Steven and Elyse Douglas have been in business in Bend for 22 years. Their gallery in downtown Bend features original designs manufactured in their workshop on the second floor of the Saint Clair Building. The showroom also features locally mined Oregon Sunstone jewelry.
How has your business been impacted by the economic downturn?
In today’s market we’ve all seen the cost of basic living expenses fluctuate almost daily.
From gas to groceries and everything in between. The ‘luxury goods’ market has taken an even bigger hit than most others. Why? The idea of spending a considerable amount of money on something that is perhaps deemed unnecessary, seems to be for some consumers unreasonable at this point. Be it a luxury SUV, a designer handbag or a piece of jewelry.
So why make changes in a small business’ marketing strategy now? Why risk spending hours of payroll and effort to venture into the unknown? There are thinkers and there are doers. Seeing the need and rising to the occasion puts the true entrepreneur back out on the playing field. In Bend we all see the insurmountable show of support for our local artist and small business owners. Our annual festivals and fundraisers in Bend prove to those putting it all on the line, that the heart of Central Oregonians is to keep it here, keep it local. Heck our bumper stickers say so! More and more consumers are empowering themselves by getting informed. Shopping the national retailers and not only seeing but feeling the difference.
How have you reinvented yourselves to stay in business?
Through depressions and economic downturns one thing is still a constant. Folks are still falling in love and taking that step into marriage or commitments daily. There are couples celebrating five, ten even 50 years of unions together. There are daughters graduating college and inevitably husbands in the dog houses from time to time.
The reason why some local artist and business owners are still thriving in this economy is due to the fact that some stand alone in their business philosophy. “If you can dream it we can make it”- a Doulas Fine Jewelry Design business motto, means they are there for their consumers no matter what it takes.
What are your goals going forward in our present economic climate?
Launching a new e-commerce website.
What have been the keys to your continued success?
There isn’t a need to make huge profit margins in a family owned business that understands the bigger impact a reputation can make in a small town. Whether catering to the lawyers and doctors or to our children’s school teachers. So launching a new E-Commerce website is a real risk in this economy but where would we be without the risk takers… the Harry Houdini’s, Albert Einstein’s and Vince Lombardi’s.
Article written by Janet Emerson.