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|Articles - December 2011|
|Tuesday, November 15, 2011|
Page 2 of 2
The growth potential of the handcrafted soap market has brought larger companies into the mix. And that, not competition from other small soapmakers, is where the real threat to this burgeoning industry lies, according to Tim Ledford of SLAB Handcrafted Soaps in Salem. “When large companies come in and buy smaller companies, they can dilute the brand and the organic and natural concepts.” If these companies sell inferior mass-produced products as handmade, he continues, they can turn customers off from real handcrafted soaps. To combat this influence, Fiesel, Ledford, Futoran and Gale continue to connect with customers and demonstrate the benefits of their products.
They also continue to look toward the future, refining their recipes and responding to consumer demand. Fiesel recently introduced vegetable oil–based soaps to her line of tallow and goat’s milk soaps as a result of consumer demand. Ledford, who has added two employees to his operation, will soon be moving to a larger production facility so he can keep up with his customers. He predicts the handcrafted soap industry will follow in the footsteps of microbreweries, creating a market that can withstand pressures from large corporations and continue to grow through innovation and creativity. And creativity is the hallmark of soapmakers, says Fiesel.
“There are a lot of creative avenues you can employ in trying to pursue that perfect bar,” she says. “It is a never-ending quest for the best.”
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Uncertainty in Greece and China, along with potential interest rate hikes mean investors are looking at the market and nervously questioning where they should be invested.
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When gossip crosses the line.
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One of the hottest new investment trends has proven quite lucrative for some companies.
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A New York floral and gift business takes on the iconic Harry & David brand.
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Transforming the culture of Oregon’s educational leadership.
The Board dismissed a petition related to efforts to unionize the Northwestern University football team.
Every once in a while we receive a letter in the (fictional) mailbag that is tough to describe and quite compelling. This week, Isabel, the new HR manager at LabCo (and someone who is new to HR), wants to know whether she may fire the owner’s son for having an Oregon medical marijuana card. In passing, Isabel also makes a number of alarming admissions about her motivation. Here is Isabel’s nerve-racking question and our response to it.
Oregon Sick Leave is here, and changes to the federal white-collar worker regulations are on the way. This workshop will prepare you for both. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to start planning now for the future impact on your operations and finances.
Presented by OEN + CENTRL + YESpdx.
This Roundtable will cover numerous issues under the employer "shared responsibility" rules of the Affordable Care Act, including how to track the "full-time" status of variable-hour employees, temporary or seasonal employees, and employees who experience a change in status or a break in service. Additionally, we will provide a brief overview of Code sections 6055 and 6056, which require most mid-sized and large employers to submit their first information reports to the IRS in early 2016 regarding the health insurance coverage being offered to employees. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to prepare for the future impact of the shared responsibility rules on your operations and finances.