Settlemier's Award Jackets is a Portland staple that's been serving the Pacific Northwest since 1990. In 2022, third generation owner and operator Aaron Settlemier became part of the Advanced Small Business Management cohort through the PCC Small Business Development Center. Throughout the 10-month business training program, Aaron says he and his team have "realized new ways to access capital, revamped our business manuals, developed systems that separate the business from a single person (the owner), and made more precise and professional short-term and long-term goals." This is Aaron's story.
PCC SBDC client Mara McLoughlin built IRL Social Skills to help autistic and other socially struggling teens, adults, and their parents lead successful social lives. When the COVID-pandemic hit, Mara sought professional guidance through PCC SBDC's one-on-one business advising. Her advisor, Jackie B. Peterson, guided Mara in building a foundation on which her new business could grow. Now, IRL Social Skills is serving individuals and families in Oregon and beyond, helping them make and keep friends! This is Mara's story.
Past Lives is a 26,000 square foot maker-space located in Eastside Portland. Inspired by a life-changing accident and time spent in prison, founder Brandon Morlock created Past Lives to change the way work is done and provide second-chance employment for people coming out the prison system. Unlike any other maker-space in Portland, Past Lives offers a wood shop, metal shop, machine shop, screen-printing machinery, fabric arts shop, stained glass shop, tech hub, electronics fab bench, art framing area, common work areas and private studio spaces to their members. After working with Bruce Melzer, SBDC Capital Access Team expert, Morlock secured an investment to open Past Lives' new location and grow his business. This is Morlock's story.
Casey Campbell is founder and owner of Elemental Studios, a community ceramics studio that offers classes, workshops, and monthly memberships grounded in wellness education and practice. With a mission to help build community around ceramic arts education and wellness principles and practices, Casey and his team work to help people engage creatively and develop self-care practices they can use in and out of the studio. Casey worked with the PCC SBDC to start his business and now, after hiring five employees and continually increasing revenue, Casey continues to work with the PCC SBDC as Elemental Studios reaches its next growth phase.
Ashleigh Atwood owns Maid in Portland, a local eco-friendly residential and commercial cleaning service in Portland, Oregon. After being in business for 15 years, Ashleigh enrolled in the 2022 Advanced Small Business Management training program provided by the PCC Small Business Development Center. During her time in the program, Ashleigh has found a renewed sense of passion for her business, while expanding her team and increasing her revenue by 10%!
Linda Keppinger, a Portland-based artist and photographer, founded KeppingerCreative in January 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Linda participated in Business Builders, a 10-week PCC SBDC training program, in 2020 and continues to seek guidance from her expert business advisors. Now, KeppingerCreative has quadrupled its revenue in just one year by selling its line of art-based paper products into specialty retail stores nationwide! This is Linda's story.
When Kim Boyd recognized the impacts of isolation our community was facing due to the COVID pandemic, she decided to help reconnect individuals with themselves and their communities through Art, Wonder, Exploration and Story labs that provide inclusive, accessible spaces for artful play and story building. Kim came to the PCC Small Business Development Center for help turning her idea into a fully functioning business, and took advantage of structured businesses courses and no-cost, one-on-one business advising. Now, studioAWEsome has reached almost 200 Oregonians in just two months, with strategic plans for future growth.
When Michel Mouzong recognized a need for improved business infrastructure in the developing world, he reached out to the PCC Small Business Development Center for assistance in founding NEMILIS Global Strategy Group. Since then, Michel has completed several PCC SBDC courses, including Business Builders and Buying and Selling Outside the U.S., and has taken advantage of specialty, no-cost advising with PCC SBDC experts in areas of start-up strategy, international business best practices, and trade regulation. This is his story.
Catalyst Trade believes that "coffee is a sacrament," inviting us to grab a cup and join them as they revolutionize the way coffee is traded. Co-owner Emily McIntyre was looking for help growing her international business when she found the Oregon SBDC Network Global Trade Center and participated in the Global Trade Management program in the spring of 2020. Faced with the challenges of building a business across multiple continents and cultures, compounded by a global pandemic, Emily was inspired by the class sessions on cultural competency taught by David Kohl. After years of preparation, Catalyst Trade is excited to finally launch their vertical integration in Ethiopia, along with introducing Kenya and Peru as new coffee origins. As Catalyst Trade continues to lean on the PCC SBDC to help them grow, Emily and her team work hard to transform the future of coffee.
Learn more about Emily's story below!
Becca Schultz started developing her piano pedagogy while still a student at Portland State University. Since then she has helped hundreds of students learn to play and enjoy music, while simultaneously employing multiple musicians as teachers. Her business has grown so much in the past couple of years that they have recently had to move to a newly renovated location with the help of the PCC Small Business Development Center team. This is her story...