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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Archive for February, 2009

This Is My Bike: #4 in a Series

Posted by Josie | February 18th, 2009 | Filed under Uncategorized

I bought Big Pink in Reno back in 2004. If you’re the girl in Reno that sold her to me, you can stop worrying, she’s very happy here in Portland.

Our relationship began when we logged a few unusual miles circling the playa together. Since then, she’s carried me and my buddies around on her pegs, has yet to get a flat, and rides smooth even when I’m wearing girl shoes.

Her latest addition is the studded tire option for the rare icy Portland snow days. During “Arctic Blast 2008” (for those of you not from Portland, you must say this in a deep voice with lots of intensity), Mark, Ian and I put zip-ties on Big Pink. I rode around SW Portland delivering presents all afternoon on ice covered roads and watched as cars struggled at each intersection to stop or start moving.

They say the true test of any relationship is to go through all four seasons together. I think I hit the relationship jackpot.

No Logo?

Posted by admin | February 11th, 2009 | Filed under Uncategorized

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Given traditional marketing conventions it could be argued that the most radical decision we’ve made at Nau was to eschew putting an external logo on our product. The idea was first put forward by Mark and Peter. They championed it from a product design point of view.

Our rationale (yes, it quickly became our rationale) was threefold:

1) If over time we applied a strong design point of view consistently across the entire product line, people would begin to recognize the product as Nau product.
2) Our audience (not to mention ourselves) were sick and tired of being somebody else’s billboard. The world is littered with logo’s. Besides, clothing is a personal expression of the wearer’s identity, not some detached entity that happened to make the product.
3) We wanted to invite dialogue and conversation. The idea was that if I saw you wearing an interesting piece of clothing and it didn’t carry a logo, chances are it would spark a meaningful conversation.

Our collective feeling is that our approach and philosophy is the right one for Nau. People have asked us if we’ve reconsidered it along the way. The answer is no. Based on feedback we’ve received, our conviction is strong that it was the right path for us to pursue.

So, how about the idea of renting out your eyelids as an advertising space? That’s right, your eyelids. Feelunique is offering you 10 pence per wink in exchange for displaying the company’s logo on your eyelid space. If you sign up you’ll get 10 pence per wink up to a total of 100 per model. I assume it must have been successful because applications are now closed.

The Real 100

Posted by admin | February 9th, 2009 | Filed under Uncategorized

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You’ve likely heard of the Fortune 500, and the Forbes Best 200 Small Companies, and the NASDAQ 100, and the Inc 5000 (yeah really, 5000), and the Global 100. But what about the The Real 100? In the words of it’s creator Duke Stump, the Real 100 is “dedicated to the 100 most regenerative ideas, individuals and brands that are pioneering a new path towards the emerging future. Defined less by size than their ability to spark a revolution of new thought and possibility.”

Duke has also started a blog dedicated to the Real 100. It’s a good read

Among others the Real 100 includes Architecture For Humanity, Buckminster Fuller Institute, Thomas Friedman, Good Magazine and Toms Shoes. We’re honored to say it also includes Nau. Check out the list and let us know who you would add to the Real 100 community.

A Good Read – Kootenay Mountain Culture

Posted by admin | February 6th, 2009 | Filed under Uncategorized

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All things begin with good people. That’s definitely the case with Kootenay Mountain Culture, an international-calibre biannual publication dedicated to the celebration, promotion and documentation of mountain culture as it exists throughout British Columbia’s Kootenay region.

Just in case you who don’t know, the Kootenay’s sprawl across an incredible mountainous landscape larger than Switzerland. They’re located in the southeast corner of British Columbia, Canada, bordering the states of Washington, Idaho and Montana and the Canadian province of Alberta. The Kootenay’s encompass portions of four major mountain ranges: the western Rockies, Purcells, Selkirks and eastern Monashees, and within these ranges are hundreds of lakes, rivers, glaciers and 10,000-foot peaks. The region includes four national parks, 75 provincial parks, and countless year-round, winter and summer recreation resorts, backcountry lodges, hot springs and far-out destinations renown for world-class hiking, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, mountain biking and climbing. Not bad. But what about the people?

Mitchell Scott is the Co-Founder, Publisher and Editor of the magazine. He’s an accomplished outdoor athlete, his favorite sport being mountain biking and skiing. Not surprisingly, he’s also an editor at large for Powder and Bike magazines. He lives in the Kootenay’s, Nelson to be more precise, with his wife and two kids.

We’re huge fans of both Mitchell and his magazine. With sections like Gallery (a collection of stunning photos from some of the best outdoor and action sport photographers in the world), Adventura (an edgy, adventure-rife first-hand account of a significant outdoor epic, either within the Kootenays or from Kootenay residents anywhere in the world) and Ecos (focused on environmental issues in the context of mountain living). it reflects Nau’s interest in the intersection between beauty, performance and sustainability.

On Elephant and Nau’s Inclusion in The Mindful Life

Posted by admin | February 4th, 2009 | Filed under Uncategorized

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Waylon Lewis, or W as he prefers to sign his emails with, is an original, passionate and slightly offbeat guy. He’s also the guy behind Elephant. It’s first incarnation was in the form of a printed magazine. Now, given Waylon’s adaptability, its morphed into an online journal. But regardless of its form, Elephant continues as a guide to what they like to call “the mindful life: yoga, organics, sustainability, genuine spirituality, conscious consumerism, fair fashion, the contemplative arts…anything that helps us to live a good life that also happens to be good for others, and our planet.” That definitely sounds good to me.

You can discover lot’s of interesting nuggets at Elephant. For instance, a treasure trove of videos featuring the one and only Waylon in colorful conversation with people like Dr. Andrew Weil, Alice Walker, Treehugger’s Graham Hill, Deepak Chopra and Lester Brown. You can also find posts bearing titles like: Pioneering Natural Cleaning to the Masses: Clorox? Or Method? Or, Yogi Chocolate makes a difference: yoga during unemployment. Or, Chinese / Tibetan New Year: Year of the Ox. Poem & Gifts. You’ll also find content framed by serene banner ads from Patagonia.

And, today (or tomorrow and beyond since there is a persistence of memory in the digital space) you can find a post entitled:Responsible Fashion & the US Economy: Nau’s Scape Jacket and Down Vest. What I like about the review is that its author, Heather Mueller , tackles some of the bigger issues associated with the environmental and social costs tethered to the products and services we consume and the fact that we live in an economic system that externalizes those costs. In that context she goes on to say some pretty complimentary things about our Down Vest and Scape Jacket. We’re also thankful for Abbey Smith’s earlier Elephant post entitled: Nau It’s Time (ecofashion!). Of course, we’re honored to be part of the “mindful life.”

Luke Reynolds – Pictures and Sound

Posted by admin | February 2nd, 2009 | Filed under Uncategorized

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Luke Reynolds is a great guy, a very talented musician and a friend of Nau’s. In fact, we considered ourselves to be very fortunate. He played at our relaunch party which took place in Lizard Lounge last November.

Good people deserve good things. So, it’s not surprising that his most recent album, Pictures and Sound, was selected as one of four albums to be included in the Whole Foods Artist Discovery Series. That means you can pick it up in over 220 Whole Foods stores across the country. The picture above is the one Whole Foods is using to promote the album (shameless self promotion – Luke is sporting his Bunny Goat Hoody).

Not only that but Luke has just been nominated for a Grammy Award in the category for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album. He wrote the song “Something Inside” for August Rush. It appears 4 times in the film, most excitingly at the emotional climax, which you can watch in the video clip below.

Very cool and richly deserved.