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Meet Kristi Frank of Clutch Creations

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristi Frank.

Kristi, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Clutch Creations was built on a foundation of the love for music, friends, and fashion. I would frequently attend music festivals and concerts and noticed that none of my outfits had a sound place to stash my phone. It was during preparation for the annual festival, Hulaween, that the idea just came to me.

I was inspired by a vintage camera strap of mine and noticed how it could be attached to the bottom of my phone case with a few innovative tricks. In that instance, the idea for the company’s flagship product “The Clutch Strap” was born. The weekend of the festival was an instant success. People were immediately drawn to my creation and once the buzz set in, I knew I had something special.

Being only a Sophomore in college at the time and unsure how to bring my idea to life, I focused my efforts on the UGA Idea Accelerator program.

During the program’s “Customer Discovery” phase, I met my current partner, Taylor. I immediately was drawn to Taylor’s mutual love of festivals and music and after an instant connection over coffee, Taylor joined my team. Together as we continued to build Clutch Creations, our team grew strong and expanded to five dedicated and driven students with a mission of bringing this business to life.

Kallim Kalla, John-Dallas Barfield, Chelsea Fulghum, Taylor and myself became the “Clutch Crew.” Although the Clutch Strap was designed for the festival goer in mind, our team is constantly innovating new and exciting uses. From skiing on the slopes, walking through security in the airport or taking your pup for a jog, the Clutch Strap has become a staple for those who are on the go.

With aims to scale wisely and build a brand where we can continue to launch new, innovative and stylish products, Clutch Creations is dedicated to making our customers lives more convenient and continues to promote living a “Clutch” lifestyle.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As many start-ups do, Clutch Creations has encountered roadblocks while attempting to transform an idea into a product. The first bump in the road came about after spending months researching various clips and clasp mechanisms available in the market, we finally settled on the most low-profile clip that fit all the specifications we desired.

After placing our first order and beginning prototyping for the product, we attempted to place a larger order for clips and were informed that the supplier was out of stock. Even worse news, in order to restock this clip, the supplier would need to order 25,000 pieces. Stumped on what to do and not need nearly that many clips… our team sought out to find another resource to source these clips.

Luckily, we were able to find a new supplier. Situations such as this one, as in achieving minimum quantity orders, is a common problem for start-ups and Clutch Creations is not exempt. However, the number of obstacles that we have overcome has been half the fun of creating something from scratch; we knew it wouldn’t be easy and were unsure what problems we’d face, but as a team we have been able to conquer the nightmares of USPS and beyond with a positive attitude and a love for creating!

Please tell us about Clutch Creations.
Clutch Creations is proud to be a young company, primarily run by females (and Kallim) that has innovated and created a solution for a problem. We are building our brand and company from the ground up on the foundation of our first product, The Clutch Strap.

Our plan is to continue to launch new products that will enable a “Clutch” lifestyle. We are building a brand known for setting trends and making products that improve everyday tasks. A ‘Clutch’ lifestyle is one that is full of adventure and convenience; we strive to make the lives of our customers easier without compromising style or a professional look while using our products.

Many people ask about our octopus logo and what it represents. We are very proud to tell people that the Clutch Creations octopus logo represents fluid motion, being versatile and allowing the use of having a spare hand. Our products will allow our customers to enjoy performing everyday tasks with ease and comfortability while in motion.

The octopus has three hearts and so does Clutch Creations. Our brand encourages taking adventures, expressing your true self and emitting positive energy back into our local communities and our mother nature.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Growing up, I was always eager to dress myself. My mom tells me that even as a baby, I had opinions about what onesie I was put into on any given day. I remember waking up early in elementary school to pick out my outfits and always having on cute socks with a matching hair bow. Dressing up was MY thing. One special and silly memory that I have from childhood was dressing up for “Tacky Day” at school.

The goal of this day was to wear the most uncoordinated and outlandish outfit to school, something I had a hard time playing along with. It was against everything I believed in (as fashion goes) but I remember putting together the most outrageous get-up from unmatching shoes to layering tops that were not meant to be layered and wearing clashing colors.

I remember this being one of the first times I truly stepped out of my comfort zone to “fit in” with the rest of the students rather than trying to stand-out with my own fashion sense. Dressing up for ‘Tacky Day’ reminded me why I enjoy waking up every morning and getting dressed to look my best.

This day, along with the days I won the superlative “Best Dressed” in middle school and high school is among my favorite memories from growing up!

Pricing:

  • The Leather Clutch Strap is 100% genuine leather and the Classic Clutch Strap is machine washable
  • Retail price for The Clutch Strap: $40

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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