s crazy having to wear two pound boots on each foot.” Whether there is a need for the product or need for improvement, Nike is always innovating and making a difference in the culture of sport, while staying close to their Northwest roots in Beaverton, OR at Nike, INC. headquarters. 2) 1)
STAY TRUE 17
WHAT’S COOKIN’ IN THE INNOVATION KITCHEN?
THE NEW CREW
hat originally began in 2009 as two high school seniors’ entrepreneurial side project, “SeaTown Lax”, quickly grew into a thriving Seattlebased company, now known as Strideline. Founders and lifetime friends, Riley Goodman and Jake Director (pictured above), sought to “inspire a feeling of confidence and swagger unparalleled by any other sock company in the world.” Using a $700 investment from high school graduation money, they manufactured their first 1,000 pairs of socks featuring the Seattle skyline. With help from friends and fellow athletes, the socks were sold out in just weeks. Now available at retailers nation-wide, their success in Seattle propelled the company into a range of regional markets and demographics. Further expanding their fan base, the performance socks now feature the skylines of Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Chicago and New York.
“There’s no pride like northwest pride, especially in the retail world. The community cohesiveness and support is how we got off the ground and it continues to be the life blood of the company today.”
-Riley Goodman Co-Founder Strideline
THANK YOU The Clymb- Mike Steck, Brittney Hermanski Grove- Ken Tomita, Joe Mansfield, Sean Kelly Strideline- Riley Goodman, Jake Director Airblaster- Cale Meyer Nike- Tobie Hatfield, Ezra Martin, Brian Carter Deschutes Brewery- Jason Randles And everyone else who contributed. PHOTOS Oregon- Mason Trinca Seattle- Emilio Chavez ARTWORK Jesse Van Mourer