Teaming Up with Parker Services for our Complete suite of services by Molly Hawkins

We always try upon impress to our clients the importance of working with us to develop a complete marketing ecosystem: website, social media, photos, video, and copy. As all of these elements are interconnected and impact each other, it’s important to ensure that each are considered and built with the other in mind when they are being developed or produced, and never in a silo. (read more about ecosystems here). Connecting dots between these different channels and utilizing the assets across the entire ecosystem is the most effective to getting your message across. It's considered best practice, but sometimes we find that our clients are so busy or mired in the details that they have a hard time looking at their project through the 50ft lens, which lucky for them is just a part of our process before commencing any work.

With our good friends over at Parker Services, a local, high-end plumbing company featured in some of the city's best restaurants and homes, we got to work on the complete creative suite together.  From cooking up a new brand identity, portfolio photos, optimized social pages and a fresh website, to SEO-friendly site copy, team uniforms and vehicle graphics, we worked head-to-toe with Parker Services.  We saw an opportunity to develop a visual and voice narrative that stood out from the competition, drawing on brands outside of their industry for inspiration. 

While it's sometimes easier to piece-meal projects together, both mentally and budgetarily, there is a greater risk of working off a disjointed ecosystem. From imagery and video, to copy and graphic assets, optimizing all your channels to work together is the best way to get the most bang for your buck. Check out some of the work we did for Parker Services below, as well as the process we took to get to our end result.

Other Side of the Tripod: Filming with Therm-a-Rest in the North Cascades by Molly Hawkins

A few weeks back we got to work with one of our favorite clients, Therm-a-Rest, on a series of product videos shot in the North Cascades. If you've never been to the North Cascades, going during fall may be one of the best times to go, but any time of year is worth a visit. We used the quaint and scenic town of Mazama as a basecamp for the week's shoot, which is gorgeous in and of itself, and headed into the hills for three days of on-location action. 

We feel lucky to be able to call this work, and even luckier to share these adventures with a crew we get to call friends. Stay tuned for the final videos once they are released, but in the meantime check out some behind-the-scenes photos. 

Client Work: Therm-a-Rest's Ode to Camping by Molly Hawkins

Earlier this summer we were fortunate to be able to work with our friends at Therma-a-Rest to produce their latest brand video. After a weekend spent in Leavenworth hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and hanging around a roaring campfire, this is what we came away with. The only thing better than getting to work on projects like this is working on them with some of your best friends. 

Director: Chris Zimmerman

Producer: Molly Hawkins

Primary Filmer: Brad Curran 

Secondary Filmer/Editor: Jake Garrett 

Super Fun with Superfeet by Molly Hawkins

It's been an incredible year almost now that we've been working with these guys and it has been fun to offer our full suite of services and watch all of our hard work come to life!  Recently we shot some photos for a new campaign launch up in Bellingham, Washington for their me and GO line of insoles and finally got to see the print collateral come together! Check it out!

A few selects from the shoot:

Imagery in the wild:

Unicorns in the Mist: Ben's Filson Photography by Molly Hawkins

As cliche as it may be, we at WAU tend to refer to each other as Swiss Army knives. Complete with a wide range of different tools and functions, adept at handling many different situations, and always able to open a bottle. A perfect example of this broad, yet sharp skill set comes from Ben Lindbloom. In addition to crushing his daily Social Strategist & Client Manager duties, Ben is our principal photographer. Over the last year, Ben's photography skills have hit puberty and blossomed while creating high quality images for many WAU clients as well as for his side projects. 

There's so much to say about this one but right now we are incredibly inspired by and proud of his continued work with famed heritage outdoor brand, Filson.  Ben's photos have begun to grace both catalog and web pages. Check out some of his work below, on his website, and keep an eye out for Filson's latest print catalogs. With an ever growing adoration for the brand, it has been a privilege and adventure traveling across the plains of Montana, the mountain ranges of Alaska and his very own backyard of the Snoqualmie Pass.  Can not wait to see where the next adventure takes him! Take a look at some pictures from his latest shoot in AK, and follow him on instagram.

We’re All Part of the digital “Ecosystem”, and so is Your Marketing by Molly Hawkins

Plants, animals, water, and us humans are all connected through an important and intricate ecosystem. Remove a species of plants and a species of animals will fail, poison the water and we’ll all have a hard time. The marketing ecosystem is no different. From social media sites, websites, email newsletters, and brick and mortar locations, connecting and utilizing these different channels the best way possible is key to getting your message across.

While not nearly as important to our survival and existence as the natural world’s ecosystem, recognizing and leveraging the balance between different marketing channels is key to a successful marketing campaign. A strong campaign hits the mark across all social media channels: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Friendster, and works in conjunction with your other marketing messages like email, your website, in-store POP, etc..

Learning how to leverage, keep track of, and sync up all of your channels is the hard part, but not impossible. It’s not just giant brands with huge marketing budgets making the most noise on the internet, anyone can leverage the tools at their fingertips. With the right goals and intentions in mind, they can inspire masses to take action. Spend time to identify what your message and intended output for your social campaign needs to look like, and look at how to use each of your channels uniquely to push that message. Tailoring those messages to the audience and the channel with an appropriate call to action is key to gaining any traction from your campaign.

These days, there are a lot of marketing buzzwords floating around, (like ecosystem!) and even more people who throw them in conversation to sound intelligent, but being able to execute a plan that works with the ecosystem is another thing. With the right guidance, planning, and an understanding of best practices per channel, even the smallest businesses can launch a colossal marketing campaign. Interested in learning more or extending the reach of your current ecosystem? Hit us up! We’d be more than happy to help!

Other example ecosystems:

  • The balance between your caffeine, alcohol and water intake.

  • Eating enough fruits and vegetables to balance out that frozen pizza diet.  

  • The balance between aperture, shutter speed, ISO.

  • Wearing the right kind of socks with your sandals (psych! that’s never ok)

  • The number of people who commute by bus, bike, and car.

  • The amount of acceptable “sun tan” before you just look burnt.

Kimmy Fasani: A Consumate Professional by Molly Hawkins

A professional in every sense of the word, Kimmy Fasani is a true Outlier. Not only one of the most talented female snowboarder of all time, but a stand up citizen and a role model for all. After a pretty bad injury a couple years ago, she could have easily hung up her hat and took it easy, but she rose to the challenge and rehabbed past what her doctors could have ever expected. In the process, she not only was able to snowboard again, but she discovered new passions like mountain biking and rock climbing and became a more well-rounded athlete. In addition to all of this, she is also one of the nicest and most genuine people you could ever hope to meet. She was generous enough to make some time during a trans-oceanic flight to catch up with us about her recovery, filming with her skier husband, Chris Benchetler, and her budding triathlon career.

[Outliers] Being an outlier is pretty important to taking on a career as a professional snowboarder, do you think it was in your DNA to be an outlier, or was it a conscious choice you made to be different?

[Kimmy] I grew up knowing I always wanted to do something unordinary. I loved pushing myself and I was pretty fearless, so it seemed natural to be an Outlier.

[O] You suffered through a couple years of injuries lately, but now you seem to be stronger than ever, that has to be brutal, both emotionally and physically. As someone who depends on their body for their paychecks, what goes through your mind and how do you stay motivated through recovery?

[K] I have gone through a lot of changes and growth in the past three years, and my injury was a big part of that. Just when I thought I had a good balance with my snowboarding, progressing my riding, and my sponsors, I had a major injury take place. The most important thing for me was to stay positive and focus on the day-to-day tasks of rehabilitation and healing. When my doctor said most athletes may not recovery 100% from what I had done to my body, I chose to be the small percentage that would recover beyond 100%.

I worked so hard to get back to full strength, both physically and mentally. I really had to detach from all the goals I had before I got hurt, and realign myself with things that were going to be realistic with my year off snow and a slow progression back into this sport that brought me so much happiness. I tried not to stress too much about my contracts and their longevity because those were elements I could not be in control of, all I could control was my rehab process.

[O] You spent some of your time away from the snow getting into biking and even ending up doing a triathlon, did you ever see yourself getting into that realm? Did your recovery time open those doors?

[K] I had always wanted to do a triathlon and decided it was a fun, very ambitious, but a great goal to check off while I had to be off the hill. Biking and this triathlon gave me a way to see growth and progression as I recovered. They helped me mentally realize I could do anything I put my mind to.

[O] What was it like to get involved with another sector of the active lifestyle industry? Did you notice any major cultural differences between the two sports?

[K] Getting the chance to work with Chris MacCormmick, a professional triathlete, was really cool and inspiring. There are so many ways to push our minds and bodies, and being able to test out my abilities in that arena was a great experience. We share a lot of similarities in how we all push through challenges. I would love to continue to do triathlons for this reason.

[O] In addition to snowboarding and cycling, you seem to be a very active rock climber and hiker, how do those activities help your snowboarding?

[K] Rock climbing and hiking have been really fun activities to keep me outside during the off-season. Both these sports help keep me mentally and physically challenged and strong. They help me stay in the moment and great ways to spend time in the mountains and in nature. Climbing was pretty intimidating to get into because there were a lot of elements I had to trust before I felt comfortable on the rock, and I had to learn to trust my gear (harness, ropes, and belayer). I love climbing because it forces me to be present and stay in the moment. It’s a very mental sport; if your mind isn’t in the right place you may not make it up the route.

Hiking and trail running are other hobbies because I love seeing the mountains by trail. It’s serene, peaceful, and also exhilarating and exhausting. I have a deep appreciation for being able to use my body to its fullest capacity since I got hurt. These two outlets are my favorite ways to stay in shape.

[O] Your health and healthy living seem to be a big aspect of your life, is that a byproduct of getting older, or is it pretty much mandatory to being a professional athlete these days?

[K] I think living a healthy and active life is something we all learn through experience. I have had a lot of people in my family struggle or pass away from cancer, and I want to do as much as possible to stay healthy in the hopes of avoiding it myself. I also find that living a healthy lifestyle makes me and my body feel good. I try to live life to the fullest and eat everything in moderation because of the things I have seen or have gone through personally. I think it’s important to be aware of what we are putting in our bodies, but I don’t think it’s mandatory to be “healthy" to be a snowboarder. However, being healthy and staying fit will probably give some riders more longevity in their careers. I especially noticed that being strong and having a healthy diet before I got hurt helped tremendously as I recovered.

[O] It must be hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you spend most of the year traveling around the world, what are some of the things you do that other people could work into their lives to stay healthy?

[K] Creating a routine while on the road has been really important to maintaining my lifestyle. I always have healthy snacks in my bag and I try to eat pure, unpackaged foods as much as possible. I try to eat mostly organic, and personally have chosen to limit my meat intake unless I know where the meat is from.

As for activity, I always have my running shoes in my bag. Since filming in the backcountry is pretty hard on my body with the hiking, sledding, falling, etc, I don’t stress too much about working out in a gym everyday during winter. If I have a have a handful of down days in a row while waiting for weather to clear, I will go bouldering or workout in a local gym.

[O] Last season, you filmed with your husband, pro skier Chris Benchetler, and the Nimbus Independent crew, how did that arrangement come about? Was that the first time you have had the chance to film with your husband?

[K] It was a really great experience being able to film with Chris and his crew last season. I was having a hard time finding a place on a backcountry crew and these guys were awesome to let me tag along with them. That was the first time Chris and I had spent continuous time in the backcountry together. There were times where we would look at each other standing at the top of a jump and we would just start laughing because we got to share our passions for the mountains and winter sports together.

[O] Did you notice any differences between filming with skiers and filming with snowboarders?

[K] Filming with snowboarders and skiers has a lot of similarities, like terrain and feature choices. However, skiers can generate speed more quickly on an in-run to a jump than a snowboarder because of their poles and being able to skate with their skis. Therefore, some of the jumps and lines skiers pick can have limitations for a snowboarder.

[O] A lot of women and girls look to you as an inspiration, which must be flattering, but who do you look up to and why? Have you had a chance to meet any of your role models the way people get to meet you and get inspired?

[K] I am always very humbled and flattered when others tell me I have inspired them. Some of my biggest role models have been men and women who step outside the norm and have overcome challenges, which have led them to success. I can’t say I have one specific role model, but I am constantly being inspired by others who live life with a positive and ambitious attitude.

[O] Burton released your full part from the 2014 season, which must have been a relief after being out of the action for so long, are you proud of what you were able to put out?

[K] I am so grateful to have something to show for last season and even though my segment wasn’t my best snowboarding or filled with new tricks, I am proud that I was able to get back on my board and push myself out of my comfort zone while staying healthy. My injury played a big toll on my mind, and more than anything I just wanted to know that I could come back and be comfortably scared again. I really struggled to land tricks last year and I think part of it was that my body wasn't ready or strong enough to be hitting the jumps I was hitting. Mentally I had to try, and falling made me realize I was going to be okay! I’m hoping that this season I can start trying new tricks and showcasing the type of riding I know I am capable of.

[Photo: Dean Blotto Gray]

[Photo: Dean Blotto Gray]

[O] Can you tell us what you have in store for this season?

[K] This season I will be building a video part for the Transworld Snowboarding movie, which is really exciting! I just arrived in Japan with the Nimbus Independent crew and will spend majority of my season with them again. I am just trying to wait to see what Mother Nature does with snow and let my travel plans be dictated by her weather patterns.

[O] If you could travel back in time and talk to 14-year old Kimmy, what do you think she would think of this woman standing before her? Is there anything you would want to tell her?

[K] 14-year old Kimmy would be astonished that all of her childhood dreams have been fulfilled and that she could accomplish so much in life and snowboarding. At 14-years old my dad had just passed away and I was a mess. I was pretty challenging for my mom and snowboarding was honestly what kept me out of a lot of trouble. At that point in my life I had two choices, one was to stay positive and chase sports as a way to stay sane. The other would have been a dark road that probably would not have ended too well. Having a mom who was so supportive of me and my passions helped me chose the first option.

Looking back I would tell my 14-year old self to stay encouraged, positive, patient, and trust that all the bad will be overshadowed by the good. All of the struggles will be worth it in the end and your life will be even more beautiful than you can imagine! The dark moments in life will only make you a stronger and enlightened person in the end.

They Do Exist. by Molly Hawkins

A decade ago, "content marketing" wasn't even a thing, yet there were plenty of us already laying the ground work for what would arguably become one of the most pervasive buzz words in marketing. Early on I saw the gap between marketers, the folks creating the strategies and budgets, and those who were expected to execute on those strategies and develop the assets in order to fulfill them. Enter Puget Sound Creative and plenty of other companies who would serve as bridges to those gaps. I have found that having marketers and creators sitting at the same table is crucial to any content and brand marketing strategy. Everyone who works with us has cross-functional backgrounds and, at minimum, a solid understanding of all facets of our business and offering. All our creatives and collaborators have been hand-picked with our values and clients in mind.

2015 marks the 4th year of what has been an incredible journey for myself and all of the people who have trusted and believed in what we have been building over here at Puget Sound Creative. I set out to create a platform to connect creatives, marketers, and individuals pioneering this incredibly inspiring wellspring of ideas and visual narrative, driving the future of marketing to the businesses that need it most. At that time, many saw this concept and my vision as a "unicorn". I too, was not 100% sure how exactly it was going to pan out, but in the least, I knew that we would have fun making magic with some really great people along the way, and off we went.

So here we are. PSC has scaled from being one person in a basement room in a house shared with a couple friends, consisting of long nights and longer days with intermittent breaks for food and play. Now we're up to 5+ full time employees, a collection of incredible collaborators, and an office space! I am pleased to say that we are not your typical "agency". We believe that every single company and individual has a unique story and that deserves a tailored relationship with the tools and mechanisms for which we would expect to help tell their story. We do not have MBA's, we do not have the fanciest tools and buzzwords in our back pockets, (However, I may have a few good ones) and we certainly do not wear ties or power suits (Though I do think I might like one). We do have fun, we are constantly creating for our clients and in our personal lives, and we are certainly inspired by all of our clients, friends, and collaborators. We hope to be able to inspire you and your customers as well.

Thank you for believing.