Camas, WA — For a 24-hour period (Wednesday-Thursday) nine members of Small Business Revolution’s “Main Street” web TV series team quickly became acquainted with Camas leaders, business owners, and residents in their first of ten small town stops across the country.
The objective of their visit was to learn about Mill Town’s history, its accomplishments, and struggles with the purpose of choosing a town to be featured in season four of their hit web TV show. Camas was nominated by Attic Gallery owner, Maria Gonser, who thought Camas would be a good fit.
Mill Town was ultimately chosen as a Top 20 city out of 12,000 nominations, and on December 11, show co-host, Amanda Brinkman, announced that Camas was a Top 10 pick.
Brinkman and fellow team members, who work for Deluxe, which is based in Minnesota, arrived in Camas Wednesday just before noon, and at 12:30 they gathered at the Georgia-Pacific Mill Interpretive Center to learn about local history, and discuss local successes, as well as current struggles.
The team included Brinkman; Cameron Potts, VP of Public Relations; Julie Gordon, Director of Marketing Partnerships; Katie Cerney, Director of Social Media Strategy — Small Business Division; Jessica Jones, Social Media Manager; cameramen Mike Thompson, and Dan; Jenna Paulus, Public Relations Manager; and Jake Anderson, who works for Fast Horse Public Relations firm.
Following their initial meeting, the “Main Street” team executed a strategy and schedule that was designed to maximize their time, which comprised previously scheduled long video interviews, spontaneous short video interviews, and free form visits to local businesses.
Early stops included visits to Urban Style, Lily Atelier, Camas Antiques, Caps ‘N Taps, Flow Hot Yoga, Arktana, The Wild Hair, Mill City Brew Werks, Nest and Love Photography, Natalia’s Cafe, Nuestra Mesa, and several others. They greeted people on the street, spent time getting to understand businesses, and filmed a large portion of their efforts. They made a point to visit as many shops, restaurants, and boutiques as time allowed, and were greeted warmly by a large crowd at Grains of Wrath at 6 pm.
During that visit, Brinkman explained the purpose of their visit, which is to explore each Top 10 town, with the goal of announcing Top 5 contenders in mid-February.
“She’s a marketing expert that helps you think out of the box,” said Carrie Schulstad, Executive Director of the Downtown Camas Association (DCA) as she introduced Brinkman. “She’s inclusive, she’s creative, she gets it. She cares about your success, and we feel so honored that you’re here in our town.”
The excited crowd listened to a brief message from Brinkman, and then spent the next two hours greeting the team members and getting to know how they work.
”First of all, we thank you so much for this reception,” said Brinkman. “This is incredible! We also want to thank you guys for going first … I like to think of it that you are already raising the bar!”
She recognized her “Main Street” team members and then explained how the process works.
”I am just one part of this incredible team from Deluxe who runs Small Business Revolution,” said Brinkman. “I’m only one part of the decision-making process so you have to woo and impress these guys just as much.”
During the reception at Grains, Gordon spent nearly 30 minutes with the Camas High School DECA team listening to their ideas and answering marketing questions. Brinkman also pulled them aside to discuss business.
”They’re such a talented group of kids,” said Gordon. “They had some great ideas.”
The “Main Street” team was back at it Thursday morning meeting with DCA and Camas city leaders, and then spent their remaining two hours conducting final interviews, and visiting as many shops as they could. Gordon spent time on 3rd Avenue with Salud Wine Co, A Beer at a Time, Artful Attic, Los Jalepenos, and Camas Gallery. Potts visited Elida Art Studio. Jones interviewed The Wild Hair, and Brinkman interviewed Natalia’s Cafe, and paid a visit to Camas Gallery. Many other visits surely happened.
”We make a point to visit as many businesses as we can,” said Brinkman. “We want to learn as much as possible, to hear about their struggles and see where they need help.”
Cerney said she’s looking forward to returning in April for a guaranteed marketing seminar for local businesses.
”I love this town,” she said. “It’s like being in a Hallmark Channel movie. I can’t wait to come back.”
To learn more, visit www.smallbusinessrevolution.org