Portlanders shop local on Small Business Saturday

The owner of Mimi’s Fresh Tees in downtown Portland wants people to return to shopping downtown.

PORTLAND, OR – Small Business Saturday encourages people to shop at local small businesses – a sentiment Portland business owners are encouraging after a few tough years.

Kamelah Adams, owner of Mimi’s Fresh Tees in downtown Portland, said she wants people to come back downtown. She opened a new pop-up store on the corner of SW 10th Avenue and Morrison.

“It’s critical that people come to downtown Portland — if you don’t, you’re saying ‘goodbye’ to a lot of unique small businesses,” Adams said.

Adams founded Mimi’s Fresh Tees in 2018. She makes t-shirts that focus on social justice and women’s empowerment. She has a store in the Old Town but said she had to move due to crime in the area.

“We’re trying to spread a little love, light and hope to the downtown area because the past few years have been tough,” Adams said. “A small purchase means you’re directly supporting families who live in Portland.”

Soobien Oh shopped at Mimi’s Fresh Tees on Saturday. He said he made supporting small businesses a priority.

“We want to be conscious about where we spend our money, and what better way to do it than to spend it locally and with people we know who are doing good things for our communities,” Oh said.

The Japanese American Museum of Oregon, located NW on Flanders Street, has a new pop-up store selling Japanese-inspired gifts and crafts.

“Much of it was produced by local Japanese and Japanese-American artists,” said Elissa Dingus, Director of Educational Engagement.

Dee Tory is the owner of WUL in downtown Portland. This is a gallery space with art and clothing. He is an artist and designer, and also has a foundation that raises scholarships for students.

“Small businesses can be niche and need support to thrive and have a say in the purpose of their existence,” Tory said.

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