|| Print ||
|Thursday, May 28, 2009|
Last week, when I was in D.C. covering the Small Business Administration's annual Small Business Week for my USA TODAY column, I was fortunate enough to meet Oregon's Small Business Person of the Year - Tara O'Keeffe.
Tara runs, and is the creative power behind, O'Keeffe's Company, a line of fantasic, all-natural skin therapy products invented by Tara herself.
While Tara was recognized in D.C. as one of 50 state winners, it was Thursday night in Portland where she received her local honor when the Oregon SCORE chapter and the Portland SBA honored her at an award gala at the convention center.
The roots of Tara's family business go back more than 25 years to the Klamath Basin. Her father was a rancher and the weather had dried his hands and cracked his feet to the point that he could hardly shake hands and it was painful to even walk. When Tara graduated college with a pharmacy degree she began experimenting with various concoctions so as to help out dear 'ol dad. After some time she created the basic formula for what became their mainstay product, "O'Keeffe's Working Hands."
One lesson to be learned is that it is often the counter-intuitive idea that works in small business. For O'Keeffe's, that mean having no oil in their skin care products. According to Tara, "Oil repels moisture; it simply sits on the skin. Our product attracts moisture, draws it into the skin, and promotes the healing process."
So what else does Oregon's top small business do right?
Maybe their website says it best: "O’Keeffe’s is an old-fashioned success story in which science, dogged determination, desire to help others, and the love for a father came together in a product more effective than anything the giant cosmetic companies could conceive of."
|The Love Boat|
|The Food Pod Grows Up|
|The High Road|
|Tinker, Tailor, Portland Maker|
|The Shift to Community Health Care|
|The Harder They Fall|
|Another chapter to the Bezos/Musk space race story|
|Thanksgiving travel: Fuel costs low, terrorism anxiety high|
|Costco chicken salad linked to E. coli case in Washington|
|Nestle comes clean about benefitting from slave labor|
|Enormous drugmaker emerges from Pfizer, Allergan deal|
|Startups joining lobbying game|
|Merchants complain as Square goes public|
Economic diversity has proven a smart strategy for the Port of Hood River. How can other Oregon communities replicate the model?
Phone, Internet needs of small community school districts earn attention of top-five telecom provider.
Farmland LP grows its vision for organic farming in Oregon.
The Salem Convention Center has capped its tenth anniversary year by earning the prestigious “Best of the Best 2015” award from NW Meetings & Events magazine. Selected as the Best Convention/Conference Venue in Oregon by meeting and event planners from Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, the Salem Convention Center ranked above the Oregon Convention Center and the Portland Art Museum.
The Oregon Cooperative Hall of Fame honors individuals for their outstanding contributions to the successful building and operation of Oregon agricultural cooperatives.
Health insurer reports $10.2 million in net income after taxes through the first nine months of 2015.