We had the good fortune of connecting with Clare Hefferren and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Clare, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk is required. With a growth mindset each day brings excitement. What will unfold? Am I prepared? What will I learn? Will it be challenging? And how do I show up, be present and lay my head down at the day’s end feeling my time was well spent? I believe we must own our story. My success (or failure) is based on the choices I make.
My parents taught me to be curious. To taste, to try, to fail – all in the name of learning and developing a well-rounded life. I believe when my folks saw my youthful timidness, a new plan was hatched. Welcome to the 7th grade Debate Team – a tough go for a wallflower! I was taught to bring my case to the table, to speak up, to have an opinion. Never would I dare come forward without having already exhausted the pros and cons of a topic and request.
While raised in an urban environment, I took these same lessons with me as my career evolved to the outdoor industry. When in the outdoors, the risk is around every corner – an unexpected swell, a deeper drop, a guttural fear… can you do it? Should you do it? For me, the answer is yes. Nature inspires and grounds me. The family foundation of preparation applies to my daily outdoor time which keeps me physically and mentally sharp. I am comfortable being uncomfortable. The focus required to navigate the risks and challenges translates well to business. Marketing is one big test. Being strategic and agile allows a person (and brand) to grow to the highest potential. In my career, my role is to be the catalyst by guiding the client to stand out, to break norms, to make an impact via their products and services.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a branding expert. I’m an artist in that I extract the essence of a story and make it tangible. I like to say branding is the five senses plus intuition. One of four kids in five years, I was designated “the creative one.” While I knew it was a blessing, I was also aware that it was not a traditional route and was a risky career choice. It was only due to a kind professor who placed on bet on my talents that I stepped in – and succeeded. I initially cut my teeth as a staffer at marketing firms and in-house client-side creative teams. Promotions and accolades raised me up and gave me the confidence that I could make a go as an entrepreneur.
Now with 16 years under my belt, the toughest part is to continually develop your talents equally as an artist and a professional. You are your biggest champion and destiny dweller. Callosum, my purpose-driven branding firm for the outdoor recreation industry, allows me to live my purpose through helping to bring healthy, innovative brands into the outdoors with a mindset to break the norms and tackle global crisis through BEING the story rather than telling the story. I get super excited to see our clients receive recognition for community impact and involvement knowing that we’ve done our job well.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Welcome my backyard, the Vail Valley, home of Vail Mountain. If you want to ‘live like a local’ on a winter ski trip, I recommend:
Hitting the hill and need ski/snowboard rentals? Vista Bahn Ski Rentals just feet from Gondola One. The 2nd generation owners, include the most humble, Sacha Gros, an Olympian and World Cup skier.
Apres after hitting the slopes: Blu Cow Cafe, a 2nd generation owner-operated biz, for a swiss hot dog and a beer.
Taking a day off? Visit the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame
Late night snack: Hang with the locals for pizza at Vendettas
Needing to dance the night away? Go to Shakedown Bar for live bands.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Alright, so let’s jump right in! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there a person, group, organization, book, etc that you want to dedicate your shoutout to? Who else deserves a little credit and recognition in your story?
My shoutouts go to Afdehl Aziz and Kurt Soder. 10+ years into business and considering a change back to corporate, a spark was ignited. I watched Afdehl speak at Outdoor Retailer trade show regarding a new corporate business model – business for good. Overnight I knew I was 100% in. In the years since I have morphed Callosum to be a purpose-driven firm. It has aligned my WHY and cultivated a fire within me.
Kurt Soder crossed my path in early 2021. His desire to assist professionals to live their PURPOSE layered on Afdehl’s business leadership. Shifting my mindset away from a default of intellectualizing feelings, Kirk anchors me in the heart – a place of stillness and knowing. Now leading with an internal locus of control, alignment of values and a purpose-filled career, the future beckons.
QuikRStuff Mach 2 bike rack, Devon Balet.