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118: Jennifer Kriske, Machines for Freedom

Channel Mastery

Release Date: 01/28/2020

Steve Kennedy, Gearheads Outdoor Store show art Steve Kennedy, Gearheads Outdoor Store

Channel Mastery

Please note - this episode was recorded in early March 2020. Since the recording of this episode, the store has released the following information: they have shifted their water services to outside only and the station is sanitized in between each use. Their inventory is available online for shipping or pickup at store and customers are no longer admitted inside the store. Staff is located at the door for pick up and shopping needs. Credit cards and cash is being sanitized and disinfectant wipes are provided at the door.  If you’ve been to Moab, Utah and haven’t stopped at GearHeads...

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Channel Mastery

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123: Aimee Ross, Director of Bike Bentonville show art 123: Aimee Ross, Director of Bike Bentonville

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It wasn’t long ago that the only thing we knew about Bentonville was that it was home to Walmart’s headquarters. Now in 2020, this small Arkansas town has made a name for itself in the cycling community and is continuing to grow by the day - literally. The town welcomes an average of 34 people moving to the area every day!   Aimee Ross, Director of Bike Bentonville, is my guest on this episode and shares how collaboration is key. By structuring Bike Bentonville under the city’s tourism bureau, Visit Bentonville, the community has done something truly unique. Ross discusses how she...

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123: Aimee Ross, Director of Bike Bentonville show art 123: Aimee Ross, Director of Bike Bentonville

Channel Mastery

It wasn’t long ago that the only thing we knew about Bentonville was that it was home to Walmart’s headquarters. Now in 2020, this small Arkansas town has made a name for itself in the cycling community and is continuing to grow by the day - literally. The town welcomes an average of 34 people moving to the area every day!   Aimee Ross, Director of Bike Bentonville, is my guest on this episode and shares how collaboration is key. By structuring Bike Bentonville under the city’s tourism bureau, Visit Bentonville, the community has done something truly unique. Ross discusses how she...

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Channel Mastery

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Machines for Freedom Founder, Jennifer Kriske is my guest today on this episode of the Channel Mastery podcast. Kriske discovered cycling, like so many of us do, when she was working a job that entailed super long-hours, where she was always on. Cycling gave her the window to shut off work and re-invigorate.

 

She was a beginner cyclist, and that gave her a very clear view into the experience - meaning, there wasn’t anyone telling her what she should, or should not do. She noticed that she was not the only woman on her rides who was uncomfortable in the ‘kit.’ She also knew that, like her, other women riders were not feeling super fashionable in what was available to them to ride in. 

 

Rather than being complacent, she decided she needed to do something about it and launched the company, Machines for Freedom. She has a fantastic entrepreneurial story, and you’ll get to hear it first hand here today on this week’s show.

 

Although the brand is primarily digitally native, Jennifer’s methods for getting it started were geared more in the direction of relationship building through community rides and open conversations with cyclists. This made for a very authentic, organic channel strategy to build an audience and continually engage them.

 

Her strategy has always been driven by the relationships she built on her group rides, and in her region. Slowly that branched out to a much wider reach, and a very loyal following. In 2018, Specialized Bicycle Components invested in Machines for Freedom with the intention of keeping the companies separate, but thriving together. Like I said, Kriske’s story is interesting, on so many levels! 

 

Throughout the episode, Jennifer and I discuss the why behind founding the brand, how she was able to build the loyal following, apparel in independent bike shops and the relationship between Specialized and Machines for Freedom. She’s holding fast and true to her vision of creating high-performing, super stylish kits that are built with a very specific rider in mind, and Specialized backs this vision today. I also know you’re going to love the part of the interview where Jennifer talks about her 2020 IRL (In Real Life) campaign, focusing on gravel. I hope you learn as much from Jennifer as I have researching this and interviewing her for the Channel Mastery podcast! 

 

Jennifer Kriske is Founder of Machines for Freedom, a high quality, high performance, women’s cycling apparel company. Prior to Machines for Freedom, she held positions ranging from entertainment media and hotel and restaurant design. In the midst of designing restaurants, she took up cycling and realized the need for kits that were more specifically designed for women.

 

Machines for Freedom launched in 2014 and immediately created palpable changes in the cycling world which has led to an industry-wide shift in the way cycling apparel is designed and marketed. Machines For Freedom not only proved to the industry that an entire market exists, but the company innovated and elevated cycling apparel for women in a way no other brand has, while building a strong and organic community riders who support each other, challenge themselves, and spread good vibes.