Oregon couple wins SBA’s small business of the year award


Pacifica of Oregon has won the 2014 small business of the year award from the SBA. (J.D. Harrison / The Washington Post)

The Small Business Administration has awarded its annual small business person of the year to two individuals. Not only are the awards going home to the same company, though, they’re going home to the same house.

Billy Taylor and Brook Harvey-Taylor, the husband-wife behind Pacifica, a small cosmetics, candles and perfume company based in Portland, Ore., took home the agency’s top honor Friday at the final National Small Business Week event in Washington.

Harvey-Taylor, who started mixing own fragrances as a teenager growing up in Montana and later studied aromatherapy at the University of Oregon, started making scented candles with her husband in 1997, and over the next decade and a half, the pair grew the company to $12 million in annual sales.

Related: Meet the winners from D.C., Maryland and Virginia

A more recent shift in products, from home fragrances to cosmetics and perfume, has primed the company to grow even larger in the years ahead, with revenue expected to double over the next five years, according to information the company provided to the SBA.

And that means hiring more people, too. Since 2010, the company has expand its staff every year, now up to 110 employees.

Anita’s Mexican Food Corp, the state small business of the year winner from California, and Merrill, Inc., a general contractor from Wyoming, were awarded national runners up.

Previous National Small Business Person of the Year awards have gone to Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder of Chobani yogurt, and Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, the entrepreneurs behind Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Follow J.D. Harrison and On Small Business on Twitter.

J.D. Harrison covers startups, small business and entrepreneurship, with a focus on public policy, and he manages the Post's On Small Business blog.
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