Rapid ascent

Rapid ascent


Dachtler also saw the rise of e-commerce during his two years at Los Angeles-based Juicy. The medium’s power and transformative nature gelled with him instantly, but as a husband and new father of a baby girl, Dachtler felt an even stronger pull for more work/life balance. He was recruited by footwear marketer Wolverine World Wide and moved his young family from Los Angeles to Portland, where Wolverine has a design studio.

Dachtler wants The Clymb to become the next billion-dollar active-lifestyle brand.

And that’s where that iconic dining room table scene takes place. He and Annett, a former vice president at Adidas, saw a need for a “brand-positive channel for overstocks,” which means simply a place for retailers to sell their out-of-season goods without harming their image. Before an Internet site like The Clymb, brands unloaded their overstocks on discount retailers like T.J. Maxx or to websites optimized for price-driven search engines.

In contrast, The Clymb’s members-only model means that price-crawling websites can’t find their deals. The limited-time offers lend a sense of urgency to shoppers who already feel they are part of an exclusive club. It also means a hectic pace for Dachtler and his staff of 90 employees. “Having a merchandising cycle that refreshes every 24 hours is unheard of in retail,” he says. “We have to be extremely acute in the management of all the parts of the cycle. A day’s delay means nothing to another retailer, but it could have a big impact on us.”

And the fast turnaround required means that Dachtler’s desired work/life balance will have to wait. His company’s mission statement is “to improve the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants by inspiring human-powered adventure,” but Dachtler’s last human-powered adventure involved taking his two daughters to the wilds of Beaverton; more specifically, to Nike headquarters, where his wife works, to play in the rock gym. The last movie he saw was Walt Disney’s Frozen.

That’s not to say Dachtler doesn’t indulge in personal time. He often bikes to work. “It takes 20 minutes to get here from my house in the Southwest hills but much longer to get home.” And he acknowledges his staff’s commitment to their work. Rewards include guided meditation, in-house yoga, free mass-transit passes and bimonthly visits from a bike technician to service everyone’s ride. They even pair up people who don’t normally work together, give them lunch money and a tandem bicycle, and send them on their way. All employees are company shareholders.