Business Walkabout in SE Portland May 2019

Re-Born gives your auto new life

By Jack Rubinger

Re-Born Automotive is celebrating thirty-five years of solid and stable service from their busy corner of MLK.

Their focus is mostly on Japanese and European cars, including MGs, Triumphs, and Austin-Healeys, and they offer personal and holistic service and a cozy living room-type waiting area.

The 1950s drive-in movie style sign is a vintage touch owners Vince and Becky Vierck proudly point out.

The pair collect vintage bicycles, cars, trucks, vans and motorcycles. A classic Schwinn girls bike, originally Vince’s grandmother’s, rests comfortably in a corner of the lobby covered with green vines.

“Our customers don’t need to see pictures of cars on the walls of the lobby or take a look in the service area,” says Vince. “They just want to know that their cars are being take care of,” and that is what they do.

The area’s gentrification is changing the ways of small businesses. Fewer people own two cars, many don’t drive at all, and high property values and rising rents are all part of the challenges of keeping the shop busy.

“There are more condos and townhouses and fewer parking spaces,” said Becky.

One way to foster business growth is through partnerships with area body shops like Gerber Collision and Glass who refer business to Re-Born.

Keeping current with advances in technology, diagnostics and vehicle safety is critical, as is maintaining best practices for eco-business.

Re-Born keeps its eye on the continued acceleration of electric cars in the inner-city, too.

So how did they come up with the name Re-Born? “We bring new life to your car,” explained Becky. “We take care of the whole car, the whole customer.”

“You won’t find fast oil, fast repairs here,” added Vince.

The crew at Re-Born Automotive

As for the future, Vince and Becky’s twenty-nine year old son, their youngest, plans to take over the business when they’re ready to pass the baton.

“He has a passion for it and is chomping at the bit,” said Becky.

Meanwhile, the owners are having a ball at their ten-acre home in Clark County, where they restore and adventure out on vehicles. Their favorites include a Land Rover, a Morris Minor, and a 66 VW Camper Bus which they take camping and on beach outings with their six young grandchildren.

Reborn Automotive is at 1800 SE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd. 503.926.6876.


Preserving the written word

By Peter Zimmerman

Life in the digital age can feel overwhelming. With social media and the twenty-four hour news cycle, dating apps and snapchats, distractions can pile up, leaving less space for work and family; let alone time and brain power for personal goals and self-improvement.

The people at 11:11 Supply understand this and are here to help. It is the place to go for brain-friendly tools designed to help balance life, manage stress and set boundaries.

The brainchild of Paloma Medina, whose work in both the tech and nonprofit fields gives her a background in organizational psychology, 11:11 takes a science-based approach to getting life on track.

The store has notebooks, tip sheets, journals, memo and self help books, plants, watches and alarm clocks; things designed to help shed distraction and focus on the self.  Small tip sheets are placed among the well-crafted items giving advice on how to use them.

The store provides more than just tools to get you where you need to be – they also provide guidance. They offer personal coaching on managing time and stress, as well as corporate coaching on equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The business is committed to helping people de-stress and get organized and the second and fourth Wednesday of every month they host workshops on topics like conflict navigation, the psychology of motivation, and the science of stress.

Human interaction and interpersonal relationships are at a premium. As General Manager and Coach Mimi Solum puts it, “We are living in an amazon world,” which is why the main focus is on the brick and mortar shop and coaching.

They have a small online shop, but building up those personal and community relationships is an integral part of a more focused life.

11:11 Supply is at 33 NE Martin Luther King Blvd. 503.236.7571/


Holistic landscapes become art installations

By Peter Zimmerman

For Nick Lake, owner and founder of Earth Ecology, landscape architecture is about combining form with function.

His goal with every project is to maximize the aesthetic potential of a space while at the same time producing usable landscapes with a positive, multigenerational impact.

Landscape design wasn’t always Lake’s passion. He started out creating sculptures and other large art installations, but it wasn’t until working on a farm and a cattle ranch for a few years that he began to set his sights on the environment.

Farming opened his eyes to the importance and practicality of utilizing our landscape, as well as the climate crisis and the effect the ecosystem can have in mitigating it, especially the importance of trees as a keystone species.

So, he started Earth Ecology, committed to creating healthy, functional and holistic landscapes.

Earth Ecology began in Vancouver in 2016 and has since spread to Portland, growing mostly by word of mouth.

Lake looks at each project like an art installation, making sure the land is used to its maximum potential.

A lot of his work is based on the practice of permaculture, wherein seven layers, from the canopy on down to the roots, are utilized to create sustainable, beneficial ecosystems.

Building off a foundation of native plants, he combines them with global, domestic food and medicinal plants, never forgetting the aesthetic. He has a soft spot for weeping plants and purple leaves.

With every project Earth Ecology does, the goal is to create the most positive impact possible. Conscious of the human impact on the planet, much of Lake’s work is based on that of scientists like Diana Beresford Kroeger, an Irish Botanist whose work is based on the importance of trees in balancing the ecosystem.

Lake and Earth Ecology create landscapes that will be part of a multigenerational solution to the climate crisis.

For information, see or 858.774.7900.


The artist and the framer

By Nancy Tannler

Some kids just know what they want to do when they grow up. Greg Bunker, owner of KB Frames was one of those guys. The route was a little circuitous but fifteen years ago he landed in the Montavilla neighborhood framing art and painting – work he has a passion for.

Bunker was the kid who would be busy sketching scenes from his imagination while listening to his teacher. Because of this focus, he eventually learned to capture things realistically; an enviable talent to acquire.

After graduating from Oregon State with a degree in business art, Bunker took a job working in the printing/publishing industry during the era of iconic publications like This Week, The Downtowner and the Nickel Ads. Eventually these publications went under and he was faced with what’s next.

Bunker had done a little framing for himself, rather poorly he admits, so when the opportunity presented itself to buy the inventory of a retiring framer he took the chance.

First, by taking framing classes and then finding a good location to hang up his shingle, he opened KB Frames, named after his children Kenneth and Kelsey Bunker, in January 2004.

In the past couple of years KB Frames added an employee and expanded the space the length of the building.

The day of the interview he was building a huge  frame for a job and with the left over materials he builds ready made frames for sale in the shop. With the newest addition, there is plenty of space for each facet of the job, as well as a space for him to paint.

Bunker has framed just about everything: clothing, jewelry, tapestries, sports items, mementos, art, even a guitar.

He said one of his favorite things do is building and creating shadowboxes as he loves the stories they tell.

His framing is a lot about conserving and archiving art and memorabilia. Scotch tape eats through paper and can ruin a picture he said.

KB Frames offer eight different kinds of glass and all the work is done using conservation/archival products. He usually works about two weeks out.

When Bunker is not framing he keeps his hands busy painting. Over the years he has developed a style and palette that is unmistakably his own.

Because of all his years of making fine art, he is capable of producing works in a variety of mediums: oils, pastels, and watercolors – as well as realistic and impressionistic paintings, capturing familiar northwest scenes.

Some of his paintings are available as prints too.

KB Frames is at 7828 SE Stark St. 503.257.0711. See

Business Walkabout in SE Portland May 2019

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