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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Archive for July, 2008

The Road to Relaunch: Part 3- Creative Assets

Posted by hal | July 28th, 2008 | Filed under Uncategorized

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A brand may be birthed by individual inspiration, or it may be the product of a small collective of like minded individuals. Reflecting the look and feel of a brand however, takes a village. In this episode, we want to shed some light on the network of contractors responsible for the process of creating the photographic reflections of our brand.

Marcus Swanson and his crew at Swanson Studio, here in Portland are the talents behind our studio photography (above left). Going into the studio allows us to show every detail of every product in a highly controlled environment. These guys are masters, blending artistic sensibilities with state of the art imaging technology.

When we head out into the field, we rely on a small group of shooters that can capture the experience of moving effortlessly between urban settings and the wild. Ben Moon, Daniel Sharp, Jimmy Chin, Tim Kemple, Gabe Rogel (shot on the right, above) and Anthony Georgis have been helping us to evolve our look and feel, each contributing their individual perspectives to form a mosaic of a more integrated outdoor experience.

Herding all these cats, both in the studio and out in the field, has been the job of our director of photography, Eugénie Frerichs. After Nau closed its doors last May, Eug took off for the U.K. She’s been cycling throughout England, Wales and Scotland. (Look for her photos in an upcoming post).
Luckily enough, we’ve been able to talk her back to Portland for a few weeks to help us work through the process of rebuilding our image program for Fall.

So now as we head into August, we’re sitting down with the folks above who’ve produced photos for Fall ’08, and just like the process with the factories and fabric partners we talked about in an earlier post, we’re hoping to purchase a selection of the assets that were produced. The shots above are samples of the great Fall imagery that you can expect to see in the coming months.

Parks Rule

Posted by admin | July 24th, 2008 | Filed under Uncategorized

Earlier today our friends at Treehugger reminded me of an earlier Thought Kitchen post about Park(ing) Day. Conceived by Rebar, a San Francisco based art collective, Park(ing) Day is a one day, global event centered in San Francisco where artists, activists and citizens collaborate to temporarily transform parking spots into PARK(ing) spaces: temporary public parks. I love the slightly subversive incongruence associated with the effort and imagine that it provokes some pretty animated conversations. Its now expanded to over 50 cities. This years event is scheduled for September 19th. Check out some great photos of the 2007 event.

Valencia Between 19th and 20th by Steve Rhodes


Valencia Between 19th and 20th (Steve Rhodes)

Business Interruptus # 1

Posted by admin | July 18th, 2008 | Filed under Uncategorized

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Given the transition here at Nau and all the associated work, it wasn’t exactly an ideal time to disappear for 2 1/2 weeks. But 2 years ago, almost to the day, I was returning from a whitewater trip on The Dumoine River in Quebec when my longtime paddling buddies and I started to talk about the next river we wanted to paddle. Very quickly the conversation coalesced around The Snake River in the northern part of The Yukon. In that moment we planted a seed that we hoped would bear fruit in two years time.

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Little did I know it would actually happen. But often that’s the way it is – you hatch an idea and energies conspire to turn it into reality. So, in spite of the immediate business frenzy, and with the support of my colleagues (and wife), a few weeks back I boarded a plane in Portland, flew to Vancouver and from there on to Whitehorse. Upon arrival I met up with Dave, Ian, Peter, Chuck and Jeff. After spending the night in a slightlly disheveled local hotel we drove six hours north to Mayo, an old mining community with a population of 250 people. The following morning we boarded a seaplane with our gear and provisions for 14 days. We flew north for an hour to Duo Lakes where we were dropped off by Denny, our archetypal northern bush pilot. From there we began a fabulous whitewater river trip in a remarkably pristine, remote wilderness setting.
I’ve included a few photos that Peter took to give you a glimpse of the landscape. Over the next few weeks I’ll add some additional posts with stories and photos, including our connection to, and support of, The Big Wild. Stay tuned.

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The Road to Relaunch: Part 2- Back to the Factories

Posted by hal | July 11th, 2008 | Filed under Uncategorized

Picture 11.pngRebuilding the relationships with our key vendors, contractors and partners for change is now our highest priority. The first order of business will be to identify all the assets that were in various stages of development when we closed our doors. Assets that were built, but not yet paid for. Rather than starting from scratch, we’re hoping to purchase some of that work in progress. Not all of it, because we’re a much smaller nau, but a selection of products that will continue to reflect our design philosophy, like the Modus Jacket above. Starting at the top of the product development food chain, we’re focusing on raw materials and sewn garments. Jamie, Andrew, Jolie and Gordon are heading to Asia over the next two weeks to meet with our factories and fabric suppliers, hoping to get back on their production calendars. While there, they will engage in a series of conversations about where things stand, introducing the new team and determining what support might be available to us at this late date.
Next stop- Creative assets. We’ll be meeting with the partners involved with the images, copy and graphics that comprise our look and feel.

Where are they nau? Mark McCambridge

Posted by hal | July 10th, 2008 | Filed under Uncategorized

s603525587_990463_4090.jpgMark and Josie were the voice of nau to anyone who happened to call in looking for product, checking sizes, or just interested in shooting the breeze. They were the go-to couple for everything nau, and then some.

While you can still find Josie manning the phones, Mark decided it was time to take off the headset and get outside for awhile. He’s currently working the summer salmon run up in Alaska, and hopes to make enough money to fund his lifelong goal of traveling the entire length of the Americas- From Alaska to the tip of South America, by van. Along the way he’ll be gathering photographs for his new site entitled FACE OF AMERICA so we can all keep in touch as he journeys south, and with any luck, we’ll be featuring some of Mark’s work on future installments of the collective.

The Road to Relaunch: Part 1- The Family Toad

Posted by hal | July 3rd, 2008 | Filed under Uncategorized

toad-faces.jpgAs we transition from Nau 1.0 to Nau 2.0, there are a number of milestone events that are critical to achieving our goal of being back on our feet by October.
The first step in this process was the search for a partner interested in purchasing the remaining assets of the company, and willing to invest in the future of the brand.

Enter Horny Toad. We spoke about them briefly on our homepage, but it bears additional mention here. When we went looking for help in keeping this thing going, we started by looking at companies who understood our business, and were equipped to take on the financial challenges of getting us back up and running. We found so much more than fiscal stability though, when we entered into a partnership with the Toads. They are a great group of like-minded individuals who believe deeply in doing the right thing, and are having a helluva lot of fun doing it.

We’ll keep our separate identities, but will be sharing some back end functions, like finance and HR and that sort of thing. Best of all, we get to play in the same sandbox- the Lizard Lounge here in the Pearl, will be the retail venue for Nau, Horny Toad and several other alternative/outdoor brands.

We’re psyched to be part of the family.