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|Articles - September 2013|
|Monday, August 19, 2013|
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Their approach may be unorthodox. For example, when they wanted to enlarge their wholesale customer base, they piled into the car with their dog, Gingham, and took a cross-country road trip, visiting shops and showing Cross’ jewelry designs along the way. But for them, the personal touch is a vital ingredient in their business. On their website, blog, Facebook page and in face-to-face encounters with customers visiting their shop, they strive to build relationships.
“It’s always a genuine story that we’re putting out there,” says Cross, “and I think that allows people to relate to us, and us to them. I feel that is one of the main reasons that we have been successful, being able to relate to people.”
Cross says one of her greatest challenges was turning over the actual creation of her jewelry to the artisans they had hired. “I’m a perfectionist,” she says. “That was really hard for me to let go of.” But even more wrenching was the recent discovery that one of her most popular items, a brass cuff based on the design of the Fremont Bridge, had apparently been copied as a cheap knockoff. “It did feel really bad,” she admits. But even her pain became an opportunity to build more relationships. After she wrote about her disappointment on the betsy & iya blog, there was an outpouring of sympathy and support from loyal customers across the country.
The couple came to view the unsavory incident as a challenge to overcome. They could use it in their favor as a means for reaching out to more people. The plan they hatched was to hold a $5 customer raffle for three custom-made, gold-plated Fremont Bridge cuffs. “I personally stamped the word ‘Original’ on the inside,” says Cross.
The response was phenomenal. Now they’re ready to move on and look forward to a future that includes a larger shop, expanded online sales and, yes, more Portland bridges that figure in Cross’ designs — although it’s still a secret which ones.
And if there was ever any doubt that these former Virginians weren’t a perfect fit for Portland, they now have two dogs, Gingham and Maurice, ready to greet customers at the door.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment.
Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.
Thursday, June 05, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER
What does it take to launch and run one of these mobile food businesses?
Thursday, July 24, 2014
BY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
With the increasing retirements of Baby Boomers, a massive real estate shift has created a significant increase in demand for NNN properties. The result? Increased demand has triggered higher prices and lower yields.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
BY MONICA ENAND | GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Nine tips for building habits among employees to respond when needed.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
BY ANDREA DURBIN | OB GUEST BLOGGER
Last week, the Obama administration took an important and welcomed step in the effort to protect the health and well-being of all Oregonians by limiting carbon pollution from existing power plants.
Monday, July 14, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER
Some people think Amazon’s winking eye logo is starting to look like a hoodwink.
Monday, July 07, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, "Robin Sages" are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information.
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