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|Articles - July/August 2012|
|Monday, July 09, 2012|
BY JON BELL
He runs a successful business growing and selling exotic coral from around the world. He gets fabric from China and has it sewn into cloth flowerpots at a factory in the Philippines, which he then imports and sells nationwide. And yet 26-year-old Ian McMenamin failed his international distribution class at the University of Oregon three times.
“My real effort was with my businesses outside,” says the recent graduate of the UO’s business program and an inveterate entrepreneur. “My businesses are my life.”
Raised in affluent Marin County, Calif., McMenamin was 13 when he started working at a pet store that had an amazing saltwater fish tank. Well-heeled customers would roll up in fancy cars to buy exotic — and expensive — coral.
“I fell in love with the tanks and with that lifestyle,” McMenamin says. “I knew that’s what I wanted.”
It took some time, but eventually McMenamin was not only selling coral, but was learning to grow it himself. When it came time to look for a business school, McMenamin headed to Eugene in part for its lower overhead costs and cheaper water to grow his coral. Today, with his company Anything Coral, McMenamin grows all his own coral in 15 8-foot tanks in the basement of an apartment building. Coral prices range from $5 to several thousand dollars per piece, and he has wholesale distribution hubs in four U.S. cities.
McMenamin’s latest endeavor is a cloth flowerpot company called Yield Pots. Backed by a private investor, McMenamin found traders to work with in the Philippines who helped him source materials and find workers to sew the pots, which have become popular with nurseries and hydroponic growers. He did an initial run of 20,000 pots and a second of 80,000. The pots are now in 60 stores across the country, and McMenamin is working on a third run of 160,000 units. He’s also got another gardening product in the works.
If it all seems like a little too much work to fit into a single day, that’s because it almost is. McMenamin says he’s always working and only sleeps about five hours a night. But that’s just how he likes it.
“I hustle as hard as I can,” he says, “because I don’t ever want to look back and think about a time in my life when I was slacking.”
Friday, March 14, 2014
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014
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Les Schwab has put a premium on customer service since 1952, when legendary namesake Les Schwab founded the company with one store in Prineville. (Schwab died in 2007.) But if the corporate principles remain essentially the same, the world around this iconic Oregon business has changed dramatically.
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Brad Smith, founder of Hot Pepper Studios, and Travis Boersma, president of Dutch Bros. Coffee, share their recent reads.
Friday, March 21, 2014
TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
During a recent talk to HR Directors, I asked if they saw leaders trying to solve every problem, instead of delegating to and empowering staff. Every head nodded. Every single one.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
Watch this OB Original Video about three Oregon companies and how crowd-funding "kickstarted" their business ideas.
Thursday, April 03, 2014
BY OB STAFF
Learn how to green your workplace and lower your environmental footprint at the office. Oregon Business presents a two-hour "Greening Your Workplace" seminar on May 28th, 2014 at the Nines Hotel in Portland.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
A new report explores the impact of millennials on Oregon's business and political climate.
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