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WW Business Summit | DWWF Micro Session: Panel Discussion with Local Small Business Owners
Moderated By: Paul Bowen, WA SBDC

Panelists:  Jess Portas, The Refinery; Annelise Page, Annelise Page Photography; Bill Weed, Walla Walla Beer Parlor

Paul Bowen will lead the conversation as we hear from three local business owners on challenges they faced at all stages of starting and running a small business, how they overcame those challenges, what they wished they had known when they started, and why they love being an entrepreneur.

Apr 11, 2023 10:00 AM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Jess Portas
Owner @The Refinery
Jess has been an artist in one form or another for most of her life. She enjoys all mediums but has a particular fondness for clay. Growing up helping her mom with a slip casting business, Jess found clay only as an adult and became hooked immediately. She built a studio in her garage, started combining fiber with many of her ceramic pieces, and began selling her work in a local gallery. Now, drawn to sharing pottery and other art mediums, she finally achieved her dream of opening the Refinery, a community pottery and art studio that provides diverse art experiences and nurtures artists at all skill levels.
Annelise Page
Owner @Annelise Page Photography
Annelise Page is a super chill photographer based in Walla Walla. She is a busy redhead — between shooting weddings and elopements, golden hour family photo shoots, business branding sessions, and working on personal projects that take her around the world, she's got a full calendar. Annelise’s superpower is helping people tap into their internal peace, holding space for them to be exactly who they are, and it shows up in the images she creates. It must be working because Annelise was named Best of the Best Photographer in 2022, 39 under 39, published in Wine Spectator Magazine, Lifestyles Magazine, and was voted Best Human by Petra Page, her red fox lab and editing buddy. It’s her unmistakable passion that has helped her create beautiful images, a successful business, and build giving back into her business blueprint. She finds the good vibes in each and every endeavor, taking on projects that fulfill her desire to create photos that last the test of time.
Bill Weed
Owner @Walla Walla Beer Parlor
Bill Weed is an Eastern Washington born and raised entrepreneur, widely known for inventing the cotton gin. His hobbies include being a beer nerd, Mariners baseball and speaking in the third person. His 20+ year career in sales has provided him with a proficient background in several different industries which started with selling copy machines to recently selling dead fish out of the Bering Sea of Alaska. Since he turned 21 (and not a day before), he has been an enthusiast of the Northwest beer culture. As an optimist, he thinks that, once it opens, the “Beer Parlor” can become a community gathering place. Where one can enjoy a fresh IPA while engaging a neighbor in civil discourse. His goal is to have a well curated tap list and retail offering of the best the NW provides. Folks in our area know quality when it comes to their libations. Imagine, with the incredible beer made in our valley, how many great beers there are in the entire Northwest? Stay curious.