Meet our April Business Owner of the Month, Rissa Conway. She came into owning a business by taking a huge leap of faith! She doesn't have a retail background, but a fierce passion for fashion, resale, and consignment. We think you will enjoy her story and how she came to open and own Truffle Pig Trading Company.
Conway grew up in Southern Oregon, but her Bend roots started when she was born. In the late 1970's, her father was an English teacher and COCC tennis coach. Her grandparents also lived in Bend and Conway spent much of her childhood visiting them and Bend.
"I have been visiting and shopping in Downtown Bend since I was a kid," Conway said. "I always looked forward to it!"
Conway attended film school at the University of California Santa Cruz where she met her husband, Stephen. After they graduated, they moved to Tumalo in 2013. They have since moved to the Old Farm District where they live in a farmhouse with the love of their lives, Chido, their rescue dog. Conway worked as a corporate consultant in Leadership Development where she worked with executive teams all over the country.
Fast forward to the pandemic, both Rissa and her husband's career came to a screeching halt in March 2020 when the shutdown began. All jobs they had lined up for the year were canceled indefinitely. Conway took on a job as a remote customer service person, which she says soon took the sparkle out of her.
"By May 2020, Stephen was in full support of a 'full send' on giving Truffle Pig a try. We figured at that point, there wasn't much more to lose," Conway said.
The pair dove in headfirst to create Conway's dream boutique. Conway said they became a good pair as they each took on a part of the business the other doesn't like doing.
"I'm the magician and he is the mathematician," Conway joked. "I am so happy to say that through the amazing support of the Bend community and many Downtown Bend business owners championing our shop and sending people our way, we made it through the pandemic and are coming up on three years!"
The community support is what encouraged Conway to open the boutique Downtown in the first place.
"I love contributing to our community with a consignment shop hidden in the heart of Downtown," Conway said.
Truffle Pig Trading Company has been a unique addition to Downtown.
"I think what makes the store so special is how we curate all the treasures that go on the floor," Conway said. "Bend is such an affluent community and we get so many amazing things to choose from our thousands of consignors! We get clothing brands and home goods from all around the world that you can't find to purchase anywhere else in Bend."
Many shoppers and locals have found how sustainable Truffle Pig Trading Company is for their wallets and closets. Not only is the store sustainable for shoppers, but also for the planet.
"Many people don't realize that the manufacture of clothes, shoes, belts, and accessories - otherwise known as textiles - is the second largest polluting industry in the world after oil and gas," Conway said.
Another great thing about the boutique is the staff does the digging for you! You don't have to go through endless amounts of items and clothes to find what you're looking for.
"For me, clothing can be an artistic expression and I want to share the fun, creative confidence that one can experience when they feel truly fabulous in an outfit," Conway said. "We try to create and curate a space for people to play with fashion and feel excited and inspired to be whoever they feel like being!"
So, next time you're shopping online, think about stopping by Truffle Pig Trading Company!
"Local businesses keep our community connected and encourage us to leave our house and have an in-person experience with other locals," Conway said. "I still believe that the tactile experience of getting to feel material, see the color of something not through a screen, try things on and pursue local businesses with loved ones just can't be replaced. Shopping local also helps keep money circulating in our own Bend economy, creates jobs and promotes community. I get so inspired when I see how beautifully curated all the Downtown businesses are. They stock their shops with treasures that speak to them and our Bend way of life!"
Truffle Pig Trading Co.
934 NW Gasoline Alley
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