Archive for the ‘News + Events’ Category

Expansion Update: Pausing Time.

So much of this project has been about time. Each passing day brings changes that we’ve been waiting for for a long time. We’ve marked the passing of time in relation to construction progress. Each blog post, I write how I can’t believe it’s already time for another update. Time is flying. It’s almost party time. Ya see what I mean?

Now that construction is nearing completion, over the course of which we wished it to speed by as quickly as possible, we want to pause and capture some of what is going on in this moment that, when we look back in 10, 20, 50+ years, will be so monumental to the betsy & iya story. The crew has built up, busted through, and torn down walls over the past 5 months and we couldn’t let them leave without leaving our mark within the walls.

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 11.44.03 AM


Enter, the betsy & iya Time Capsule. The chance to contribute to history is something that doesn’t come around everyday if you’re not an Olympic athlete or Grammy winning musician. This is your opportunity to leave your mark with us, because without each and every one of YOU, there’s no way we’d be in the position to expand. So, we’re asking for your answers to these questions, too. One by one, we’ll pose them to our Facebook & Instagram fans, and we’ll supplement the entries we receive online, in store, and at our party with a few objects of our own (hello, pair of earrings from our FIRST line!), and enclose the final collection at our party on May 9th.

Why these questions? As some of you know, we have a weekly all staff meeting where we gather to projects we’re working on, shop news, and upcoming events. At the end, we go around and each share the answer to one of the questions above. It never fails to be a revealing and uniting experience and I especially love it when goals turn into proud of’s a few weeks later.

Feel free to answer in the comments here on the blog, or on our Facebook or Instagram pages. Extra incentive? Oh, we got that: answering these questions will get you one entry into our raffle to win gift certificates that we’ll give away at the party. We can’t wait to include YOU in this special project!

See you on May 9th (you’re coming to our party, RIIIIIGHT?!?! K, good!).



***Song of the Moment: Time by Pink Floyd because what else??***


Expansion Update: Full Speed Ahead.

It’s getting to the point in the construction process when everything is moving so quickly. Granted, this is ideal and what is supposed to happen as the project gets closer to being finished (bravo Rachael & co!), but it is just so cool to witness. For a few weeks at the beginning of construction, things moved at a slower pace as bigger tasks like wiring and concrete pouring were completed over many days. Now, everyday brings something new!

betsy & iya brick & mortar

Can’t wait to reveal what’s been going on behind that plastic curtain!

Since my last update, we officially celebrated the sixth birthday of betsy & iya and are nearing the end of phase one of construction. The sign we’ve officially entered phase two will come when the crew knocks through the wall that currently stands between our current shop and all work that’s been done in the new space, uniting the past and the future of betsy & iya. *fist pump*

betsy & iya buildout progress

Left: Sealant for the beautiful exposed wood wall was applied on the first day of Spring 2014. I celebrated with a #fromwhereIstand Instagram and by wearing leggings instead of full tights (it’s the little joys). Middle: Rachael hand applying aforementioned sealant. She calls me over for daily updates and I can’t eve begin to say how grateful I am for her active role in the documentation of construction. Right: Just because we aren’t moved in doesn’t mean the new space isn’t being used, especially on days it’s crowded and there’s painting to be done (holy fumes). Here’s Betsy hard at work painting Voyage collection pieces while Will defends his “Huzzy of the Year” title by dutifully supplying her with coffee (shoutout to our NY peeps!).

betsy & iya buildout progress

Left: It was a true team effort when the wood for our countertops arrived! Matt & Amory jumped in to help unload the truck. Full disclosure: The main reason for posting this photo is to show Amory’s impressive arm muscles. Middle: I never thought I’d gush over sheets of lumber, but daaang!!! They’re so smooth and sturdy, and they have that “straight from the forest” smell. Right: Will checking out the delivery & giving an approving once over.

betsy & iya buildout progress

Another exciting development? The window that’ll be in our conference room/lounge area is finished, replacing a boarded over area. The glass panes will open – garage door style –  for maximum fresh air enjoyment when the weather allows. If you’re local, drive by and check it out!

That’s all for this update, my friends. If you’re wondering “gee whiz, this is all so exciting, when the heck can we officially celebrate?” I say to you, stay tuned. BIG things are ahead: the date of our party, what special surprises await that day/night, and maybe a few other super cool, super top secret projects that will be revealed. It wouldn’t be a betsy & iya endeavor without some magical mystery!

For weekly – and soon, bi-weekly – #betsyandiyabuildout updates, follow us on Instagram @betsyandiya.



***Song of the Moment: Changes by David Bowie***



Power of the Purse 2014.

For the fourth year in a row, we are  a participating boutique for the Girls Inc. of NW Oregon’s fundraiser, Power of the Purse. On Friday, March 14th,  attendees have the exclusive opportunity to shop an impressive lineup of retailers including Will Leather Goods, Consigning Women Handbags and our neighborhood pals, Aleda Fitness, before settling in for dinner, a live auction, and runway presentation that’s sure to have you using your best “America’s Next Top Model” one-liners.

Power of the Purse 2014, Girls Inc NW

With a mission to “inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold,” Girls Inc. serves 125,000 girls ages 6-18 in the United States and Canada. Our Portland affiliate has been active since 1998, and our relationship with the organization began with a simple ask. As as female business owner and designer/maker of items that are intended to make women of all ages feel strong, smart & bold, when Betsy was initially approached  to participate in their annual fundraiser, it was an easy “yes!”

Check out their blog post about betsy & iya as well as other Purse-O-Nalities (<– yes, I love it!). Just think about it… our collective purse powers combined could really make a difference in the lives of girls in our area.

If you’re looking for something fun to kick off your weekend, buy a ticket, have a drink and get your shop on.. all for a good cause!



***Song of the Moment: Bag Lady by Erykah Badu***

Expansion Update: The Great Wall(s).

Hello again, #betsyandiyabuildout followers! I write an expansion update every other week and each time, the same thoughts invade my mind: I wonder how it’s already possible for another one,  how so many leaps & bounds have been made in only a few days, how the grand opening party will be here before we know it (start planning your outfits now, people, it’s going to be a BASH!!). This time, I’m thinking all of those things as per usual, but with greater emphasis on the progress. It’s like when a fetus starts to really resemble a baby human; dry wall now covers the insulation that was put in last week, and the exposed wood wall is almost done. It’s starting to look like an *almost* fully formed space back there!

construction progress

Rachel & Will check in about progress, share tips on where to buy cool boots

Insulation is just blowing my mind these days. It’s one of those “don’t know what ya got till it’s gone” things; when it was removed from a portion of our current production space to begin work on plumbing, it was instantly missed (holy chilliness!). In the new space, I was expecting the cotton candy pink kind that I was warned against touching as a kid, but this pillowy version is a lovely shade of mint green and made of wool (it’s also fire and sound proof).

insulation installation

I pop over to check in on things about twice a week, but I forget that my coworkers rarely take breaks to visit. We all decided to venture back after a Thursday all staff meeting and their reactions were gold! I think Alyssa might have actually shed happy tears.

expansion progress

We’ve all highly anticipated the exposed wood wall that’s been discussed since we first saw the plans. Reclaimed wood from Salvage Works arrived (left), was cut to size by Justin (middle), and then up it went! Oooh’s & ahhh’s ensued (right).

reclaimed wood used in remodeling

On the ground, sawdust & sassy shoes; on the wall, some extremely sexy reclaimed-wood-on-exposed-brick action (how are we going to concentrate with all that beeeeauty?!).

remodeling progress

Allow me an indulgent moment: here’s me, as captured by Betsy, with the silly grin on my face that just appears every time I visit the new space.

exposed wood wall

I’m already looking forward to the next update!



***Song of the Moment: Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2 by Pink Floyd***