Business Section Archives

After roller-coaster year, Portland Design Works looks ahead to 2017

Posted on November 2nd, 2016 at 1:45 pm.

The Portland Design Works team: (L to R) Jocelyn Gaudi, marketing manager; Matt Cittadini, sales manager; Hazel Gross, office manager; Chris Smitherman, warehouse and customer service coordinator; Erik Olson, founder.(Photos: J. Maus & PDW)

The Portland Design Works team: (L to R) Jocelyn Gaudi, marketing manager; Matt Cittadini, sales manager; Hazel Gross, office manager; Chris Smitherman, warehouse and customer service coordinator; Erik Olson, founder.
(Photos: J. Maus & PDW)

Just over eight years since he founded Portland Design Works, 37-year-old Erik Olson is about close out one of the toughest ones yet. In the past six months he’s endured the departure of his co-founder and business partner, lagging sales thanks to a global downturn in the bike industry, pesky counterfeiters, and an unexpected cross-town move. Despite these hurdles, Olson is sanguine about the future.

“We’re moving in the right direction as a company,” he shared from the floor of his warehouse on Southeast 21st Avenue during a visit yesterday. They’re located just a stones-throw from the new Lafayette Street Bridge (which he and other employees use with their bikes every day) and the Orange MAX line.
[Read more…]

Travel Oregon mulls need for statewide trails advocacy organization

Posted on October 28th, 2016 at 2:51 pm.

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The Banks-Vernonia trail is one of Oregon’s riding gems. Would we have more trails like it with a new advocacy approach?
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Community advocates and government agency staffers throughout Oregon are working hard to develop world-class trails. But is that work failing to reach its potential without a statewide trails advocacy organization?[Read more…]

Former PBOT staffer finds niche with bike-powered greeting card biz

Posted on October 26th, 2016 at 9:45 am.

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Dulken after a visit to one her customers yesterday.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Welcome to the latest installment of our Bikes at Work series. Read more here.

You might not know her name, but you have probably seen Diane Dulken’s work around town. And if her plans work out, you’ll be seeing a lot more of it in the future.

Dulken, a former reporter at The Oregonian who worked at the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s media relations department from 2013 until July of last year, is now putting her effort into Sunnyside Art Studio. It’s a return to doing art, mixing in her love for cycling, and sharing it all with the city she loves that goes back nearly two decades.
[Read more…]

Portland’s Nutcase Helmets acquired by private equity firm

Posted on October 20th, 2016 at 8:01 am.

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Nutcase founder Michael Morrow in 2011.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

10 years after being founded by a former Nike employee, Portland-based Nutcase Inc. has been acquired by Bravo Sports Corporation.

The move brings Nutcase under an umbrella of 23 other brands owned and/or managed by Bravo Sports that includes well-known names in the skateboarding market like Kryptonics, Sector 9, Pro-Tec, and Vision Street Wear. Bravo also owns children’s scooter brand Pulse Performance Products, holds major licensing agreements with Marvel, Nickelodeon, Disney/Pixar (and others), and holds exclusive rights to license, manufacture, and market E-Z UP tents. Bravo Sports is backed by Transom Capital Group, a private equity firm based in Los Angeles.

Nutcase was founded in 2006 by Michael Morrow. Over the past decade the company has grown steadily and has become a leading helmet brand known for their focus on eye-catching designs. After establishing a strong foothold in the U.S. market, Nutcase made a big push into Europe in 2013 and now has distributors in over 40 countries worldwide. In February of this year the company hired its first-ever CEO and a few months ago Nutcase made the decision to drop their motorsports helmets to focus exclusively on bicycling helmets.[Read more…]

Cargo trike company B-Line takes over delivery for SoupCycle

Posted on October 18th, 2016 at 10:41 am.

Coming soon to your front door.(Photo/graphic: BikePortland)

Coming soon to your front door.
(Photo/graphic: BikePortland)

Bike-powered business, urban freight delivery and local food production have come together in a very exciting way in Portland.

Today two local companies that have built strong niches hauling cargo with pedal power — B-Line and SoupCycle — announced they’ve joined forces. From now on B-Line’s electric-assist cargo trikes will distribute meals for SoupCycle, a company with over 600 customers throughout Portland.

It’s an intriguing collaboration that shows the maturity of Portland’s bike business ecosystem and it comes just days after the University of Washington debuted a new “Urban Freight Lab” in partnership with major retailers and shipping companies with an aim to make downtown deliveries more efficient and friendlier for humans and the environment.

For SoupCycle and B-Line, the move allows both of them to do more of what they do best.
[Read more…]

Amid growth surge, Ruckus Composites makes two new hires

Posted on October 13th, 2016 at 1:40 pm.

The newly-expanded team at Portland-based Ruckus Composites.(Photo: Ruckus)

The newly-expanded team at Portland-based Ruckus Composites.
(Photo: Ruckus)

Ruckus Composites has come a long way since we first visited their shop seven years ago.

Back then company founder Shawn Small worked in a rough shop space in the Brooklyn neighborhood that he shared with another company (Portland Design Works, which has grown quite a bit itself since those days). A mechanical engineering grad who’s now 32 years old, he worked alone with just his tools, machines, and big ideas to keep him going. Part bike lover, part mad scientist (he used to write our “Bike Science” column), and part entrepreneur, Small has definitely managed to keep going.

As he approaches a decade in business he announced two new hires today which brings the Ruckus staff up to six full-timers (not including himself).
[Read more…]

Western Bikeworks absorbs Athletes Lounge to expand into triathlon market

Posted on October 10th, 2016 at 10:27 am.

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Six weeks after closing its doors for good, Portland’s only triathlon shop has found new life in an unexpected place: Another bike shop.

Early Saturday morning Western Bikeworks announced an agreement with Athletes Lounge. Western Bikeworks has locations in northwest Portland and Tigard and is one of the city’s largest bike shops. In addition to their two retail locations Western Bikeworks does a robust online business as one of four e-commerce bike brands owned by Portland-based Velotech Inc (they also run Cyclocross.com, UrbanCyclist.com and BikeTiresDirect.com).

According to a statement, Athletes Lounge owner Gary Wallesen and an undisclosed number of his former staff will now be employed by Western Bikeworks in order to, “expand the areas of expertise” into trisports. Wallesen has also been hired to spearhead a new e-commerce site at AthletesLounge.com in the coming months.
[Read more…]

Builders and brewers star at the Handmade Bike & Beer Fest (photos)

Posted on October 8th, 2016 at 12:06 am.

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Head over to the North Warehouse on Interstate and Tillamook to gander at beautiful, Oregon-made bikes while sipping locally-made beer.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Handmade Bike & Beer Fest got off to a solid start tonight in north Portland. This event, hosted by the Oregon Bicycle Constructors Assocation, has teamed up with the Oregon Brewer’s Guild this year to offer a wider variety of craft beers to go along with the craft bikes.[Read more…]

Industry Ticker: New bikes from Islabikes, new bag from North St

Posted on October 6th, 2016 at 11:02 am.

North St. Bags' new Morrison backpack/pannier and the new Cnoc 20 from Islabikes.

North St. Bags’ new Morrison backpack/pannier and the new Cnoc 20 from Islabikes.

Portland is full of seriously top-notch bike companies. Two of our faves are North St. Bags and Islabikes. They’ve both released new products and we’ve got the scoop and photos below…
[Read more…]

Portland’s new chamber of commerce wants more business support for Vision Zero

Posted on September 27th, 2016 at 3:16 pm.

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The Portland Independent Chamber of Commerce (PICOC) has turned their influential attention to an issue near and dear to our hearts: the struggle for safer streets.

Launched early this year by a relatively young cadre of tech industry leaders as an antidote to the Portland Business Alliance, PICOC wants more Portland businesses to step up and support “the Vision Zero movement.”

Their latest campaign hit inboxes and social media feeds today. It’s timed to influence City Council’s upcoming vote on the Vision Zero Action Plan released by the Portland Bureau of Transportation earlier this month. Council is slated to formally adopt the plan on October 12th. [Read more…]