Necessity can make a new career

Allison Milionis and Cameron Morgan of Portland, Ore. own Eclecticsoundspdx.com, an online record store.

Records for sale online at Eclecticsoundspdx.com stacked in the company basement.


Bill Radke: With unemployment near 10 percent, a lot of people are going out on their own to make ends meet. Selling their skills as freelancers, starting online retail businesses, dusting off something they invented in the garage. From our Entrepreneurship Desk at Oregon Public Broadcasting, Mitchell Hartman has more.

Mitchell Hartman: Allison Milionis never intended to be an entrepreneur.

Allison Milionis: When I moved here, I was looking for either a staff position someplace or a very regular consulting type of position. But, um, that hasn't happened.

Milionis left a successful career in Los Angeles as an architectural writer two years ago and came to Portland, where she applied for jobs writing, waiting tables, loading boxes -- and got nothing.

Milionis: So I was sort of having to think quick on my feet, and Cameron had this business going so I jumped in.

That's Cameron Morgan, her musician boyfriend. About a year ago he started an online record store in their basement. It sells vintage vinyl and electric-guitar accessories, including one he helped invent.

Cameron Morgan: So this is pretty much our flagship pedal, the Dark Echo.

Milionis: I didn't see myself packing boxes and listing albums as a job. But you know, you do what you have to do. And at least this is ours, and we can develop it.

Milionis fits into a category called "necessity entrepreneurs." A quarter of new businesses in 2009 were launched by people who'd lost a job or income, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. That's up 50 percent since the recession began.

Vivek Wadhwa: What happens when you're unemployed? You have nothing to lose. Fear of failure goes away.

Vivek Wadhwa researches entrepreneurship at Duke University. He says many of the companies founded now will stay small. But there will be some will be blockbusters.

Vivek Wadhwa: The most successful companies on the Dow, they were formed within recessions. Everyone is hurting, there's much less money available, therefore you have less competition. And this is what leads to so much success.

Allison Millionis doesn't need her business to be the next Amazon -- just for it to keep paying the bills. Plus . . .

Milionis: Sometimes it's fun, because we have all this music.

I'm Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

Radke: Tomorrow from the Entrepreneurship desk: Mitchell meets some folks who have figured out that classic entrepreneur headache of health care -- and they did it without congressional action.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.

Records for sale online at Eclecticsoundspdx.com stacked in the company basement.

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Entrepreneur out of necessity also applies to those of us who retired and had other plans. I think John Lennon said it, but maybe not. "Life is what happens when you're making plans." Good luck

To anyone considering doing business with Eclecticsoundspdx.com I would just like to let you know a little bit about co-owner, Cameron Morgan. I have had the honor to know him his entire life. His Dad had a music store in Houston, Texas that I managed off an on during the crazy 70's! Even as a small child his passion for music was apparent.Even though we are not related, I feel like an adopted uncle. In a world of scam artist, low morals, and do anything anyway to make a buck Cameron separates himself from the rest of the pack. I am proud to say that not only is he an extremely talented musician, singer, & songwriter, he has grown into a man of morals, care about relationships(business & personal). He would not sell any product that he did not believe in himself. So please visit his website, if you like music he has some very collectable albums. His talent and knowledge of what other musicians like and need in a single or group of pedals can help you in deciding what equipment you must have to get the sounds you want out of your instruments. So , again please check out his website BEFORE you make your next puchase
www.eclecticsoundspdx.com - you will be dealing with not only an amazingly talented artist - most importantly you don't have to be worried about being ripped off, that is something that Cameron seems to have as second nature -honesty!

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