KLUTCHclub is a new monthly subscription service that sends a hand-picked and “themed” box of holistic health, fitness and wellness products – organic protein bars, workout wear, skincare products, teas, etc. – right to your doorstep every month, making it a no brainer to incorporate healthier choices with ease. Members learn about new, niche brands and products that suit their lifestyles, and get access to exclusive deals and offers from companies that share their values. Each box is full of $50+ of products, but only costs subscribers around $17 apiece.
JULIE BASHKIN, CEO
Her goal was simple: to produce a box of curated, healthy products that would magically appear right at your door. Julie Bashkin founded KLUTCHclub in 2012 to solve a problem. While working a demanding 75hr +/ week with a heavy travel schedule, she was on a perpetual quest to find products that would make eating healthy, nutritious food and exercising on the go more convenient. Confused by all the options out there, not knowing which brands to trust, and unwilling to invest hundreds of dollars on products that she couldn’t distinguish from the latest gimmicks vs. something that was holistically good for her…KLUTCHclub was born. As Founder and CEO of KLUTCHclub, Bashkin is responsible for strategic vision for the company, brand ambassadorship, marketing and customer acquisition, brand partner relationships and capability building, investor relations and fundraising, to name just a few. Prior to founding KLUTCHclub, Bashkin was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company, where she helped large corporations grow their businesses in new markets in the consumer packaged goods, retail and hospitality sectors. The experience solidified her problem solving and leadership skills, principles and philosophy. It also taught her that her core leadership philosophy was to pursue only what she is personally passionate about, to figure out her own struggles and then help others figure out theirs, and to build a team of people who share the same passions and are inspired to work every day on something that challenges them. With a passion for helping others succeed, after college, Bashkin served as a Fulbright Scholar with the United States Department of State in Belarus, where she helped women entrepreneurs in Eastern Europe start and grow their businesses. Bashkin holds a B.A. in Social Relations from Michigan State University and an M.A. from the University of Chicago in Russian History. She is an avid traveler, foodie, reader, and exerciser. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Matt, and their 6 lbs. Pomeranian, Cortez.
LISA BARTOLUCCI, COO
Lisa Bartolucci serves as KLUTCHclub’s Co-Founder & COO and focuses on building and refining the company’s e-commerce capabilities. As KLUTCHclub’s second employee, Bartolucci has been involved with the company from the very beginning and has been integral in laying the groundwork for all of the company’s systems & processes. Bartolucci teamed up with CEO Julie Bashkin in March 2012 because she believes wholeheartedly in Bashkin’s vision. While weight loss has not been her primary health challenge, chronic allergies have been and Bartolucci realizes that everyone has some type of health challenge that can be addressed and supported by an innovative product on the market that is often “hidden” behind the noise in traditional sales & marketing channels. As a former McKinsey & Company consultant working closely with Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) & Retail brands, Bartolucci has first-hand experience with the challenges in bringing an innovative product to market, particularly with respect to distributing the product effectively and quickly in its early stages. Because of this, Bartolucci is committed to filling a current gap in the market by providing meaningful distribution services through KLUTCHclub’s subscription box and e-commerce platforms to the best health products in the market in the hopes of accelerating success. In short, Bartolucci is passionate about getting the right health products into the right hands (and many of them!) at the right time and in the right (cost effective) manner. Prior to KLUTCHclub, Bartolucci co-launched four start-ups in Chicago, all in the consumer product space, including City Trolley, a company that sought to re-invent the “old lady shopping cart” into a product to be used by today’s fashion-forward urban dweller. Bartolucci holds a B.A. in Economics & Political Science from the University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. (with High Honors) from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is an avid yogi of all sorts and has a keen passion for city walks, country music, wine, crossword puzzles, and college football. She lives in Chicago with her husband Casey.
GREG WELKER, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Greg is an former Iowa football receiver and all-around athlete, so working as the Director of Ops at KLUTCHclub was a natural fit. Not to mention, he’s our token fitness dude. He grew up in a very health and fitness-conscious family, which helped him to stay in shape and continue to evolve his healthy journey. He plays in a slow-pitch softball, flag football, basketball and soccer league in Chicago and when he’s not playing sports, he’s watching them or going out for a long run outdoors. Greg holds a BA in Health and Sports Studies, with a Minor in Entrepreneurial Management from the University of Iowa.
CLAIRE REUSS, VP BRAND PARTNERSHIPS
Claire is our resident Aussie with a passion for unconvering the latest and greatest in health and wellness products. She loves researching the market to discover which ones will inspire, encourage and challenge members of the KLUTCHclub community. Not only has Claire traveled the globe, but she’s lived across it — temporarily settling in Melbourne, New York City, Sydney and Singapore before planting roots in San Francisco over two years ago. Claire holds a B.S in Multimedia Technology from Deakin University in Melbourne and is also a certified yoga teacher and Reiki practitioner. When she isn’t unearthing health innovation, you can find Claire downward-dogging at a hot yoga class or sipping lattes at a local San Fran café.
AMEENA PAYNE, MARKETING MANAGER & CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE
Ameena has always believed in walking to the beat of her own drum and expressing herself in that fashion. She is passionate about encouraging the health of the body and mind. Being a free-spirit, she embraces the irregularities in life, immersing herself in nature and new surroundings. She was always given the confidence to use her mind and align her thoughts with her actions; the activities she involves herself in are always an expression of the essential part of the person she is – connected, positive, creative, and adventurous — which is why she’s joined KLUTCHclub. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Illinois Institute in Technology where she has served on the Student Government Association and President of the student organization, TEDxIIT. Recently, she spent two weeks in Doha, Qatar, where she was invited by the TED organization, to attend the inaugural summit.
BRANDON FELD, LEAD DIGITAL MARKETING & ANALYTICS
Brandon translates stats and numbers into powerful insights for the KLUTCHclub team as a multifaceted, cross-departmental, tech-savvy employee. Brandon can be found studying the stats of marketing and website analytics and aggregating data from customer feedback, SEO, and front/back-end web work. Although he’s constantly being tugged in multitudes of directions in the dynamic environment of KLUTCHclub, Brandon still finds time to enjoy his favorite activities like traveling, hiking and camping. If he is not doing one of these activities you can likely find him behind a computer screen, at the beach, or a combo of the two! Brandon is currently pursuing his Bachelors of Science in Management Information Systems at University of Illinois in Chicago. He is also a member of the UIC organization called BITS, Business Information Technology Society and volunteers as a note taker at the University’s disability center.
ALEX KATSNELSON, LEAD DEAL ANALYTICS AND DILIGENCE
Alex heard about KLUTCHclub through a family friend while working at PricewaterhouseCoopers. After doing his own research about the company, he knew he had to be a part of it. His entrepreneurial curiosity, yearning for a new challenge, desire to learn, and love for fitness make him a perfect piece for our puzzle.
In his short time at KLUTCHclub, Alex has already worked in multiple roles. During his first month he served as the Director of E-Commerce, managing merchandising, fulfillment, and accounting for the KLUTCHshop. Next he was moved to a role within KLUTCHclub’s brand incubator, KCBrands, where he works directly with the executive team on consulting and investment banking projects.
Alex holds a B.B.A. in Accounting and Information Systems from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. At UW he was elected to the executive board of three different organizations, while also being an active member of the community.
ANNETTE RADZISZEWSKI, DIRECTOR OF MARKETING
KLUTCHclub’s chief content creator, Annette, brings over a year’s experience at a brand strategy firm and an analytical attitude to KLUTCHclub. Occasionally, she also brings her lovable pup, Ginger, as well. Her diploma from Loyola University’s School of Communications attests to her inveterate passion for persuasive and engaging messaging, while her diploma from Second City’s improvisational program attests to her being certifiably funny. After having more than a few moments of creative inspiration occur during the Hundred, she decided to enroll in Pilates teacher training program and is midway to certification.
DARCY GASSEL, DIRECTOR OF BRAND PARTNERSHIPS
Darcy has lived in the health-crazed communities of Boulder, Colorado and Los Angeles, which guided her transformation into a fitness enthusiast and Barre class addict. After accomplishing her dream of working at a large ad agency in LA, Darcy fueled her other passion – entrepreneurship – by earning her MBA at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. At KLUTCHclub, Darcy fuels her enthusiasm for health and wellness, as well as entrepreneurship, by developing relationships with innovative and exciting brands. She currently resides in Chicago, and can frequently be found running along Lake Michigan, traveling, attending music festivals, and noshing on sushi.