Portland Stationery Firm Finds Overseas Customers

Thanks to Business Oregon's export assistance experts, a small, woman-owned Portland stationery maker has found numerous overseas customers in Japan.

Egg Press specializes in custom designed and produced letterpress greeting cards, wrapping paper and lifestyle products. Tess Darrow, a former Nike designer, founded Egg Press in 1999. In addition to its consumer products business, the company works on specialized communications projects and custom printing for individuals and businesses—from multi-national companies like Herman Miller, MoMA, Nike, adidas and Apple to local design-oriented companies like Ace Hotel and Schoolhouse Electric.

A Business Oregon global trade specialist met with company officials and toured their production facility in early 2012. Then, during World Trade Week in Portland later that year, Business Oregon's export assistance team connected company officials with our Japan Representative Office staff.

Business Oregon then provided export assistance to help the company exhibit its products at the International Stationery and Office Products trade show in Tokyo, Japan. The company received a $4,864 State Trade and Promotion Program (STEP) grant. As a result, one year later, the company reported sales of $106,000 in Japan during the first six months of 2013.

The company was scheduled to utilize a second STEP grant for $5,000, in September 2013 to help defray the costs of its appearance at the Top Drawer trade show in London in an effort to break into the United Kingdom's consumer market. In addition, the company, along with two other Oregon firms, planned to be part of a STEP-funded Oregon booth at the Tokyo International Gift Show earlier the same month.