Our Matter Portland office initiated a video series focused on local independent businesses in Portland. The Portland culture is unique for being a large city with a strong focus on community, storytelling and connection. Business owners and consumers want to connect with those they work with and support. We were inspired by this strong sense of community and connected with five amazing women involved in independent businesses to learn their stories and create a video to showcase their perspectives on the small business culture.
Betsy & Iya is a modern jewelry brand designed and founded by Betsy Cross in 2008. Betsy took a leap from her previous career path and taught herself jewelry making, taking inspiration from natural and human made objects and design. She describes her work as perpendicular, bringing together inspirations that might not have crossed paths, making creative tension. The design and construction of their jewelry takes place in their own brick and mortar store based in Portland, Oregon.
Tender Loving Empire was started by Jared and Brianne Mees. Both involved in the arts, their goal was to support the arts community in Portland and bring together music and local goods into what became Tender Loving Empire, a record label and five brick and mortar stores. 10 years of an artist-focused business model made a positive impact on the 2000+ artists showcased and 400+ musicians featured.
After following a more traditional career path, Maryam set off to create a lipstick that would embrace the values she wanted out of a product, with the look that was ’ultra wearable’. From that need, the SPELA Cosmetic line was born, keeping true to Maryam’s core values, with her products being vegan, USA made, Cruelty free, all the while, supporting other women run businesses.
After 10 years of selling hand-curated vintage clothing online, the founders Lauren and Ben moved from Arizona to Portland, OR. They set up their brick and mortar shop which brought together a bohemian style, inspired by the desert, with a modern family style, Portland feel.
Founder Jennifer Pereau moved to Portland more than 10 years ago and was inspired by the DIY culture and welcoming community of the independent businesses. She built a gluten-free, raw, vegan cheesecake business called Rawdacious selling wholesale around the city. Now she has founded Tiny Moreso, a cozy cafe serving plant-based drinks, snacks, and of course, Rawdacious cheesecake.