Home Back Issues September 2013 Jewelry by design

Jewelry by design

| Print |  Email
Articles - September 2013
Monday, August 19, 2013
Article Index
Jewelry by design
Page 2
0913 Tactics 03
0913 Tactics 02
// Photos by Adam Bacher

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.



 

More Articles

Growing a mobility cluster

News
Friday, October 31, 2014
0414 bikes bd2f6052BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Why are there so few transportation startups in Portland?  The city’s leadership in bike, transit and pedestrian transportation has been well-documented.  But that was then — when government and nonprofits paved the way for a new, less auto centric way of life.


Read more...

Books Rule

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JON BELL

Powell's stays relevant in the digital age.


Read more...

Fork & Bottle

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014

National media can’t get enough of Oregon’s pinot noir, artisan-food purveyors and lively, independent film scene.


Read more...

The short list: 5 hot coffee shops for entrepreneurs

Contributed Blogs
Friday, November 14, 2014

CupojoeBY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Oregon entrepreneurs reveal their favorite caffeine hangouts.


Read more...

Semiconductor purgatory

News
Monday, October 06, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Intel's manufacturing way station; Merkley's attack dog; Diamond Foods gets into the innovation business.


Read more...

Revenge Forestry

November/December 2014
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG

A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.


Read more...

Reimagining education to solve Oregon's student debt and underemployment problems

News
Thursday, November 13, 2014
carsonstudentdept-thumbBY RYAN CARSON | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

How do we skill up our future technology workforce in a smart way to take advantage of these high-paying jobs? The answer shouldn’t focus only on helping people get a bachelor’s degree.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS