Expansion Update: Closure.

OMG, is this it? *pauses, gazes wistfully into the distance* Yep, this is it. The final Expansion Update blog post. A truly bittersweet moment that signifies sadness that Rachael won't be around everyday and the end of a process I've loved documenting, but mostly it signifes joy, pride, and elation about how far we've come and the simple fact that I - and all of us - can turn around in a full circle without bumping limbs with a coworker &/or dog. To all of you who've followed these posts on the blog from the beginning, thank you so much. If you haven't taken a moment to read Betsy & Will's respective blog posts, I'd definitely recommend grabbing a tissue and taking a moment to do so. Each of them sat down during the most hectic time pre-party to capture their thoughts about what this means to them as entrepreneurs, business owners, bosses, and as husband & wife. I'd like to dedicate the final entry in this epic series to following up on the Pausing Time blog post that served as a call we pushed out to all social media channels for our fans to answer questions that we  would later enclose in a Time Capsule to stow away in our new space. The answers served two purposes: an entry into our prize raffle (update: winners were picked & notified after our party!) and also as collateral for said Time Capsule. I am so happy to report that this collaborative project is now complete!

betsy & iya time capsule Items from our history that went into our Time Capsule

betsy & iya time capsule We each read Time Capsule entries aloud at a Thursday all staff meeting.


Here's a video of a few of us reading aloud Time Capsule submissions, either our own, or those written by others.

betsy & iya time capsule All ready to seal up! #TBT fodder for the future?? We hope.


Here's a copy of the letter we enclosed:

Dear People of the Future,

Greetings! Allow us to introduce ourselves as a representation of men and women living in Portland, OR in the year 2014. More specifically, we are betsy & iya, a handmade jewelry line and retail shop, and what you’re holding in your hands is a collection of goods and sentiments collected by a flourishing small business that occupied this space starting in 2011. We decided to make a time capsule when we expanded into the back of this building as a way to mark a very momentous event in our history. This project was over a year in the making and more than doubled the space we once had.

betsy & iya began with Betsy, a woman who channeled her spirit, creativity, and love of travel, color, & culture into jewelry design and production. What happened after she started the business in 2008 was something she never anticipated happening on such a large scale: success, growth, responsibility, and entrepreneurship, all possible due to healthy amounts of blood (those tools are sharp!), sweat, and tears.

Originally used as a theater, betsy & iya opened in this building in August 2011, as a place for our jewelry to be produced and sold, alongside the goods of other independent artists from all over the country. It is here that we - currently a staff of 11 people, Betsy, Will, Amory, Alyssa, Anna, Ashley, Barrie, Kate, Matty, Meridith, Suzy and 2 dogs, Gingham and Maurice - who continue to design, make, and support the dream that Betsy started.

None of this could be possible without the support of our customers. Our friends, families, fans, our “peeps” as we like to say. That is why a time capsule without their input is of no value to us. We have a tradition at our weekly staff meetings of sharing a goal, something we’re proud of, or something that’s inspired us, and so we decided to ask our fans online, in our shop, and those who attended our expansion party on May 9th to also answer these prompts as a way to capture the consciousness of people connected to us in the year 2014. These reverse side of these fliers served as promotion for our party and an entry into a prize raffle. We hope you find these answers honest, revealing, and in some cases, hilarious.

To supplement, we’ve included the following items from our history:

  • A pair of earrings from one of Betsy’s first collections
  • The invitation to the party we threw when we first moved into this building
  • Small Business of the Year Award 2011 from the Portland State University Business Outreach
  • An article about the history of this building
  • Betsy’s first business card
  • Tiny paper triangles that were used in a window display of the St. Johns Bridge in 2012
  • A copy of Travel Portland magazine 2014-2015
  • Matty’s first pair of pliers as a maker that lasted 2011-2014
  • Betsy’s beloved travel coffee mug she got on her & Will’s honeymoon circa 2009
  • A design of ours - this Fremont Bridge Cuff - was ripped off in 2013. Here it is post-cathartic smashing (please see accompanying blog post for full story)

We hope this time capsule makes you feel connected to the past as well as inspired to continue supporting artists, designers & independent makers in the future.

All our love,

betsy & iya

Betsy, Will, Alyssa, Amory, Anna, Ashley, Barrie, Kate, Matt, Meridith, Suzy, Gingham, & Maurice

And there you have it, friends! We can only hope that far, far into the future, our story continues to serve as inspiration to others. Thank you for riding along this road with us! Cheers, Anna ***Song of the Moment: Closing Time by Semisonic***
Group 7