Matthias has tools to draw tourists

Photo of Joe Whittle

Gallery owner Catherine Matthias recently returned from a Colorado-based business improvement "Destination BootCamp," where she said she learned hundreds of new methods to bring more customers and tourists to Joseph.

Matthias was one of 40 business owners from across North America, the first from Wallowa County, who attended the 20-hour workshop.

She is co-owner with her husband, Stewart Jones, of Indigo Gallery & Stewart Jones Jeweler in Joseph. Their business showcases the original art work of more than 20 artists and is the studio for Jones, who fabricates one-of-a-kind jewelry and is Oregon's only "DeBeers Diamonds International Design Awards" winner.

Destination BootCamp, created by marketing consultant Jon Schallert, teaches independent business owners how to reposition their businesses as "consumer destinations."

According to Schallert, a business using his strategies can compete effectively with stores of any size, and significantly impact a local community. Schallert said it is not uncommon for destination businesses to create change in a city by drawing consumers from outside the marketplace of a community.

"With the principles I learned at the BootCamp, we will be able to satisfy more of our customers' needs, and make purchasing art and jewelry a highly enjoyable experience, Matthias said. "Also, we will be attracting more visitors from outside Joseph. ... There's no reason we can't attract art and jewelry connoisseurs from hundreds of miles away."

Business owners interested in attending a BootCamp may contact Matthias at 432-5202 for more information about her experience, or can visit Schallert's website at (www.DestinationBootCamp.com).

To sample Schallert's advice before committing to the workshop, Lisa Dawson of the Northeast Oregon Economic Development District is working to bring one of his webinars to Wallowa, Union, and Baker counties.

For information: 426-3598 or e-mail (lisadawson@neoedd.org).

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