The Portland Bridal Show was held this past weekend at the Convention Center. Why does this have anything to do with the Master in International Management program, right? It is an interesting story… One of the first classes MIM students will take in their fall term upon the start of the program is MIM 515: Global Marketing. One of the class assignments requires students to write a detailed marketing plan, which professor Brian McCarthy prefers to include an international component.
Meet Kim Morrison, first year part time MIM student, who is among one of the 40 students admitted for the fall 2010 program start. She is a pharmaceutical representative who has a special love of Cambodia. After returning from travels to Cambodia a few years ago, Kim discovered Cocoon Silk in Portland, Oregon, a local company owned by a Cambodian family.
Morrison developed a friendship over the past few years with Sovanna Yun, owner of Cocoon Silk, and his family. She created her MIM 515 global marketing plan around assisting Cocoon Silk with marketing its custom bridal gowns in Portland, Oregon. This lead to the discovery of the Portland Bridal Show and Cocoon Silk’s début of its beautiful silk gowns in its very first runway show. Morrison rounded up a few MIM students and MIM family members to support her efforts. MIMers, Kendra McWilliams, Ali Mondragon, and Farah Sab (MIMer Rana Basal’s sister) volunteered their time to model Cocoon Silk’s custom silk gowns at the bridal show as runway models and models at Cocoon Silk’s booth. In addition, Basal referred a professional photographer friend who was willing to volunteer her time as well.
Cocoon Silk’s gowns are custom designed by Yun, a Portland transplant, and his mother who still lives in Cambodia. Gowns are custom made for the client. Yun and his staff work with clients to decide upon the gown design and client measurements are taken in-shop. The gowns are constructed out of 100% silk which is hand loomed and dyed with natural vegetable dyes in Yun’s home town in Cambodia. Cocoon Silk and Yun’s family’s silk farm employs Yun’s family in Cambodia as well as approximately 200 villagers. Once the gown is returned to Cocoon Silk’s NW 23rd shop, clients return for free alterations for an amazing custom fit done by Yun, his sister Leak, and Cocoon Silk staff.
Yun stresses that there are two things he considers to be most important; he wants to be able to help his village and the people employed by Cocoon Silk, and he wants to have happy brides who can have the wedding gown they have always dreamt of but at an affordable price (most of Cocoon Silk’s custom wedding gowns are priced between $300-$600). Yun juggles the family business while he is finishing the last of his classes for his bachelor’s degree. He is very interested in PSU’s Master in International Management program and sees the value of furthering his education in international business management.
Disclaimer: The following photos are candid shots NOT taken by a professional photographer! (Click on the photo to see a larger image.)