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|Articles - December 2010|
|Wednesday, November 17, 2010|
General manager Dave Hansen started working at the business in 1981. A friendly, soft-spoken man who himself could have been an extra in that iconic 1960s movie, he points out during a tour of his shop a collection of jackets hung under a stack of rejected leather. A yellow elk-hide jacket stands out from the others. “That one has been to shows all over Japan,” he says. “I’d say it’s worth, oh, $25,000.”
Ross Langlitz was a motorcycle enthusiast who lost much of his right leg to a bike accident in the 1930s. He founded Langlitz Leathers in 1947 in his basement, where he whipped up jackets for friends. By the time Hansen married Langlitz’s daughter, Jackie, in 1981, it was a well-established shop for leather lovers. The shop relies on word of mouth to promote its product.
The word gets around. Sales exploded in the late 1990s following an article in the Wall Street Journal that featured the shop. “We had a backlog for almost two years,” Hansen says. But following the recent recession, sales declined and the average wait time is now around one month. In the past few years, the shop laid off two of its 15 employees. Despite its drop in sales, its custom jackets still attract customers with money to spare. “The top 1% of the world is a lot of people,” Hansen says. When Hansen bought his first Cascade jacket in the early 1970s, it was $75. It now goes for $850.
Before the recession, Langlitz split its business between catalog and drop-in customers; now 80% of business is non-local. These catalog shoppers are from around the globe, most of them Japanese.
Hansen first started selling to the Japanese market in the early 1990s. “Two [Japanese] sailors came into the shop during the Rose Festival one year and bought jackets,” Hansen says, adding that he gets about one-third of his revenue from Japan.
Hansen credits foreign interest in his products to the rebel-without-a-cause Americana image of their jackets. “Folks like old American stuff made by old American companies.”
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Transforming the culture of Oregon’s educational leadership.
The Board dismissed a petition related to efforts to unionize the Northwestern University football team.
Every once in a while we receive a letter in the (fictional) mailbag that is tough to describe and quite compelling. This week, Isabel, the new HR manager at LabCo (and someone who is new to HR), wants to know whether she may fire the owner’s son for having an Oregon medical marijuana card. In passing, Isabel also makes a number of alarming admissions about her motivation. Here is Isabel’s nerve-racking question and our response to it.
Oregon Sick Leave is here, and changes to the federal white-collar worker regulations are on the way. This workshop will prepare you for both. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to start planning now for the future impact on your operations and finances.
Presented by OEN + CENTRL + YESpdx.
This Roundtable will cover numerous issues under the employer "shared responsibility" rules of the Affordable Care Act, including how to track the "full-time" status of variable-hour employees, temporary or seasonal employees, and employees who experience a change in status or a break in service. Additionally, we will provide a brief overview of Code sections 6055 and 6056, which require most mid-sized and large employers to submit their first information reports to the IRS in early 2016 regarding the health insurance coverage being offered to employees. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to prepare for the future impact of the shared responsibility rules on your operations and finances.