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Carleen Clearwater

Kickass Marketing and Creative®

My philosophy has always been to surround yourself with people who have your back and move you forward - people who are amazing at what you do and people who are bananas awesome at what you don't do. In other words, surround yourself with people who kickass if you wanna kick ass. Wanna know more about me and how I can help you attack your marketing like a cheetah chasin' down dinner? Read on.


Kickass Marketing: That's My Name, Go Ahead and Wear It Out 

Where I Get the Kickass Attitude

I live, eat, breathe, sleep (or not sleep) marketing. It is not what I do; it is who I am. My mom always said that I had been a PR/Marketing pro since the 3rd grade. I was using carbon copies to make promo flyers for my talent shows. Talent shows that I had created myself probably without telling teachers, much less asking permission. It is not an ego thing; it is a sharing thing. It’s in my DNA to bring people together and collaborate to elevate. Together = kickass. It just does.


I get the passion to share and to give from my mom who was an artist and teacher. I get the “I’m in charge” attitude, confidence to execute, and unwavering dedication from my dad. He was an Air Force Lt. Colonel and growing up I watched him earn respect through integrity and raising the bar. The bar, he taught me to raise it and hold it up – even under fire. Passionate + artistic + driven + dedicated + lifelong obsession = bulldog. I am literally like a bulldog with a bone when it comes to marketing your business.


My professional journey has been a collage of working for theatres, agencies, restaurant groups, local businesses, and two media groups. They all gave me a perspective of different sides of the industry. The only thing they have in common is they were all ass-kicking grinders for one reason or the other. Wow. During my 30+ years as a marketer and graphic designer, I have had the pleasure and privilege of working for and with some badass people.


How the Name Kickass Was Originally About Everyone But Me

In the fall of 2010, I started my term of President of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) Colorado Springs. At the time, I was the Creative Director for Freedom Communications Colorado (The Gazette) and had worked for them for 13 years. I was smack dab in the middle of so many amazing people doing rockstar work that I was constantly saying things like, "Ooooh that's kickass." and "Damn that KICKS ASS!" I mean aaalllll the time. Thing is, I was never talking about me or my work. Kickass wasn't me it was everyone around me:) But the nickname "kickass" started... and then...


I was mid-stride on my AdFed presidency and one of the biggest campaigns of my career when - POW. I was laid off from The Gazette with a chunk of the leadership team so that the paper could be sold. That coulda been a really dark time in my career, but I was part of an incredible professional community and they literally rallied around me.


So what did I do with more than 20 years of experience putting butts in the seats for businesses, and multimedia publishing companies? In January 2012, I kicked open the doors for my own business - Kickass Marketing and Creative.


But wait! What about the name?


One late night I was sitting at my kitchen counter, the OG working from home desk, chatting with a fellow alum of The G on Facebook IM stressin' because I had an event coming up and I had ZERO ideas for the name of my biz. All I knew is that I didn't want to be Carleen Clearwater Creative even though the alliteration was pulling me in like the Death Star:) It felt meh. I typed, "It just doesn't feel KICKASS." And then {INSERT PAUSE FOR EFFECT} my friend typed in the chat, "Maybe you're Kickass Marketing and Creative?" Boom. Bought the URL on GoDaddy right that minute. The rest is a story for over cocktails. 



Some Days are More Like Ass Kicked vs. Kickass

I 100% know what it feels like to be swirling in a dozen marketing mediums that all are going in different directions. I am my own worst client. Hell, I didn't even have a website until 5 YEARS AFTER BEING IN BUSINESS and it was pretty much a digital business card with zero content. But then crap! I didn't touch it for almost 4 years. But, I didn't need it - and just like I tell every business owner, "Don't spend time or dimes on ANY MARKETING that you don't need to grow your revenue or reach." I was so fortunate the first years to have my business be almost 100% referral or from one-on-one networking.


I am a small business owner that was so busy doing the business, I didn't have time to build the business.  Sound familiar? And, after spending all day every day doing everyone else's marketing, I woulda rather stIck a fork in my eye than sit down and work on Kickass at the end of the day.


What was the turning point? Well, I'm probably a lot like most small business owners, and I got to the point where I was ready to take my biz to the next level. And that means for the right clients with the right work to find me - I gotta get off my ass and do what I do and get out here. Duh. 


Straight Talk, No Sugar

I guide, shape, coach, protect, and nudge (ok push) businesses to get to kickass.

Do you feel like you are swirlin' and oozin' man-hours and money? If so, let me help you wrangle in your brand to CAPTURE>>CONNECT>>KICKASS. I have developed and managed creative and marketing strategies for a 15 multi-media brand portfolio and worked with 1000s of advertising clients and 100s of nonprofits from every end of the business spectrum.


What I love most is working with small/medium-sized businesses or in-house marketing teams when they need someone who can look at their business with a 360° perspective. 


As business owners, we've maxed every resource and cashed every favor to get where we are, and we just need help to get to the next level.


Or, you're a marketing team that is rockin’ and rollin’, but you need an outside point of view and a burst of energy and know-how to help you shape your next kickass campaign. Sound familiar? Good news, you’re my kinda client.


I geek out over marketing all day every day. If you're feeling overwhelmed or straight up like a hot marketing mess - Booyah! I can't wait to parachute in and help you rev up your revenue and reach. 


I thrive on taking my client’s success personally. Let's do this.

Marketing isn't magic. It's a formula. Let's connect and kickass!
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