Welcome to West Slope Startup Week! We’re celebrating our 5th year and gathering in Durango, CO, August 21–25, 2023.

Every session, meetup, workshop, lecture, discussion, and celebration is in-person, radically inclusive, and totally FREE!
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Thursday, August 24 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Thriving Together: Building Rural Businesses Through Brand Collaboration

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Join us to discover the power of collaboration and its transformative potential for rural brands. Learn about the cultural distinctions of female-run companies, strategies to overcome operational challenges in rural locations, and essential marketing fundamentals for launching your brand or product.

We will explore the power of collaboration among rural brands. From engaging in product collaborations and giveaways to fostering meaningful friendships and support networks, we will uncover how strategic partnerships can elevate our individual brands and the entire space we operate in.

Gain valuable insights and actionable strategies and discuss the unique marketing fundamentals required to launch your brand, new product, or collection in a rural community.

Meet our panelists, Robin Hall, Kelly Mazanti-Nelson, and TJ Smith— visionary founders who have experienced the transformative power of collaboration firsthand.
  • Robin is the CEO and Co-Founder of Town Hall Outdoor Co, a sustainable kid's outdoor apparel company that puts community and the planet at its core.
  • Kelly Mazanti-Nelson is the Co-Founder & CEO of Buttnski, a mountain-lifestyle outdoor apparel brand based in Summit County, Colorado, which was inspired by a piece of clothing that keeps your butt warm while you ski.
  • TJ Smith is the Founder of Stray Wild, a brand that celebrates the lands, animals, waters, blue skies and tall trees we all call home. Each project is approached with the idea that art can better the world.

Through their experiences and insights, our panelists will share valuable lessons learned about the importance of building relationships and how learning from and growing with others in your community can shape your brand's identity and contribute to long-term success.

Join us for an engaging session filled with actionable strategies and stories of entrepreneurial growth in rural communities.

avatar for Kirstie McPherson

Kirstie McPherson

Behavioral Economist & Serial Entrepeneur, Edeveco / The Behavioral Economics Company
Kirstie McPherson is a Behavioral Economist who’s research has focused on economic development throughout her career. Working with dozens of communities across the US, Kirstie has identified key practices to enhance economic development and answer the most common problems our communities... Read More →

avatar for Robin Hall

Robin Hall

CEO and Cofounder, Town Hall Outdoor Co
Robin Hall is the CEO and Co-Founder of Town Hall Outdoor Co, a sustainable kids outdoor apparel company with community and planet at its core. With over 15 years in the outdoor industry, Robin is a seasoned and enthusiastic leader, strategist and project manager. Robin has built... Read More →
avatar for Kelly Mazanti-Nelson

Kelly Mazanti-Nelson

Co-Founder & CEO, Buttnski
Kelly Mazanti is the Co-Founder of Buttnski, a women owned & operated outdoor apparel brand based in Summit County, Colorado. Buttnski makes stylish and functional apparel for humans who love to be outside in the mountains. It all started with a fleece short that Kelly's Mom got in... Read More →
avatar for TJ Smith

TJ Smith

Founder, Stray Wild
TJ Smith was born between the trees of Pennsylvania. With a move westward, he has built a lifestyle of adventurous play and hard work. At a quick overview he is a multidisciplinary creative focusing on design, art, murals and gallery curation. Led by his love of nature he services... Read More →

Thursday August 24, 2023 1:00pm - 2:00pm MDT
Strater Hotel - Oak Room