Women make the world go round. Just ask any toddler and they’ll tell you that mom is amazing! But did you know that there are tons of entrepreneurial women in Portland who run businesses that improve local families lives? From supplying books and toys for your kids, to creating inclusive cosmetics and cool hats, there’s an abundance of services and products that Portland women offer. Read on to find out where you can find these woman-owned Portland businesses.
Hammer and Jacks
So much more than a toy store, and owned by Jillian Sevick, Hammer and Jacks' adorable indoor playspace has become a vital community hub in the Foster-Powell neighborhood over the past four years. From lactation support groups and kindie music concerts, to storytimes in Spanish and birthday parties, there's always been something happening. Even before Kate Brown officially ordered businesses to close under the shelter-in-place order, Hammer and Jacks closed their doors and began doing curbside pickup and home delivery, which they are still currently offering along with in-store shopping appointments. Support this beloved shop when you buy all of your children's favorite toys from their large selection!
6416 SE Foster Rd.
Is your Portland home in need of an update or expansion since becoming your families primary location for work and play? If you are in desperate need of an office addition, bigger kitchen, outside patio space or just a spring paint job, consider supporting this amazing Black Woman's business. Perfect for growing families, Willco focuses on remodeling, historical renovations, and residential and commercial painting. Owned by Ruth Warren, Willco’s diverse team of experts have years of experience to take your home projects from dream to reality.
920 SE Caruthers St.
Mimosa Studios Owner Austin Raglione provides a full-service ceramic painting studio to local families both in her studio and at home. When COVID hit Portland, she began offering take home painting kits that families could do at home to stay busy and work their creative side. Raglione remembers doing crafts with her mother when she was growing up, and she loves being able to make people happy by helping them create memories during a tough time. The Take Home Painting Kits come with all the ceramics, paint, brushes, and instructions needed to paint right at home. And now you can reserve a spot to do art in the studio too!
1718 NE Alberta St.
Mimi's Fresh Tees & PDX Love Over Hate
Mimi's Fresh Tees
Kamelah Adams, referred to as Mimi by close friends and family, is a NE Portland Ore. native. If you are looking for some new threads for the family, you want to put these hoodies and tees on your "must buy" list. Founded in January 2018, Mimi’s Fresh Tees is a Portland-based t-shirt company that amplifies tough social justice conversations and allows people to wear their truth. Motivated by systemic racism her Black son experienced in the education system, owner and designer Kamelah Adams wanted to create a product that brought conversations around discrimination out into the open, in a quick and straightforward way. She started designing t-shirts as away for people to take a stand, break the silence and start a dialogue by wearing their truth.
Green Bean Books
Jennifer Green is the owner of this whimsical red-painted children's bookstore in the beloved Alberta Arts District. Beyond the hand-picked selection of children's books and the big green reading couch at the center of the store, there was the community of families that met weekly for multilingual story-times, craft sessions, and music circles. While all of that has changed since COVID-19 hit, this business is still bustling. She created an easy-to-use online ordering system, and the small team of booksellers is available daily by phone for book recommendations and ordering. With the ability to order just about any book through their distributors, including adult books, they encourage customers to pick up the phone and purchase a book if they don't feel safe coming is. However they are excited to announce that the shop is open again! They have put together a list of rules, so make sure to check for the changing requirements. Clean and safe curbside pick-up is available as well.
1600 NE Alberta Street
Raving Artists Tattoos
Raving Artist is an LGBTQ, Woman-Owned tattoo parlor offering body art in a bright, fun and friendly setting. Portland parents love their tattoos, and now you can enjoy getting one in a studio with inviting and colorful lighting as well as music played to your taste! Courtney Castman created her studio with the intention of moving away from darker settings that play heavy metal music to set the mood and opted for developing an environment that is modern, relaxing, and upbeat. While she joyfully creates any tattoo her clients request, her love for Oregon and nature comes through in the pieces she creates which primarily consist of flowers, foliage and stunning landscapes you can find throughout the state. Castman has won favor among local moms because of her cool environment, awesome work ethic and dedication to offering her customers the perfect amount of conversation (or quiet) while they are under her needle.
833 SE Main St.
Signs of Justice
Jameesa Oakley and her husband already had a sign printing business, but when Trump was elected, they decided to use their vocation to impact social change. Their online shop now features striking yard signs, bumper stickers, and apparel featuring progressive statements on a range of issues, available for bulk order. Red Tricycle asked the Oakleys what they loves about what they do. "Our graphics bring progressive truths to the mainstream," Jameesa says. "The narrative in America is changing and we believe we played a small role." During the pandemic, the Oakleys have encountered supply chain issues and have had to use their creativity to overcome them. "It tested our resolve," the Oakleys say. "We’re stronger because of it."After the George Floyd murder tapes were released, demand increased more than Signs of Justice could have ever expected, and orders were temporarily delayed. "We couldn’t believe how kind and patient most people were. Love is winning."
With over 24 years of experience working with children, Paula Rogers founded Reggio-inspired Flouriche preschool with the intention to combine the best of three guiding principles for developing minds: flourish, nourish, and niche. “The best part is the laughter and natural compassion that I am privileged to witness every day,” Rogers says. During the pandemic, the community has had to adjust to many changes designed to keep kids safe, from daily health checks to rotating mealtimes in order to reduce the number of children at the table. They’ve also begun incorporating Zoom circle times to include children who are unable to come to Flouriche, in order to help children feel connected. Flouriche stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement that is resounding all over the world, and has started a Facebook group for discussion around the history of racism. Rogers says she loves idea sharing and would love to connect with other diverse preschools in Portland, as well as develop a scholarship program for children who want to attend Flouriche but may not be able to afford it.
Honeybee Lemonade Syrups
Andrea Wade originally served Honeybee Lemonade Syrups with sparkling water from the window of a West African & Caribbean fusion food cart. In 2019, her handmade artisan syrups hit the shelves, free from preservatives, artificial flavors, and sweeteners, and with a devoted following. With flavors like Mango Coconut Jasmine, Strawberry Raspberry Rhubarb Lime, and Peach Lychee, these shelf-stable syrups are made from whole fruit and can be used to flavor beverages, yogurt, as an ice cream topping, and much more. Wade's 17-year-old daughter helps with the daily operations of the business. When the pandemic hit, the mother-daughter team began offering no-contact door drop delivery and using their creativity to drive sales, much of which plummeted during the pandemic due to the cancellation of many spring and summer vending events. Honeybee Lemonade Syrups currently offers online orders and can be picked up in New Seasons Market and Market of Choice. Reflecting on the challenges she experienced in starting her business, Wade shares that, "...there is still a tremendous amount of work to do to dismantle systemic barriers for Black business that often keep us out. It is my hope that we will continue to work in solidarity because Black Businesses Matter!"
Kori Giudici is a mom and the hat-making genius who owns and runs Flipside Hats. Flipside Hats is a sustainable hat and accessory brand, making eco-cool products accessible to the mainstream market for men, women and kids. From slouch beanies to ball caps to cabbie hats and more there is something for absolutely every age and personality in your household. Each hat is made from large rolls of abandoned fabric from production and dye houses and then crafted into a unique piece that helps those who wear them express their own personal style. If your loved one isn’t a hat person, no worries! They also make headbands, scarves, hand warmers and masks now too!
4438 SE Belmont St.
Are you a dark complexioned woman who finds it challenging to find cosmetics designed for your skin? Do you have a tween or teen who is ready to start experimenting with cosmetics, but can't find options for her complexion? Hue Noir is a company you need to get to know today! Founder Paula Hayes, is a product chemist who embarked on a mission to rethink cosmetic formulas for multicultural women. Her goal was to create products calibrated to interact well with darker complexions. Her brand's soul mission is to empower girls and women to look and feel their very best while changing the face of beauty by putting multicultural women at the center of modern beauty movement. Hue Noir combines scientific-based research and development, leading edge light and color technology, custom-made manufacturing equipment, and innovative luxury ingredients to design textures and shades to work for women of color. With products ranging from hydrating lip butter to hand sanitizer. Bonus: they rely predominantly on natural ingredients for worry-free, everyday wear for even delicate skin. All of the products are cruelty free, hypoallergenic, and noncomedogenic. It's time to go shopping!
Anjelica Otness started Fat Cupcake for good reasons: she has always loved eating dessert, she enjoys the creativity of decorating cupcakes, and she wanted to create an environment where people feel loved, welcome, and known. “I love sharing the joy of a cupcake and celebrating exciting life events or being there when things are challenging,” Otness says. She jokes, “It's also a perk to be able to eat a treat whenever you want." In the wake of the pandemic, Fat Cupcake has added extra safety precautions to prioritize team members’ and guests’ health and safety. And with the world’s increased support for the Black Lives Matter movement, Otness says they’ve seen a tremendous amount of support from the local community in placing orders, coming in for the first time, and promoting Fat Cupcake.