January 26, 2018 – Woop!Wear is a small alpaca clothing company which started in 2007 with a desire to bring alpaca into the outdoor industry. Owner, Gina Eisele discovered that alpaca fiber unique qualities of silky softness coupled with its ability to provide lightweight warmth make it the perfect fiber for outdoor apparel. In the first year, she developed a base layer product, entirely not perfect and much more “sweater like” than what she wanted. After much experimenting and countless meetings with fabric producers, Woop!Wear now offers lightweight alpaca base layers, filed pants and coats outerwear, knit hat and socks.
Woop!Wear purchases the alpaca fiber directly from Peru, designs the clothes, outsources the productio n and sells the outdoor apparel. Based in Trout Lake, Washington, Woop!Wear operates its business in an area that offers optimal field testing for its alpaca active wear products.
MCEDD provided a $50,000 working capital loan and Gina used these funds to purchase fabric and manufacture products for inventory to sell. Woop!Wear sells its products through its own website, www.woopwear.com, Amazon.com and annually at the Portland Sportsman Show.
The MCEDD Loan Program is available to entrepreneurs, start-up businesses and existing businesses doing business in the five county (Sherman, Hood River, Wasco, Klickitat and Skamania) Mid-Columbia Area. This loan program is part of MCEDD’s efforts to strengthen and support the region’s economy. Contact Eric Nerdin at 541-296-2266 or email@example.com for more information on MCEDD’s Loan Program.
December 28, 2017 – Cheramy Rovianek received a loan from MCEDD to open the Pita Pit in Hood River. After having raised and sent their last child off to college, Cheramy was looking for a way to stay connected to the community and the young people that had filled her life. Her husband Doug, a local builder, had often commented on the lack of fast food options in the Heights. One day, while on a shopping trip in Portland, she stopped for a quick lunch at a Pita Pit and after her first bite she was hooked. This was a perfect “Gorge Lifestyle” fit. Great tasting food that is healthy, fresh, and still served fast is Pita Pit’s alternative to standard fast food. Pita Pit makes the perfect spot to grab a meal in a fun, casual atmosphere where customers can create their perfect pita with endless flavor combinations of lean meats, toppings and spreads. Guests and employees appreciate the promotion of healthy eating.
Operating and running a small business in a small town has had incredible challenges, especially this year. “I don’t know how we would have made it without the support of Eric and MCEDD. You name it; we in the gorge have had it: snow, rain, wind, fires, closed freeways!” Cheramy stated. Although, she still says, “Having amazing employees, meeting wonderful people and having the privilege of donating to great organizations make being a business owner very rewarding. Opening the Pita Pit was one of the best things I have ever done!” Pita Pit is open from 9 am to 9 pm on weekdays, 10 am – 9 pm Saturday and 11 am – 8 pm Sunday.
The MCEDD Loan Program is available to entrepreneurs, start-up businesses and existing businesses doing business in the five county (Sherman, Hood River, Wasco, Klickitat and Skamania) Mid-Columbia Area. This loan program is part of MCEDD’s efforts to strengthen and support the region’s economy. Contact Eric Nerdin at 541-296-2266 or firstname.lastname@example.org for morere information on MCEDD’s Loan Program.