Moment 3: After Betsy established herself as a well-respected name in the jewelry biz in the Pacific Northwest, it was time to hit the road with the goal of putting betsy & iya jewelry on women all across the country. Before the retail shop opened in 2011, Betsy & Will - who joined Betsy full-time in 2010 - took two big road trips across the country. On the first, they drove their trusty Subaru packed with jewelry to Virginia, stopping at shops along the way. Once they reached their home state, they left their car and flew back to Portland, with several new orders to fill. On the second trip a few weeks later, they flew to Virginia, picked up their car, and drove a different route to visit shops across the south and southwest, and eventually make their way back to Portland.

betsy & iya road trip

While both journeys were great successes in the goal of securing new wholesale business, Betsy & Will also learned that road trips aren't all gas station snacks and driving playlists. They knew their Subaru was on its last legs, but it was still a surprise when it shut down shortly after they left Virginia. The photo above left shows Betsy & Gingham, waiting at a gas station while they sold their car to a man who was intent on fixing it and giving it to his son. Her head thrown back pose speaks so much to the frustration in this moment; they had a strict timeline for the trip, appointments to make, and first impressions to nail. What they didn't have was a lot of extra time or money to find a new car. Luckily, it all worked out and the photo on the right shows the triumphant trio reunited in their new Hyundai Elantra, ready to do the darn thing and finish the trip.

Sure, these trips were taken primarily to grow the business, but I'm sure neither Betsy, Will, nor Gingham knew that these travels would also serve as a sort of road map for (<-- see what I did there) their future employees. I can say that knowing my bosses pounded the pavement in search of shops that made them feel a certain way and small business owners who showed off their respective cities - and sometimes even welcomed them into their homes - taught me a lot about the mission of betsy & iya. It has framed the way I interact with both wholesale and retail customers online, and in our shop. It's reminded me that it's always about more than the money; it's about creating relationships and sharing stories.

Artist: Brooke Weeber

xo Anna

***Song of the Moment: Road Trippin' by Red Hot Chili Peppers***

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