Laura McCamy

Laura McCamy is a freelance writer based in Oakland, California. She writes about small business, real estate, and development. An avid urban bike rider, she also loves to cover bicycling, urban planning, and the intersection of bicycles and business. Follow her on Twitter @lmcwords.

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    Portland Accelerator Helps Startups Grab a Piece of the PIE

    by on August 21, 2014

    The Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE), through its affiliation with the Portland, Oregon, office of international advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy, helps startups refine their message, network with other startups, and, ultimately, turn ideas into business…

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    Innovative Bike Light Company Swims With Sharks and Comes Out a Winner

    by on August 6, 2014

    When you have a solid business idea, you sometime need to turn to multiple sources of funding to transform it into a going concern. For the founders of one California business, this even meant pitching their product on reality TV.

    “We’ve used pretty m…

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    Mentors Give Entrepreneurs a Leg Up in Business

    by on June 4, 2014

    When successful small-business owners talk about how they got started, they often have one thing in common: mentors. Some have gotten informal support from friends or colleagues, but many more have taken advantage of free and low-cost mentoring through nationa…

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    Marketing Tips From an Etsy Power User

    by on May 20, 2014

    “Marketing online is all about photography now,” says veteran jeweler Mark Poulin. “I’m selling photographs.”

    For the past 20 years, Poulin (pictured) has been selling enamel jewelry featuring whimsical depictions of animals, aliens, and more. About…

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    Former Politician Turns to Sweet Business

    by on April 23, 2014

    “As a policymaker, I spent a lot of time on economic development,” says Nancy Nadel, who served on the city council of Oakland, Calif., for 16 years before retiring in 2012. The former politician has since turned her attention to developing a small busines…

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    Going Organic Adds Value to Hand-Printed Clothing Line

    by on April 7, 2014

    Artists and serial entrepreneurs Jan and Gary Stephens have long taken pride in their ecological lifestyle. The couple lives “off the grid” outside Willits, Calif., in a passive solar envelope house that’s surrounded by an organic garden.

    In the early …

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    How a Duo Turned a Food Blog Into a Niche Retail Business

    by on March 3, 2014

    It all started seven years ago with a chance meeting on Thanksgiving in an Oakland, Calif., kitchen. Yoko Kumano, who lived in Tokyo at the time, and Kayoko Akabori, who lived in New York City, decided to start a food blog together.

    “I knew I wanted to uplo…

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    “Hair Queen” Shares Tips for Starting a Beauty Salon

    by on February 26, 2014

    Suzanne Van Houten of Swans Studios knows a lot about running a beauty business: The self-proclaimed “hair queen” has worked as a stylist and colorist for more than three decades, and she’s owned her own salon at least half of that time.

    Van Houten (p…

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