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|Articles - May 2012|
|Monday, April 23, 2012|
Page 6 of 6
“In the last year, I’ve learned a lot more about making money on blogs. I used to do product reviews but if I subscribe to a blog, I don’t want to read a review every day. It makes for boring reading. I blog because I love to write and I want to be involved with a community of green-minded moms. To make money, I’m also looking at writing an e-book about homemade personal care and household products.”
Little Busy Bodies
“If you have a product by moms and for moms, then it’s a pretty smart move to make that part of your marketing campaign.” That’s Julie Pickens’ take on being a mom business mogul. The 45-year-old CEO of Beaverton-based Little Busy Bodies, maker of Boogie Wipes, Pickens and business partner Mindee Doney created the saline wipe after looking for a solution to their kids’ runny noses. “This was going to be our little project,” says Pickens. “It turned into a monster.” Revenues last year reached $10 million, up from $6.5 million the year before, and in June 2011, Little Busy Bodies expanded into the teen and adult market. The company’s 15 employees all work on flex schedules, and company marketing focuses on “really talking to our consumers and moms and getting them behind the brand.” A self-proclaimed, and trademarked “Boogie Mom,” Pickens shares her business savvy through her Business of Being a Mom blog and is planning weekend seminars “to give moms marketing, sales and financing 101s.” Pickens says Oregon is a good place for women interested in starting up companies, citing the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network as a resource. Mompreneurship, she says, “is one of those things catching on everywhere.”
A former head of business development for KinderCare, Kelley Peake, 38, opened Play Boutique in Lake Oswego in 2006, and a second location in Beaverton opened this past February. Featuring an indoor play park, licensed school and a café serving beer and wine, Play Boutique aims to give parents and kids opportunities to play separately and together, says Peake, a mother of three. “Our whole premise is helping families achieve that work-life balance.” Local schools are the target market and word of mouth has built the brand in the community. “It’s no secret moms are a truly viral marketing environment,” she says. “They really spread the word.” A low-margin business, Play Boutique charges $7 to come in and play. But even in a down economy, the customer base is growing. Play Boutique, which employs 18 people, grossed $590,000 in 2011, and Peake’s business plan includes attracting investors, expanding into other locations and possibly franchising. A build-out costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. “It’s a great business, but parents are the pickiest customers you could ever have,” Peake says. “You’re dealing with their most prized possessions.”
A former graphic designer, Nancy Cleary got her start helping mothers who were entrepreneurs package their products, a career that evolved into “opening up the whole world of publishing to moms.” Named after her two children, Deadwood, Ore.-based Wyatt-MacKenzie launched in 1998 and was in the red for the first five years. “Now it’s amazing we are growing so fast,” says Cleary, whose 205 titles include Gina Bennett’s National Security Mom and Laurie A. Couture’s Instead of Medicating. “We give moms a place to publish that is outside of the big old-boys network with much more connection and relationship and mutual partnerships.” For many entrepreneurial authors, book sales are not the end goal, says the 44-year-old Cleary, who also has an author consulting division. “It’s about the opportunities publishing can lead to. Whatever that next step is, a book is a business card for an upsell.” All books published by Wyatt-MacKenzie are released on Kindle and Nook. Skype, teleseminars and other web technologies have also made it possible for Cleary to run a global business from a rural Oregon community. Not that there aren’t a few challenges. Says Cleary: “One of the first books I published didn’t want Deadwood on the title page.”
Thursday, August 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Portland-based startup ImpactFlow recently announced a $5.7 million funding round. CEO and co-founder Tyler Foreman talks about matching businesses with nonprofits, his time at Intel and the changing face of philanthropy.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE
Oregon is home to an abundance of gritty warehouses reborn as trendy office spaces, as well as crafty hipsters turned entrepreneurs. Does the combination yield an equally bounteous office products sector? Not so much. Occupying the limited desk jockey space are Field Notes, a spinoff of Portland’s Draplin Design Company, and Schuttenworks, known for whittling Apple device stands. For a full complement of keyboard trays, docking stations and mouse pads, check out the GroveMade line, guaranteed to boost the cachet of even the lowliest cubicle drone.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
One of the hottest new investment trends has proven quite lucrative for some companies.
Monday, September 28, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN
To attract technology companies, the U.S. Bancorp Tower repositions itself as open, light and playful.
Friday, August 21, 2015
Renee Spears, founder and owner of Portland-based Rose City Mortgage, is hot to trot to sell pot.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Ask any college student: Textbook prices have skyrocketed out of control. Online education startup Lumen Learning aims to bring them down to earth.
Friday, October 02, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
Our intrepid (and expecting) research editor finds the child care search involves long waiting lists, costly fees and no certainty of securing a place before she goes back to work.
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