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The Power of the Purse in Oregon

Photo of Mia and Rob Scofield


While attending an education conference, Mia Scofield – who was a high school teacher and counselor at the time – discovered a retail store that inspired her to design her own line of handbags. Mo & Co. Bags was a natural off-shoot of her husband’s established shoe company; however, Scofield found doing what you love doesn’t always translate into business success.


Scofield applied to the SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative, a six-month “mini-MBA” executive education course for businesses poised for growth. The initiative provided her with the organizational framework, resource network and motivation required to help her build a sustainable business. While Scofield loved the creative process of making handbags, the course helped her realize she needed to make decisions from a business point of view. This included a thorough understanding of her business’ balance sheet and financial statements.


Since completing the program, Scofield has been able to reduce her operating costs by nearly 35 percent, putting her business solidly in the black. She also has a successful online presence and has sold bags to the catalog of the very company that originally inspired her to go into business

From the owner

“I love building a business. The challenge of it; and it is much more of a challenge than I realized it would be when I started,” Scofield said. “It is just rewarding to know you are creating something useful for folks, something that brings them pleasure.”


For more information

SBA Emerging Leaders Initiative:

Company Name: 
Mo and Co. Bags
Lake Oswego, Oregon