When Steve and Madilyn Boostrom packed up their Southern California lives and set their sights on Bend, they wondered: How long does it take to feel like an Oregonian?
The answer? About a year, if you do it right.
In 2014, Steve and Madilyn did what scores of California transplants have done; after “discovering” the magic of Central Oregon they made the switch from tourists to residents. With their two dogs in tow, the pair landed in the high desert with high hopes.
Their story is not unique, but their reasons for doing it are.
“As visitors, we watched a town we love boom, avoid a full-scale bust, and then engage in a careful rebuild,” says Steve. “As residents, we knew we could bring value to that process.” Madilyn adds, “We didn’t come here to retire; we came here to be part of this community.”
And they had an idea of how to do just that. With Steve’s forty years in the contract furniture industry, and Madilyn’s decades of experience in professional services, they set out to fill a niche to support the renewed growth of Central Oregon. Partnering with Interior Office Solutions in Bend proved a fit; it was founded by a native Northwesterner, and supplies everything from height-adjustable tables and 24/7 task chairs to workplace strategists and change managers. And much like the Boostroms, the company has roots in the region.
Says Steve, “[Bend] is full of innovation and exploration; these businesses and entrepreneurs deserve access to the same support and resources Portland has. We knew we could provide that.”
The business community has provided no shortage of opportunities to engage, and Steve and Madilyn are taking advantage of each one. “One of the best ways for us to make connections and unpack our capabilities is by inviting people to ‘date our chairs,’” adds Madilyn. “We have programs where businesses can work with our products in advance of ordering to help them decide what direction to go.”
The Boostroms also knew Interior Office Solutions’ philosophies would be in tight alignment with the values of the Bend business community. “There is heavy focus on sustainability, workplace culture and making a real investment in people,” muses Steve. “It’s never just about completing a project; it’s about partnership.”
But what about the California thing? The Boostroms are aware of the stigma, but meet it with a smile and a shrug. “We get it. And if there is such a thing as “naturalized” Oregonians, we hope we qualify,” Madilyn says. “We came a thousand miles to be part of this community, and we’re so glad we did. Thanks to our neighbors, friends and partners, we’re from here now.”