Presents of Mind
By Nina Silberstein
Retail businesses come and go, but Presents of Mind at SE 36th and Hawthorne has been a stronghold in inner SE Portland, surviving many changes in the neighborhood. This month, the store celebrates thirty years in business.Presents of Mind is a sole proprietorship owned by Cinnamon ChaserThe decision to open the store in 1989 came about because, “No one was offering independent, personally curated, one-stop gift shopping,” said Seasons Kaz Sparks, who currently runs the shop.
“You had to go all over town to pull together the best options for cards, gifts and gift wrap. Presents of Mind finally put everything under one roof.”
Visitors find gifts of all kinds in the store from trendy, classic and humorous, to local, exotic and even gourmet.
“We hand-select our gift products, apparel, jewelry and accessories, as well as our cards and giftwrap from independent local, eco, fair-trade and artist lines, primarily in the Pacific Northwest, if not from Portland,” she added.
She puts cards, jewelry and apparel at the top of the list of the most popular purchased items. There is a varied selection of t-shirts, toys, housewares, socks, bath and body products, stickers and books too.
“Hawthorne was a very different street when we opened thirty years ago,” Seasons explained. “But we have always felt part of the community.
“Being part of our neighbors’ births, deaths, birthdays, graduations, etc., ties us to the people in our neighborhood in a unique way.”
The adult children of many of the people who have shopped in the store over the years are now coming in with their kids, so there’s something to be said about meeting the gift needs of different generations.
Presents of Mind has been politically vocal, especially regarding human rights and equality.
“We have received unwavering support from the community and are proud to foster efforts of inclusion, and to raise funds and awareness for many local charities over the years,” she added.
Presents of Mind, 3633 SE Hawthorne Blvd., hosts its 30th anniversary in-store celebration October 4-6. See presentsofmind.org or phone 503.230.7740.
Propaganda The Salon
By Nancy Tannler
When Scott Kane, owner of Propaganda the Salon, was a student at Catholic School in New York City, his parents were often called to make sure he got his haircut so that it didn’t touch his ears; that was against the rules. “I remember really enjoying getting it cut, especially when I went to one of the nicer salons.”
After high school, he realized his manual labor job working for Manpower in Florida was not the career path for him. Looking for something inside with air conditioning, maybe some cool clothes and creative, Scott remembered his early experiences at the salon and thought that might be a job that suited him. Obviously it did, as Propaganda is celebrating twenty-five years in business.
The road to this point in time came partly from finding the creative hair stylists and having the talent to learn from them. In the 80s he made his way to Los Angeles and attended the Vidal Sassoon School. Sassoon was a British-American hairstylist, businessman, and philanthropist who had come to LA in the seventies and developed a reputation for his innovative cuts, creating the classic bob.
Scott had the good fortune to have Ian Givat and Gordon Nelson, famous British hair stylists and teachers, as mentors during this time. They too, were peers of Sassoon.
Scott learned from the best and eventually became a teacher himself, spending a lot of time traveling. After one three week stint, he came home to his baby daughter Chandler, and realized he was missing too much by being on the road all the time. Since her grandparents already lived here in Portland, the family decided to move here.
“What I liked about Portland after living in LA was the “disheveled elegance” of the people. I noticed people wearing Birkenstocks with socks and it seemed okay.”
The name Propaganda means to have a strong influence on and this what they do. “Hair is one of those non-verbal communications that expresses something,” Scott said. That’s why it is important and can make the day go good.
After twenty-five years, Propaganda’s been able to adapt to change and challenges, continue to produce outstanding work and retain an appreciation for their customers. Some of their hairstyles have been seen nationally and internationally in print, on television, in movies and on celebrities. “We have some of the most talented hair stylists in the industry.”
The advent of the light weight easy to use blow dryer created the “wash and wear” hair cut that Scott favors.
“I like to work with the natural texture and life of the hair.”
Of course, there is always someone in the salon capable of a more elaborate do if needed.
When asked what hair style we can anticipate for the future, he just happened to have cuts he showed me on his phone. He noted they were reminiscent of the eighties, longer in the back, shorter in the front, and perms. Are you ready for the change?
Propaganda: The Salon
821 SE 34th Ave.
For more information or to book an appointment go to: propagandathesalon.com
Little Beast Brewing
By Nina Silberstein
At a time when they were making beer and selling it to beer bars, bottle shops and some grocery stores, Little Beast Brewing founders Charles Porter and Brenda Crow didn’t have a place where people could try the beers they made all at once.
It was always their desire to have a pub, so when the space on SE 34th and Division opened up, their dream of a taproom became a reality in the spring of 2018.
Little Beast crafts wild, wood-aged and blended beers with diverse cultures – think Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus and wild flora.
These are farmhouse-style beers that have their roots in Belgian traditions and brewed to showcase a complex mix of yeasts and bacteria.
They also have a popular fruit beer series. Little Beast works with local farmers from around Oregon who add their fruit to beers that age for months, and even years in their barrels and tanks.
In addition, they brew and serve IPAs, Pilsners and many other styles, but are known for their mixed-culture farmhouse ales.
Charles grew up in the Midwest and spent a lot of time foraging, experimenting and cooking with ingredients he had scavenged. In college, he studied field biology, which has had a huge influence on his brewing career and his interest in fermentation science.
He started brewing professionally his last year of school and began experimenting with wild yeasts and cultures. It started with breadmaking, but when he moved to Hood River in 2003 to brew for Full Sail, he started a home brew club and began using wild cultures in beer.
He left Full Sail in 2007 and was head brewer at Logsdon Farmhouse Ales, where he became famous for making beer with Brettanomyces and seasonal fruits. In 2015, Charles left to start up Little Beast with Brenda.
Brenda is a Portland native, culinary arts graduate and expert in the business of specialty food, especially in cheeses and charcuterie.
Working alongside and promoting farmers, fishermen, and makers, she has passionately followed her belief that great food is the essence of a good life.
Brenda works to make sure that the Little Beast’s beer garden offers year-round warmth and comfort, and the crafts of beer making and scratch cooking with good ingredients are prominent and in all of their endeavors.
The pub on Division is small, so brewing does not take place on-site. The brewery is located in Clackamas, on Highway 212, but it’s not open to the public.
3412 SE Division St.
By Nina Silberstein
CEO and founder Scott Hamlin witnessed first-hand how much excess material the global footwear and apparel industry was producing and sending to landfills while he worked at companies such as Adidas, Jockey International and Royal Robbins.
In an effort to increase transparency of a broken system and upcycle excess material into new products, Looptworks was born.
The company calls itself Looptworks because it is working toward closed loop solutions; a retail model that produces no waste and conserves resources by avoiding the creation of virgin materials.
“That moves consumer behavior toward the purchase of quality, long-lasting products,” explained Clare Healy, Director of Digital & Brand Marketing.
Materials that Looptworks upcycles can come from a multitude of places but often fall into two categories: pre and post-consumer waste.
“Pre-consumer waste is excess scrap material from the production line of goods,” Healy said. “These are the perfectly good textiles that simply don’t make the cut, literally.”
Then there is post-consumer excess, which could be, for example, a jacket or bag no longer wanted or a basketball jersey that didn’t sell because the player was traded to a new team.
Healy said the company takes in materials from all different aspects of an industry and creates a variety of new products.
It has clutch purses made from excess leather from the belt industry; waist packs that are born from upcycled NBA jerseys, and messenger bags and wallets made entirely out of staff uniforms and leather airplane seats from Delta Airlines.
“We truly believe that the majority of textiles that end up in the landfill can be repurposed and given new life if they are put in the right hands,” she noted. “So, innovation and flexibility guide our design and production practices company-wide.”
Looptworks customers are as diverse as its material and product offerings. They span the spectrum from travel enthusiasts and NBA fans, to music lovers.
Geographically speaking, customers come from here in Portland and as far away as Sydney, Australia.
“Regardless of product preferences and varying interest, they’re all rooting for protection of our home planet,” Healy added, “through their lifestyle choices, purchases and beyond. And they are at the core of everything we do.”
Many of Looptworks’ products are made in the US (including the Portland area), while others are made overseas. It depends on where the excess materials used are sourced to make the product at hand.
“Since the core of our business is to minimize environmental impact, we manufacture products as close as possible to where the materials actually come from.”
Looptworks currently employs roughly twenty people in its Portland office and it’s growing.
In terms of long-term goals of the company, there are many: to be a global force for good, continue expanding internationally, grow the brand, bridge the world to the circular economy and reduce the environmental footprint of this industry and beyond.
“If you ask Scott,” Healy said, “to have no waste on this planet so we can all just go surfing.”
2410 SE 11th Ave.