Channel Mastery, hosted by Kristin Carpenter and produced by Verde Brand Communications is designed to teach business owners how to excel across multiple platforms. Our mission is to see our listeners not only achieve the growth they want, but also to maintain their success and resiliency in our world’s constantly changing retail landscapes. If you’re a business owner, especially in the outdoor industry, looking for the best way to connect, serve, and sell to today’s consumers then this podcast is what you need. Subscribe today!
Steve Matous, NICA
The year 2020 will forever be defined for outdoor recreation with the word “Boom.”
That’s especially true in cycling.
In April, bike sales grew 75% year over year and in June, 63% according to Axios. Creating a more inclusive, welcoming community for newcomers has always been a focus of Steve Matous, President of NICA, but especially during the bike boom of 2020 and the pandemic.
Steve was last on the show in August of 2019 for Episode 98 and I am stoked to have him back to Channel Mastery at this critical time. Steve’s insights shed light on how NICA has spent the last nine-plus months shifting their operations and races during the pandemic.
He shares how NICA immediately reached out to partners and sponsors at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure they could still operate and continue to serve the cycling community, their initiatives to invite newcomers to the sport, the importance of their missions through the pandemic and more. You’ll be inspired and amazed at the outcome Steve and the nimble NICA team has created so far through COVID. I hope you gain a lot of inspiration from this episode, I certainly did!
Steve Matous is president of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). He comes to NICA from a broad-reaching and successful career in the outdoor industry from both the commercial and not-for-profit side, having led Outward Bound, Entre-Prises Climbing Walls, and the American Alpine Club, among other organizations. He is a strong advocate for youth participation and developing lifelong outdoor enthusiasts.
Cassie Abel, Women Led Wednesday
This week on Channel Mastery, I’m pleased to introduce you to Cassie Abel, who is spearheading Women Led Wednesday, an online shopping event taking place on November 25th, 2020. This annual event joins together 400 women-founded brands across multiple industries and is a solution to try and keep the acceleration going on developing women in leadership.
As part of Channel Mastery’s justice, diversity, equity and inclusion series, we are elated to offer a platform here on the podcast that helps people who may need more visibility and elevate their voices and their missions.
Whether we realize it or not, along with the pandemic and recession, we also have another crisis moment to keep a close eye on and work to avoid together. We’ve seen a high percentage of women leaving the workforce through 2020. Cassie is leading by example with Women Led Wednesday by supporting and encouraging us to support women founded brands.
Join me in celebrating women by visiting www.womenledwednesday.com and through the collective purchasing power uplift the women-founded businesses featured on their site.
Based in Sun Valley, Idaho, Cassie Abel is a long-time outdoor industry professional who has committed her career to elevating women in the outdoors and in business. Abel is the co-founder & CEO of Wild Rye, a women’s mountain apparel brand dedicated to crafting beautiful and technical apparel that fits, inspires confidence and welcomes more women into the outdoors. In addition to Wild Rye, Abel founded Women-Led Wednesday, a purpose-driven shopping holiday that occurs annually with the goal of encouraging the general public to vote for women in leadership with their dollars. The holiday occurs annually the day before Thanksgiving – November 25, 2020 – and to support the holiday, Women-Led Wednesday hosts a robust women-led brand directory that features well over 400 women-led brands across all industries.
Prior to Wild Rye and Women-Led Wednesday, Cassie founded White Cloud Communication, a boutique PR & Marketing consulting business in addition to holding roles at Smith Optics, Visa, in finance and as a division one NCAA lacrosse coach.
When not working away to bring equity to women in the outdoors and in business, you can find Cassie playing in the mountains of Idaho (most frequently on bikes and skis) with her husband, Mike, baby, Sawyer, and fur-baby, Kirby.
Ashley Korenblat, Outerbike and Your Friend in the Bike Business
This year brought countless challenges, but 2020 also granted us with opportunities we likely didn’t expect for some of our businesses and brands.
Outerbike, the premier experiential consumer cycling event dedicated to helping mountain bikers and gravel grinders find their perfect bike, stepped up in a unique way in 2020 instead of retracting and taking figurative shelter.
When Outerbike’s expanded in-person events were cancelled, the small and mighty team designed and launched a digital tool designed to help lead consumers to the bike that’s best for them.
And what a necessary resource! Please add in stats on bike growth here, thank you!
Ashley Korenblat, founder of Outerbike, joins me again on the show (she was also featured in episode #86) with a special announcement. Launching this week is Outerbike’s interactive guide leading consumers to the bike category that’s best for them: Your Friend in the Bike Business.
This interactive digital resource takes away the intimidation of walking into a bike shop for help as a newcomer to the sport, but is also tailored to work for experienced riders, whether you’re looking for a new bike or just exploring options.
The cycling industry saw huge waves of newcomers to cycling and outdoor recreation in 2020. Now businesses of all sizes have the opportunity to catch, collect and keep this newcomer. Listen today to see how Ashley and her team are creating a welcoming and inclusive environment to newcomers and experienced cyclists alike. I for one was super inspired to see this small, entrepreneurial company take massive action to nurture our amazing newcomers to cycling and outdoor. I hope you enjoy this episode and share it with as many cycling enthusiasts - new and experienced - as you possibly can!
Ashley Korenblat is CEO of Western Spirit, founder of Outerbike and managing Director of Public Lands Solutions.
Nancy Guinn, Dog Krazy
Hello my friends and welcome to episode 149 of the Channel Mastery podcast.
It’s the end of October 2020 as I’m recording this - we have a big day happening next week. It’s a lot, isn’t it? This election? What I have planned for you today is a light respite from the rhetoric you may be being bombarded with on EVERY CHANNEL known to man and woman kind - right now.
So…. Let’s drop in!
Channel Mastery exists to level the playing field for specialty brands as the competition continues to climb around reaching, engaging and converting today’s consumer. Winning their attention, let alone keeping it? It’s a continual street fight…
My guest today is the absolute epitome of specialty and I am delighted to present this interview to you because it literally screams to us that we need to pay attention to the details, be as human as we can, and live to serve the people in our brand and retail specialty communities.
Nancy Guinn is the founder and President of Dog Krazy, a retail pet product store that is so much more than that.
Nancy takes the time to get to know and tailor service to her shoppers and her community. She knows what she’s great at and what her business excels at, and she keeps building more surprise and delight of the specialty variety into the channels that her people follow her and Dog Krazy on.
So, Dog Krazy was founded in 2006, but you know what’s amazing? Her expansion hit a fever pitch in 2020 - yes, the COVID 2020… They now have seven total locations and a very robust, regionalized social media presence and following. The channels all feed each other, and give Nancy and her team the opportunity to present their forms of customer care in so many ways throughout their target shoppers’ journey.
This is an entertaining episode, and Nancy is very very energetic. Take note of three things you can either resurrect in your specialty business, or that you can start to try through the rest of 2020 and into 2021. I hope you enjoy this special episode of the Channel Mastery podcast - consider this cross-training for your specialty business!
Nancy Guinn is founder and President of Dog Krazy Inc. The first location was established in August 2006 when Nancy realized she wanted to spend every moment of her life with her bulldog, Pignet. Piglet was the inspiration for Dog Crazy and since her passing, Dog Krazy has expanded to seven locations throughout Virginia.
Aaron Foley, Director of the Black Media Initiative at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY
Today, Verde launches the first of a regular monthly episode series featuring resources and solutions to ensure people of color are more comfortable identifying as part of the outdoors communities. Verde is committed to strategically using our reach and the reach of our clients to welcome a more diverse participant base into the incredible outdoor community!
Today’s guest on the Channel Mastery podcast is Aaron Foley, who was named Director of the Black Media Initiative at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism in June of 2020. The collective goal in his new role is to increase the potential for community media. This is defined as Black media, Latino media, Indigenous media, Asian media, and media that is geared towards immigrant communities. It can also include Jewish media, Muslim media, Catholic media, etc. Ensuring Black media outlets are more sustainable is also a top initiative in his role.
Prior to this position, Aaron was a Fellow at the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University, where he served as one of 19 professionals selected for a 10-month residency at Stanford assigned to research and innovate solutions in Journalism. Aaron and his cohort worked on topics like: revenue streams from public entities to fund independent newsrooms; curbing spread of misinformation and disinformation among Black news consumers.
He’s also been a journalist, of course. He served as Chief Storyteller for the City of Detroit, a position that was a Mayoral appointment, a first for a city government in the U.S. And was Editor In Chief for BLAC Detroit Magazine. Aaron comes from a family that is deeply rooted in journalism, as his mother was a reporter, editor and photographer for the Michigan Chronicle, which is considered one of the oldest Black newspapers in the country.
Through his work in his new role, he wants to ensure Black media outlets are more sustainable. He offers ways for brands and businesses to successfully reach broader audiences and also sheds light on how our specialty businesses can support black media outlets and enable more people of color to feel part of our outdoor communities through media.
Kristin is joined by a co-host today, one of her esteemed Verde Brand Communications colleagues, Alice Baker!
Alice has been a part of the Verde team for about three years and crushes it day in and day out leading her clients at the agency. Alice has stepped up to lead Verde’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Verde’s agency-wide goal is to strategically deploy its reach, and the reach of its clients, to enable more people of color to feel welcome in the outdoors. Once a month going forward, the Channel Mastery podcast will be dedicated to that commitment. Alice will be co-hosting these special episodes.
Without further ado, here’s the Aaron Foley interview on the Channel Mastery podcast! Let’s do this!
Aaron Foley is a journalist from Detroit who has had an extensive freelance career and was the city of Detroit’s first chief storyteller from 2017 to 2019. Before joining the Newmark J-School’s Center for Community Media (CCM) in June 2020 as the Black Media Initiative Director, he was a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.
His freelance work has appeared in BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, CNN, Forbes, The Root, Ebony, Columbia Journalism Review, New Michigan Media among other platforms. He also helped launch the successful digital news site MLive Detroit and was editor-in-chief of BLAC Detroit magazine, a publication covering black life, arts, and culture in metro Detroit. He is the author of How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass (2015) and has an impressive public speaking record, including a Ted Talk. Foley describes himself as “a product of Black media.” His mother was an editor at the Michigan Chronicle, one of the ol
2020 Holiday Summit, 3-part interview with David Howell, Ryan Riggs and Kelly Ramirez
This episode combines three interviews, which took place during a 3-day interview sprint with some of our most popular and knowledgeable Channel Mastery guests. David Howell of Howell and Associates, Ryan Riggs of Pattern and Kelly Ramirez of Prismatic, joined me for the first ever Verde Brand Communications and Channel Mastery Holiday Summit.
They are absolute knock-outs for when it comes to specialty business experts and they’re here today to help offer tips and guidance for all of us leading into holiday and finishing 2020 as strongly as possible. Each of these speakers bring a unique perspective on how consumer behavior trends and a surge in ecommerce will be reshaping the holiday season this year. Their information is invaluable as we wrap up the year.
Listen here and subscribe to Channel Mastery!
David Howell is Managing Partner and founder at Howell & Associates. For 19 years he and his firm have specialized in traditional Global Brand Protection, Anti-Counterfeiting, and the Newera Open Marketplace and Ecommerce Channel Compliance. Having worked with over 500 manufacturers in recent years, he has a level of uncanny foresight in helping manufacturers solve online issues in just about every facet. When he’s not working long hours for his client’s success, he can be found deep in the Idaho mountains hiking, biking, or on his paddleboard on beautiful Payette Lake.
Ryan Riggs is the Vice President of Business Development at Pattern. His career has spanned over 14 years in global commercial sales, and brand and product management. He has worked for KEEN, Columbia, Mountain Hardwear, and Montrail in the outdoor footwear, apparel and equipment sectors. He has successfully led global and regional teams to develop multi-channel product and merchandising strategies that grow revenue and increase profitability for both the brand and partners.
Kelly Ramirez is founder and CEO of Prismatic, a growth consultancy that bolts onto brands to improve E-commerce performance and accelerate revenue from digital channels. Kelly founded Prismatic after nearly a decade at Google, where she led global growth initiatives for the top 1% of digital native travel advertisers including Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotels.com. With hyperfocus on the foundational elements that enable a company to succeed in the new e-commerce ecosystem, Prismatic is an advisor, an interpreter, and hands-on practitioner for brands in growth mode.
During the COVID crisis, Kelly and her team have been working in lockstep with clients in the SaaS, Outdoor, and Travel industries to interpret macro impacts, develop strategic and authentic response strategies, and evolve their approach to scale in the dynamic retail environment.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Empowering, insightful and actionable! 🙌
Whether you’re well established as an outdoor-business owner, or just getting started carving out a profitable niche that’s ready to grow - this is a must-listen podcast for you! Kristin does an incredible job leading conversations that cover a huge breadth of topics related to the ins and outs of building a thriving organization (amidst ever-changing customer preferences), and a life you can be proud of - from leaders who’ve actually experienced success themselves. Highly recommend listening and subscribing!
Great level of detail by industry experts
Really enjoying Channel Mastery podcast. Most shows relevant for all of us, filled with the right level of information on aspects of the business in which we are less familiar. Always finds the right industry expert to give just the right level of detail. Much appreciated, looking forward to future topics.
I’ve been listening to this podcast for the last year and have found a lot of value in most episodes. Really appreciate it!