Collaboration over competition

Oregon entrepreneur launches new online initiative

The Norwegian American

We are all in a brave new world, as businesses strive to stay alive during the COVID-19 shutdown. It’s a situation that requires new, creative solutions, but many are rising to the occasion of new the challenge. Krista Nygaard, owner of Scandinavian Design Studio, a cultural gifts store based in Bend, Ore., is one of them, with a new initiative to collaborate with other Scandinavian and Nordic vendors.

Business - Scandinavian Fest

Photo courtesy of Krista Nygaard
Krista Nygaard, owner of Scandinavian Design Studio

Heading into 2020, Nygaard was excited to sell her products at Viking Fest in Poulsbo, Wash., Midsummer Festival in Portland, Ore., and Norsk Høstfest in Minot, N.D., in addition to other local craft fairs and farmers markets. But with most events canceled due to the spread of COVID-19, she found herself looking for ways to bring the Scandinavian event experience online.

As a result, Nygaard has invited other vendors to join her in a virtual Scandinavian festival that brings shop owners, restaurants, vendors, and shoppers together in one location in time for Norwegian Constitution Day on May 17. To make this happen, she has created the website to serve as a central location for Nordic-themed stores, restaurants, and other vendors.

What is in involved?

Each vendor will have its own spot on the page, including a photo, a short bio, a link to their website, and any discount codes. There will also be a Facebook page and Instagram account created to promote items from different vendors each day leading up to May 17.

The market will last from May 15 to 18, but the website will be active for the rest of the year for anyone who would like to continue to use it as a vendor resource.

The Norwegian American is excited to participate in this new initiative and hopes many other vendors will soon join in.

This article originally appeared in the May 8, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Lori Ann Reinhall

Lori Ann Reinhall, editor-in-chief of The Norwegian American, is a multilingual journalist and cultural ambassador based in Seattle. She is the president of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, and she serves on the boards of several Nordic organizations.