The NEW Book Club

13 Aug 2014

The NEW Book Club

Written by chicceo Published in

Chic Eliter, Jill Hinton, has taken the book club to an all new level and incorporated adventure! Not only is this a cool idea - she used her Chic Elite Membership to catapult her business....


1. Tell us about Outdoor Book Club - what does it do? 

Outdoor Book Club helps women discover their inner heroines by leading women-only travel adventure tours. Think learning to flyfish in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (a regular haunt for Ernest back in the day) during the morning, while discussing Nick Adams stories while eating fabulous campfire food at night. 

All food and equipment are included in the price of a trip, which can run as long as a week or as short as a weekend. Not all trips are hard-core, sleep-on-the-ground, pee-in-the-woods kind of actiities; we've got some cottage and resort getaways planned for this winter. And you don't have to read the book to go on the trip (though it certainly helps). 


2. How did you come up with the idea? 

One night I was having drinks with some colleagues after work, and someone mentioned that her boss was going to be gone all week, hiking the Porcupine Mountains with her sister and best friend. I thought that sounded like an AMAZING idea - no kids, no men, just women in a supportive, laughter-filled environment learning to love the outdoors. But I then I wanted to combine it with one of my passions, and since I'm a huge bookworm, adding the book club element was a no-brainer.


3. How did you use Chic CEO to get this idea off of the ground? 

At first I just used the Facebook page to share great entrepreneurial articles with like-minded women (I didn't know any other entrepreneurial women back then). But then I joined the Chic Elite program, and got ideas like using HARO (I've already been featured in Family Circle's website and I'll be in an upcoming print edition of Better Homes & Gardens!). I've also used the partnership templates to pitch workshop ideas to local businesses, and I'm hosting my first Backpacking 101 workshop in September with a local boutique outdoors store. I'm also considering bringing on a partner - just 10% ownership - because I've been working with this incredible woman who has proven to be the adventure yin to my business yang — the documents & templates the Elite program provided have proven invaluable. 


4. What are some of your quick wins? 

I got a call from the ABC show Shark Tank a few weeks ago — not sure I'm such a great fit at this point in the process, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try! Also, a woman signed up for our September trip for her 47th birthday, and she's bringing along three friends. Nice!


5. What have been some of your challenges? 

Getting the word out! Once I hit my "right people," everyone falls in love with the idea. The next step is getting the word out to more women, and getting them to sign up with their sisters, book club, co-workers and friends.


6. What's next for OBC?

More trips! Backpacking in September (Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods"), dog tent camping in October (Garth Stein's "The Art of Racing in the Rain") and winter cabin getaway in November ("Last Child in the Woods" by Richard Louv). 

Looking forward to expanding nationally and internationally — I would love to do Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love" in Indonesia!


7. What is your favorite mistake so far? 

Ha! So many to choose from! Probably spending too much money on gear. I LOVE camping gear and gadgets, but I really want my clients to be comfortable on their trips. Also, I won $10,000 this past January in a business plan competition for women vets, but I should have won $25,000. I got cocky at the end, and didn't prepare like I should have.

So that's two. Pick your favorite.


8. How can people find out more about OBC?

The best place to get updates (and inspiration!) is Facebook ( or Twitter (@outdoorbookclub), but to book a trip, women can go to, or even email me at



Jill Hinton is a writer, Army veteran and the Chief Heroine of the Outdoor Book Club. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and divides her time between exploring the woods and lakes with her husband, two kids, three stepkids, two dogs, and trying to figure out which book to read next.


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