happening peoplearchive

Alice Strong and Strong Marketing

After four years with Merrill Lynch on the East Coast, Jersey girl Alice Strong moved to Eugene in 1971. She spent two years at the UO, then went into business. "I haven't worked for anyone else since '74," she notes. Strong's vintage clothing store, Boogie Blues, was "Eugene's living room" from '76 to '84. In '86 she began marketing other people's new products at home shows and flower shows. "I spent a couple years sleeping in the car at state fairs," she says. Four years ago, Strong bought the business of a client, who made packets of easy-to-plant clay balls rolled with organic matter and flower seeds. "My first order was for 30,000 pieces," she says. "Tell me I wasn't shocked!" A friend hooked her up with a firm in Arizona that provides employment for disabled people. SeedBallz are now hand-rolled in eight facilities and sold in 700 stores and 17 catalogues. Bill Clinton chose SeedBallz as a gift to 1700 dignitaries at last year's Clinton Global Initiative Conference. Check out the varieties of SeedBallz plus all of Strong's home and garden products at her online outlet, gardenbasket.com.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 11 January 2007

hp archive