advertisement

advertisement

advertisement

advertisement

advertisement

advertisement

Portland Apron Company

American Made Since 2011

Erika Kelly

Portland, Oregon
Portland Apron Company products are made for hard working folks that appreciate not only the end result, but the effort it takes to get there.
Crafts,

Tell us about your business.

I’ve always loved to sew, so when I got a job as a server, I didn’t even think about buying an apron. It was a great excuse to make one. The compliments started to roll in the first day I wore it, and everyday after that. A co-worker told me I should sell them, so I did. I was definitely no overnight success story. It took many hours of photo tweaking, sewing mistakes, and a lot of patience to get to a point where I would be proud to say, “Look at my Etsy site!” I worked my day job in the mornings, and sewed in the afternoon. It made for a long day, but I enjoyed it. Plus, winters in Portland can be dreary, so staying inside sewing all afternoon was just fine with me. My process goes a little something like this: First, find fabric that makes me want to run a 5K and high five everyone; then, decide which apron style I want to make it in; then, cut, cut, cut, and sew, sew, sew. I see my business evolving into a well-known, local Portland business with a brick and mortar space.

What makes your business stand out?

My business is unique, because I am never doing just one job that can be clearly labeled. When people ask me what “I do” for a living, I tell them that I own an apron company. At first I thought this sounded silly, but now it makes me proud. I also tell them that I design and sew the aprons myself. This makes it easier for them to understand, because they can give what I do a title, “You’re a seamstress then!” they will say. Well, yes, I am a seamstress, but I’m also a business owner; and a business manager; and a photographer; and my brands ambassador; and a model; and a designer; and a pattern maker; and a post office delivery girl. I don’t normally go into that much detail though. People begin to get that glazed over look in their eye. So yes, in a nutshell, I am a seamstress, and I sew aprons ☺

What's the best business advice you've received?

"Do what you love, and the money will come." Great advice from my Public Relations professor in college.

Comments (0)

Advertisement

Mark Your Calendar

  • NOMINATIONS
    Jun. 17, 2015

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring entrepreneurs.

    Learn about American Made
  • VOTING BEGINS
    Sep. 21, 2015

    Vote for your favorite makers.

  • WINNERS ANNOUNCED
    Oct. 23, 2015

    2015 Editors' Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
  • AMERICAN MADE SUMMIT
    Nov. 7, 2015

    Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City. Tickets available July 2015.

More Nominees

  • Stacie Marie Essentials

    Stacie Judson
    "Once You Go Natural You'll Never Go Back" Bath, Body & Beauty Products that are free of toxins and travel ready. Let Your Beauty Unfold!!!
    Style, Beauty
  • Shuga Bebe Couture

    Kim Williams
    Our outside-of-the-box, thoughtfully designed nursing pillow is a refreshingly unique take on a quintessential breastfeeding must-have.
    Design, Textiles
  • Ani Kasten Ceramics

    Ani Kasten
    My company is a woman-owned, small business. I am a producer of fine craft, of sculptural ceramic vessels and pottery made by hand in my studio.
    Crafts, Ceramics, Pottery & Glass
  • Adorable "puppy" and "reindeer" hand crafted from full size wash cloths...each with a ribbon collar, and tag- makes a perfect little gift!
    Design, Furniture & Home Accessories

advertisement

advertisement