By Rachel Richards | CNA Media Team
Palette42, 5126 N.E. 42nd Ave., opened in May and offers an eclectic and multicultural blend of items by local entrepreneurs and consigners.
Bobbie Stewart’s shop is a unique business model that offers local designers, makers, artists and authors a place to showcase and build their businesses, and offers customers a place to shop for local artisan items from clothing to books to beauty products to coffee.
Bobbie created Palette42 to help multicultural brands grow from startup to mainstream. “This is a teaching store in which a lot of people are given the opportunity to work as a collective to build their individual brands,” she pointed out.
Bobbie has lived in northeast Portland since age 2, and her commitment to community stands out – especially during her difficulty finding a retail space to lease, initially as a boutique combined with a natural hair salon.
She would call about spaces for lease and say she was an African-American business serving African-American women. Frequently she would not receive a call back.
So she created her current business model of a boutique that recruits entrepreneurs to lease space, requires a modest rent and labels each product with its maker’s information so customers can find the product again.
Each retailer has a business license, insurance and the social media necessary to drive people to the shop.
“My mission is about who I serve more than anything else,” Bobbie said. “I can’t do business and make it about myself – I want to be a true support person.”
With the opportunity for a three- month lease to try out selling at the retail level to a one-year lease with retirement investment, her unique model is one that gives new businesses a chance to grow.
The bright modern space showcases many unique, colorful items. Just a few pieces from the 45 makers are:
- Essance, a line of organic vegan face and body products
- How Sweet It Is, a local confection with caramel corn and peanut brittle
- Soapbox Theory, dishware and lunch boxes for boys and girls printed with images of children in many shades of brown.
- Essence of African Style and Pieces by Sherelle
- Designs by Le’yon The space is one in which customers can touch, smell, and try things on with price points from $5 to $40.
Interested in selling there? Visit the shop Mondays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., or apply at Palette42. com.
Palette42 is giving the neighborhood opportunities at many levels and owner Bobbie invites neighbors, “Come and play in the store.”
Rachel Richards is a 16-year Concordia resident who loves her community. She has a background in counseling/education and uses her passion for helping others in her work as a real estate broker. Contact Rachel or learn more about her at RachelRichardsRealtor.com.