Saturday, January 11, 2014

For the Love of Aprons: Erika Kelly and Portland Apron Company

Love is an ingredient of every apron made by Erika Kelly and Portland Apron Company. Erika is following her faith in herself and expressing her personality in every apron she designs. She is the proof that doing what you love often leads to success.

 Erika's Aprons:   Erika personally designs and sews beautiful, yet useful aprons for work or for home. The simple wrap around at the waist design is perfect for servers, baristas, event planners or anyone working or playing in or around a kitchen. She aims to design aprons that are convenient with pockets, but that also hang well and look great. She is currently playing around with designs for an apron with a loop on the side for holding towels. She uses fabric that is durable and comfortable. She also offers a line of aprons made with organic fabric.

From Hobby to Way of Life:  Portland Apron Company started simply enough. Erika always sewed for fun, and made an apron for work. People liked her apron, so she put a few more of them together. Soon, she was making more aprons for people, and she started thinking she could turn sewing aprons into a business. She was tired of commuting, and loved the idea of working at home and being able to experience and walk the neighborhood where she lives.

Faith in Success:  Portland Apron Company started out as a side business sometime in 2012. Erika had been working as a part-time academic adviser at Mt. Hood Community College, driving half-way across town to get there. Wanting to spend less time in the car, she found another part-time job closer to home while she was building her apron business. In 2013, Erika took a leap of faith, and started working full time at her business. Erika believes the only person standing in your way is yourself. She advises, "Don't doubt yourself," and success will come.


Erika's aprons first appeared commercially on Etsy, and you can still find her aprons there (Click Here). (Etsy is an on-line retailer for hand-made or home-made goods.) She currently offers 5 designs, and is working on a new design specifically for hair stylists, made with a waterproof fabric. Etsy proved to be a great marketplace for her aprons. She sells aprons across the country. She now has her own website where you can find her aprons (Click Here).

Enjoying The Journey:  Erika experiences many rewards in owning Portland Apron Company. Of course, she enjoys the positive feedback from her customers. But mostly, she is motivated by the idea that there is always room for more success with her own business - there is no end destination. There are also some challenges. While she enjoys the flexibility to make her own schedule, there is the struggle to find the right balance and not let her business interfere too much with her personal life.

Erika is also an avid travel adventurer. She and her husband love to take off to an unknown destination, such as Columbia, Hungary or Costa Rica, and just explore. The ultimate do-it-yourself travelers, they tend to head off without any set plans and just see and experience what they find on on their journey.

About Erika:  Erika grew up in Grants Pass, Oregon. She moved up to Portland to attend PSU, and loved her time living in Downtown Portland. She now lives and works in the NE Alberta District, and is amazed by its vibrancy and how the neighborhood has grown and changed over the years. As a self-proclaimed foodie, she loves all the great restaurants in the area.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Erika, and quickly picked up on her integrity, and enthusiasm for what she is doing. Learn more about Portland Apron Company and Erika here:

Website: http://www.portlandaproncompany.com


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