In 2014, Ann Matthews opened Arktana in downtown Camas. It began as a shoe boutique for women and today, has grown to include a larger selection of clothing, leather handbags, beautiful custom handmade and designer jewelry and many beautiful gift items. Five years later, Matthews opened a second location in Felida and this July, the company celebrated opening their third location in Ridgefield.
Matthews said that at the beginning, it was just her family that ran the business, seven days a week. It was obvious that growth was happening quickly.
“Quickly, we realized we needed help and we hired a few of our oldest sons’ friends to help us out as needed on the weekends,” she explained. “I hired my first part-time employee after 10 months. Now, we have 20 employees, four are full time, and the rest work three or four days a week.”
When the pandemic began, Arktana had to close their stores temporarily and lay off people, but because they had a robust online store, they were able to keep three employees on staff. They hosted Facebook ‘live’ sales, shipped product to people, and dropped packages off at their homes if they were local.
“Our customer service is one of our very highest priorities,” Matthews said. “We love building lasting relationships with our regular customers!”
Matthews also shared that giving back to the community is part of the company’s core values and it’s something they really enjoy doing.
She said, “Arktana is known in the community for our community outreach, we do lots of fundraising, fashion shows, private parties and anything else someone could dream up that involves clothing, shoes, handbags and the people who need them!”
Looking at the future, the team at Arktana is thrilled about what’s coming. In August, Matthews will be opening a men’s shoe and clothing store called Bigfoot Mountain Outfitters. It will be located right next to the new Arktana Ridgefield location.