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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.
Monday, January 26, 2015
The day after this issue goes to press, the city of Medford will host its annual business conference. The event features Minoli Ratnatunga, co-author of the Milken Institute’s annual “Best-Performing Cities” report. Preliminary data suggests that Medford is likely to retain its No. 1 ranking among best-performing small cities for having a higher concentration of high-tech firms than the national average.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
A place-based multimodal transportation plan for Mt. Hood is long overdue.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
What is the impact of the legal pot industry on carbon emissions?
Thursday, January 08, 2015
BY CAMBIA HEALTH SOLUTIONS & OREGON BUSINESS COUNCIL | OP-ED
Businesses have a significant stake in the health of Oregonians. In fact, we cannot succeed without it. By committing to using our companies as levers for good health, we invest in our people, our business, our quality of life and our economy.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
BY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST BLOGGER
Active vs. passive investing: what you need to know.
Friday, February 27, 2015
PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Images from the 2015 celebration of Oregon's great workplaces.
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
After more than a decade of wrangling, construction on a convention center hotel in Portland is slated to start this summer. But debate over project financing continues.
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