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I was laid off in April 2008, got a new job in October same year and laid off again 6 months later. I feel like I have been in this condition forever. Earlier this year, as I was doing some consulting for a food vending cart owner, my husband decided we should try to enter that type of business venture. He did all the research and cameup with Italian ice. I think that was the easy part.
Trying to find a sidewalk in which to park our cart was a different story. While the City of Portland allows you to park a cart providing you comply with certain guidelines including a $1M liability insurance, you also have to have the permission from the building owner, and no property management company will do that.
We were denied by so many management companies until we tried our chances with Powell's Bookstore. Being the owner of the building, Powell's was more receptive to our ply and graciously allowed us to do business outside their building.
We are very frustrated with the anti-food cart sentiment from property management companies, they were dismissive and they made us feel we were a liability or a speck on their otherwise immaculate sidewalks. You can panhandle but not work outside their buildings.
We ended up in one of the food cart pods downtown. Our business has allowed me to feel I am contributing again to society and has helped my self-esteem. I played by the rules, went to school and got an MBA. But the last two years have been very defeating, not being able to find a stable job. Now however, I have traded my corporate suit and high heels for jeans, tennis shoes and an apron. It has given me a reason to feel good again and I really hope our business takes off because we have already some plans for the winter season when our Italian Ice would not be sold.
While I lost my identity as an executive I won an identity as an entrepreneur. Now I draw parallels between what I learned at business school and real life business management.
posted 2 years, 11 months ago
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