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|Articles - December 2011|
|Tuesday, November 15, 2011|
By Linda Baker
Six years after launching gDiapers, a privately held Portland company that manufactures reusable and biodegradable diaper products, co-founders Jason and Kim Graham-Nye are expanding to the United Kingdom with a new brand, gNappies.
Setting up shop in Great Britain, where “the markets are more sustainable than the U.S.,” was a logical next step, says chief executive Jason Graham-Nye. Many local governments in the U.K. give families who use reusable diapers a subsidy of about $100 annually, based on the fact that it costs about $400 per baby to manage the solid-waste problems created by disposable diapers.
The U.K. expansion marks the second international development for the Graham-Nyes, who emigrated from Australia so they could build gDiapers in a country that valued entrepreneurship, Graham-Nye says. Today gDiapers, which employs 18 people at its Portland headquarters, is growing 65% annually.
In the U.K., the company is selling its products, including fashion coordinated diapers and tops, through Amazon.com.uk. “Starting online rather than in physical stores as we did in the U.S. is lower cost, more profitable and ties neatly with online marketing and social media efforts,” Graham-Nye says.
Graham-Nye praised the U.K.’s “wonderfully efficient distribution system” and said the country’s eco-friendly incentives are in sync with gDiapers’ family-friendly workplace practices in Portland, which include four weeks’ paid vacation and an on-site day care serving 75 children of employees and families in the neighborhood.
With a soft launch in France, a third gDiapers expansion is also under way. But Graham-Nye is proceeding cautiously. “There’s strong demand in England. We don’t want to spread ourselves too thin.”
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The technology industry is always in flux. And this rapid rate of change poses challenges to companies ranging from nimble startups aiming to make their mark to established organizations fighting to remain relevant. This is particularly true in the competitive digital display market, where an Oregon company has been at the forefront of nearly every major breakthrough in the last three decades.
A look back at the shifting sands of Portland’s growth and development.
Robert S. Wiggins has joined Lane Powell as a Shareholder in the Corporate/M&A Practice Group. Wiggins is a well-known lawyer, entrepreneur, and investor with more than 30 years of experience leading and advising established and emerging companies in the Pacific Northwest. Wiggins will focus his practice on offering outside general counsel services, including general corporate and board representation, business transactions and capital events.
DEDICATION PARTY: Help the Port of The Dalles celebrate its newest shovel-ready industrial land Friday, July 31, from 1:30 to 4 p.m.