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I Am Kara and This Is My Journey in the Hook and Loop Fastener Industry

Joining the World of Hook and Loop Fasteners Kara Hendrick, WIFI Board of Directors As one of the relatively “newbies” to not only the WIFI Board but also the world of fasteners, I truly feel as though I learn something new about this ever-changing world each day. To me, the manufacturing industry is both fascinating and fulfilling, and while many people don’t necessarily think of the word "marketing" when it comes to manufacturing, this is where I got my first start, working for my father’s circuit board manufacturing company. With a passion for both combining digital and marketing, I had the opportunity to help revamp their website, marketing and sales tactics to better implement an updated marketing approach for today's world….it was thrilling. Combining “older-school” knowledge with new technologies? Nothing better!

Marketing activities back then consisted of brochures, direct mailers and tradeshows (which are great!) but we found that by optimizing our website and integrating our engineers, plant managers, technicians and operators into our digital marketing strategy, we were able to have much more success. To me, the different digital marketing opportunities for manufacturing are endless. When you think about the concept of storytelling and content creation, the manufacturing (and fastener) space is brimming with it.

Fast forward to 2014, I joined the fastener world and began my career at Velcro Companies, the premiere inventors and manufacturers of hook and loop fasteners. Similar to brands such as Xerox®, Kleenex®, and BAND-AID®, we work very hard to protect our trademark and brand. Working for the VELCRO® Brand, consists of wearing many different hats.

My current job as the Manager of Digital Marketing, entails global social media management, content creation (blog posts, videos, email blasts), global programs, lead generation, marketing automation initiatives and event marketing. I work with both the B2B and B2C strategic business units and have the opportunity daily to educate and learn about the different applications of hook and loop fasteners.

Through this digital space we are able to connect with consumers, distributors, customers and the general public---learning new ways that people are using our fasteners and more. I have the chance to work directly with the retailers selling our products, and also the OEMs who are integrating our applications into their products.

There is truly never a dull day!

However, throughout the different WIFI and Young Fastener Professional events, I learned that hook and loop fasteners ar