About Us should really be named ‘About You’ because without you, women of the world, we would not exist but as you have decided to read our story then I shall continue…….
How Cool Clutch was born
I don’t like to miss an opportunity to have a glass of wine with my friends and family. There is nothing better than getting together with my girlfriends for a glass of bubbles and a giggle. It’s good for the soul and cheaper than therapy.
I wanted to carry a cooler bag that I liked carrying but no matter how much I googled I could not find anything anywhere in the world I liked, anything I felt was designed for me.
So I decided that I would design a range of cooler bags that I would be happy to carry and keep my wine cool in. I designed our first range of 3 styles and after many months of R&D with friends and family I finally got to take my cooler bags, each named after my family and friends, to our local market to get face to face with our customers.
I must admit this was an eye opener. There were so many women, just in my local area, that had been waiting, without even knowing it, for a stylish cooler bag specifically designed for them! Ladies with medication, ladies who like to take their lunch to work and of course, my kindred spirits, the ladies who love a glass or two of something wet.
During those early days I was even referred to as a “Goddess of Wine Lovers”! I think that is going a little too far but it has been an interesting journey as we have expanded and reduced the range of styles all as a direct result of talking to women everywhere.
Ladies deserved someone to care how they looked when keeping their drinks, food and medication cool and I say "Ban the Paperbag Look! We want Class!"
My familycentric philosophy
I have always been firm in my resolve that I am building Cool Clutch to pass to our children. My husband and I have a blended family and we have 5 children. To me Cool Clutch has been a way for our children to spend more time with their children, my grandchildren. My daughter-in-law worked in Cool Clutch for just over a year when my grandson was very little before returning to teaching.
I want this for any of my family. I want to be able to give any of my girls (daughters and daughter-in-laws) an opportunity to spend more time with their children. I had to leave my daughter with my parents to return to full time work and I hate the thought of any mother, especially my own children, to be forced to do that. I would love Cool Clutch to get so big that we have an office, warehouse and child care centre in one, to give staff that option to be closer to their children.
However, my children don’t seem to be expressing a burning desire to take over Cool Clutch so who knows :-)
A little eccentric?
Possibly......probably. I always wear a snowflake necklace and large snowflake drop earrings. I look a little crazy all year around, wearing 'Christmas' jewellery but hey, it's my logo :-)
I talk to my cooler bags! They are my creation, they are my girls and I love them. Designing each of my girls was like mentally giving birth and when they arrived all beautiful, it was an amazing feeling. So forgive me if you think I'm a little nutty but my girls are very precious to me and I know they are going to go out into the world and join women everywhere and do a fabulous job of keeping something important cool.
It is my vision for Cool Clutch to be a household name. Having created a new category of Ladies Cooler Handbags we envisage that Cool Clutch will be the question on everyone’s lips. “Is that a Cool Clutch?” similar to referring to a chiller box as being an Esky even though it maybe a Willow or similar.
An Inclusive Cool Clutch
It has always been really important to me to show our Facebook community how important they are. In the beginning we identified that our growth was organic and driven by our Facebook community. That still happens but due to algorithums it is harder to get seen on Facebook without paying to advertise.
When I started out I named all the girls after my family members. When it came to name the second round of new girls I had already built an active Facebook community so I turned to them. Since that time our friends on our Facebook page have named our girls.
New Beginnings in July 2023
The past 3 years have been particularly difficult for me during the pandemic as well as after. Having to scale back to working on my own when we had grown to a team of 6 has been the hardest part. 2018 and 2019 were phenomenal years for Cool Clutch and it's growth and we entered 2020 "all guns blazing" to be hit with lockdown after lockdown. I know I am not telling you anything you don't already know but for me by the end of 2021 I was ready to quit. I put Cool Clutch up for sale.
I had many meetings and conversations with prospective buyers but I was selling 'my baby' and it wasn't going to go to just anyone. I got to the stage that I would rather shut everything down and walk away than sell to the wrong person. And then I met Trevor. Trevor's background is in marketing strategy. He is young and enthusiastic with extensive advertising experience in the fashion/apparel industry, and has worked with reputable Australian brands that we all know and love. These are skills that I simply don't have and have always had to pay for. During our first meeting we realised that I had skills he lacked and he had filled the skills gap. So a partnership was formed.
We plan an extensive marketing campaign to relaunch Cool Clutch and introduce our products to new customers all over Australia. So ladies, watch this space! Time to make Cool Clutch the household name it has always been destined to be.
If there is something I haven't covered here, ask. I am always happy to chat.