KGVO’s ECON 101 Focuses on Manufacturing in Western Montana
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The popular new KGVO monthly feature Missoula ECON 101 featured two special guests of Missoula Economic Partnership CEO Grant Kier; Steve Nelson of Bonner Property Development and Mallory Ottariano who is the founder and CEO of Youer - an apparel company here in Missoula.
Nelson expressed pride in the growth of his business called Bonner Property Development at the site of the old Bonner Mill.
Missoula ECON 101 Featured Bonner Property Development and Youer Clothing
“We came along and took a fair amount of risk and my partner Mike and I bought it in 2011,” began Nelson. “Since then, we have probably 20 manufacturers out there, with probably close to 650 people working and close to 800,000 square feet of warehouse space that's been converted to manufacturing space. So we're excited about it.”
Nelson provided just a few of the varied businesses that now call Bonner Property Development home.
“We have one company that makes soap, and now he's just started a new line of shampoo that is a bar,” he said. “One of the things about him that's so exciting I think is that he started at the Farmers Market. Another Farmers Market story is Posh Chocolat, and they're about to move in out there. Obviously, they make chocolate but they've grown. They're using pallets of product that come in and pallets of candy bars and candy that go out. We have an aluminum trailer manufacturer that produces probably 35 to 40 trailers per day.”
Youer is a Missoula Based Clothing Manufacturer
The other guest on Missoula Econ 101 was Mallory Ottariano, founder of clothing manufacturer Youer. She described how the Missoula-based company came to be.
“I was trying to fill a creative void in my life,” began Ottariano. “I didn't have a super creative job at the time. I graduated with a degree in architectural design and I just needed something to dig my hands into creatively and I was making clothes and selling them on Etsy, and it really changed a lot in the last 10 years, so now we have outsourced production and now we're bringing it back in house and we have a team of sewers here in Missoula that are making things. It's been a wild wild ride and something that I didn't intend to be on. It was pretty accidental the way it all began.”
You can Watch Online Videos of Youer Clothing Featuring Local Women
Regarding the marketing of her online clothing, Ottariano said she has developed a fun, locally produced method.
We create these sizing guide videos,” she said. “We do a lot of three dimensional sizing. We get people from our community together in every size that we manufacture. We're actually going to do a sizing video today. We get these people in our office and we have them wear their size and they share their stats about their height and weight and they do a little 360 (degree) spin. Then, people watch the videos on our website. They're all linked in our product descriptions. They might see a woman who looks like them wearing the clothes and that's super helpful.”