Ranked number one on the 2016 Forbes List of Best Places for business and careers, it’s no wonder that people flock to Bend to start new lives, careers and small businesses. Our little mountain town not only has high job growth and employment statistics, we’re a haven for outdoor sports, recreation, and of course, beer!
Four sister entrepreneurs highlight our cover story, all who’ve relocated and started companies in Bend for these very reasons. From personalized fashion to art to interior decorating to skin care, these entrepreneurs are passionate about what they do and how they do it. It’s a sister thing!
Barbara Dolezal and Gwen Duke
It’s obvious from looking at their website that sisters Gwen and Barbara have amazing style. It’s sleek, colorful, and immediately introduces you to their brand. Style IQ offers everything from a complete closet overhaul to shopping, packing, home party decor and decluttering. Above all, the business is about boosting personal confidence and peace of mind. Follow their tagline—Look Smart, Live Smart!
Fashion & Styling Background
As the youngest of six girls in our family, I was exposed early on to the world of fashion. Each one of my sisters has their own unique style with incredible taste in clothing and accessories. That was a great start! I, then, had the good fortune to later travel the world and hone my own sense of style. I modeled in lots of exotic places, managed various clothing stores and according to life-long friends, I’ve been dressing them forever! I think my styling background is just in my DNA. I’m not sure any amount of schooling would have been as valuable. —Barbara
Inspiration for Style IQ
That’s an easy question! We love to help women and men feel amazing about themselves. Because, when you feel great about how you look, it changes you from the outside in. Before Style IQ was born, I would pass people on the street and think to myself, “Gosh, if she/he would have only done this or that to their outfit they would look so much better!” For the longest time, I felt like I was just being judgmental until the day a friend asked me if I would sort through her closet with her and help dress her. I realized then that my motivation wasn’t that I was being critical, but that I am driven to help people look their best—and that I was born to do this! That
moment, and others like it, was my inspiration to start my personal stylist business, which I launched as Style IQ.
We are passionate about showing people—on any budget—how to put their best self forward. I love that you don’t have to be rich or famous to dress well! Although I love fashion, my business is about choosing styles that compliment your body type and wearing clothes that fit into your everyday lifestyle. —Barbara
Gwen and I are best friends. One of my best days ever was when my sister Gwen moved to Bend from Seattle nearly three years ago! We immediately knew that we would be in business together. Not only does Gwen have a keen eye for what works in fashion, she has an unbelievable sense of how to look at a closet, office or kitchen, take a person’s lifestyle into consideration, and then arrange it all to make life work peacefully and with ease. So, it was a natural evolution for us to expand the personal styling business to include home organization and restyling your home with what you own. These days, when we start with a woman’s closet, we
usually end up working with the husband’s wardrobe—and now we even finish up with styling the whole house. —Barbara
Lisa & Lori Lubbesmeyer
The Lubbesmeyer Art Studio & Gallery
450 SW Powerhouse Drive, #423, Bend’s Old Mill District
Lori and Lisa Lubbesmeyer are not only sisters, they’re identical twins. The art studio and gallery—as well as online gallery—they started together houses their own artwork. Lisa and Lori draw their inspirations from the natural settings of Central Oregon, different types of music, travel and roads to distant places. When creating a painting, the twins use a layering process combining their former disciplines of oil painting and printmaking into beautiful, one of a kind pieces.
We were raised in Tacoma, WA, and then studied art at the University of Oregon, in Eugene. We moved to Minneapolis, MN after college to begin our careers as visual artists, and then moved to Bend in 2002. —Lori
Inspiration for the Gallery
Animosity and competition. While we were laser-focused on becoming professional artists, we viewed each other as our greatest competition. Suffice it to say, until then we didn’t have enough understanding of who we were as individuals (rather than ‘as the twins’) to know we could be good artists without it detracting from the achievements of the other. On our 30th birthday, we decided we had better address the rift that had grown between us. That’s the day we stopped being the painter and printmaker and began working in a new media, effectively starting our art studio business. —Lori
There are a lot of things we love about working together, but one dynamic has stayed with us these 19 years. It’s simultaneously our joy and difficulty. We know each other so well we instinctively know how to expand and grow ideas into fantastic results with very little communication. The other side of that familiarity is that we know the quickest and deepest way to push each other’s buttons. Over the years, we’ve realized our most difficult times working together happens because we’ve made assumptions about each other. When we bump up against this, it’s a great lesson reminding us to look past what we think we know. This is when we do our best work. —Lori
Lindsey & Summer Robinson
Twin Care Skin Care
719 NW Hill Street, Bend
Another set of amazing identical twins are Lindsey and Summer of Twin Care Skin Care. With over a decade each of experience in massage therapy and skin care, these ladies have created a successful business that uses a healing approach to all their spa treatments. They believe that aging should be as relaxing and painless as possible and with a healing touch and good products, the journey is that much easier.
Background in Skin Care and Esthetics
I have been an esthetician for 11 years, and Summer for 10. We both started out as massage therapists in our early 20’s (we’re now 40), and that led us to skin care, which is our ultimate passion. Summer went to massage school first, and then a year later I did. After about seven years doing massage, I went to esthetics school, and a year later, Summer did. We each went to different schools, and get a kick out of how our paths interconnected.
We love helping people age gracefully, naturally, and facilitating deep relaxation and healing during our facials. Life can be stressful, and it’s so important to take an hour out of your day to relax and let go while at the same time getting your skin treated. Relaxation is very anti-aging! We believe in using natural, results-oriented skin care that makes a difference in our clients’ skin. —Lindsey
Inspiration for Twin Care Skin Care
We both worked at two of the best spas in Bend for over seven years; Anjou Spa for me, and Jinsei Spa for Summer. We both loved working at our individual spas, however, it was time for a change. We decided to combine forces and open a business together, something that we could make our own. We’ve really enjoyed the whole process of creating our vision and putting into action and are so grateful to be working together doing what we love. —Lindsey
We both are very passionate about skin care and we have the same high quality of care and attention to detail that makes us great at what we do. We love what we do, have the same mission (excellent services with a healing touch), and are on the same page about what we do, so it just works! Our roles have naturally and perfectly fallen into place. We balance each other out well. We enjoy wearing matching outfits at work, and doing “double” facials, two facials at once. Our space is a peaceful haven, and we absolutely love working there together. —Lindsey
Traci Porterfield and Tiffany Keale
154 NE Underwood Ave., Suite 100, Bend
Your jaw will drop to the floor when you see what this team of sisters can do to a home interior. It’s evident that Traci and Tiffany of Circa Interiors not only understand the environment they are working in, they’re extremely passionate about what they do. From John Day to Vandevert Ranch to San Clemente beach in California, these sisters combine comfort with beauty in every room and space they touch.
Background in Design/Art/Décor
As the business end of our company, I majored in both business and international marketing. As the design arm of our business, Traci’s background includes a life-long passion for architecture, color, interior design and all things beautiful. An education from the University of Oregon tops off her list. Together we apprenticed under a designer in our early 20’s and have been out on our own since 1991. We are proud to be celebrating our 26th year in business together and agree the best education we’ve received is from the school of “hard knocks” and just plain old experience. —Tiffany
Being able to spend our days together makes the top of the list. Working as a team to build our business from the ground up and empowering other women we work with is also huge. Traci and I definitely have different skill sets and ideas—that’s what makes it interesting. I would be fibbing if I told you we never disagree about anything. But we have the same values, the same work ethic and trust each other implicitly. We have been able to bring out the best in each other through hard work, a wicked sense of humor and unending support for each other. —Tiffany
Living and Working in Central Oregon
Because Central Oregon is a natural draw for vacation homes, we find ourselves working all over the United States with our clients on additional projects. It is the ultimate compliment and a great adventure, but we are always thankful to come back home to Bend. The friendships we have forged over the years working with our clients, fellow artists and subcontractors is really the best part about living and working here in Bend. Collaborating with them is a daily education and inspiration. —Tiffany
Ah, that’s top secret—just kidding. But really, a designer can only give up so many secrets. I’m sorry, what was the question? —Tiffany