Business news: RISE celebrates 8 years, Tahoe Chamber encourages local shopping |

Business news: RISE celebrates 8 years, Tahoe Chamber encourages local shopping

Jack Barnwell
Marley Reel (left) and Mike Miller have operated RISE Designs since 2007. The Meyers-based company does graphic design, screen printing and produces a line of clothing inspired by Lake Tahoe's nature.
Jack Barnwell / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

Lake Tahoe’s South Shore business community is busy preparing for Small Business Saturday and celebrating anniversaries.


In 2007, Marley Reel and Mike Miller began operating a graphic design and screen printing business out of their Meyers, California, garage.

Eight years later, RISE Designs is in a shop at the end of Santa Fe Road. Business is good and its local clothing line is successful.

“We’ve grown tenfold and we’re happy that we’re still partners after eight years,” Reel said. “We’re thankful that we get to come work and make art for a living, because not that many people can say they do that.”

The business recently celebrated its eighth anniversary on Thursday, Nov. 19, with the launch of its new website.

According to Miller, RISE Designs does graphic design work and creates nature-inspired artwork and clothing. Shirts, hats, stickers and tote bags all feature colorful landscapes and are carried in local retail shops.

“It’s all inspired by Tahoe and nature,” Miller said, adding that ideas continue popping up for new merchandise.

Reel and Miller worked at Sierra-at-Tahoe Resort when they started the business.

“We were tired of working all the crappy jobs around town, so we decided to go into business for ourselves,” Reel said.

Starting a business allowed them to embrace what they love and continue living in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

The two-man operation, which relocated to its current spot in November 2013, built its client base the old-fashioned way. They pounded the pavement and attended functions like the Live at Lakeview Summer Concert Series in South Lake Tahoe to promote their services.

Then business started booming. RISE Designs clients include the League to Save Lake Tahoe, Cold Water Brewery, and the Lake Tahoe Humane Society.

Most days, the shop is bustling with activity on its screen-printing machine that dominates the small space, and two dogs underfoot.

“We always have our dogs here,” Reel said.

Miller said he and Reel continued using Meyers as their base of operations because of the small-town charm and proximity to activities they love.

“We feel more of a sense of community out here,” Miller said. “We both live out here and I think this town has a lot of potential.”

For more information about RISE Designs, visit


The Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce is encouraging people to shop locally over the holidays with its “Go Local and Win!” campaign beginning Saturday, Nov. 28.

Community members who shop at any locally owned and operated South Shore business between Nov. 28 and Jan. 1 may win weekly prizes from local vendors.

“Local businesses suffer as more and more individuals shop online and in larger cities,” Tahoe Chamber stated in a news release. “Shopping locally truly makes a difference for South Shore business owners and for its residents.”

People who want to participate simply need to shop at any South Shore business, save their receipts and submit them along with a form to Tahoe Chamber.

Each dollar spent nets a point, or two points if the business is a Chamber member. The individual who spends the most that week will win a prize.

Two grand prizes will be awarded after Jan. 1. One grand prize will be awarded for total amount spent and the second for total number of receipts submitted.

Prizes are announced on Tahoe Chamber’s Facebook page,

For more information, visit


As part of its annual Philanthropy Day event, Barton Foundation awarded $35,550 to local organizations for projects and programs that address community needs like mental health, substance abuse, and access to care.

Recipients include the Drug Store Project, A Balanced Life, Live Violence Free, National Alliance on Mental Illness, SOS Outreach, South Lake Tahoe Police Activities League, South Tahoe Drug Free Coalition, Tahoe Magic, Tahoe Turning Point, and Tahoe Youth and Family Services.

According to the Barton Foundation, another $14,500 in grant funding is available for projects and events that address mental health needs in South Lake Tahoe. The grant application deadline is Nov. 30.

For more information, visit

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