On November 2nd, I was sick.  So sick, that I was forced to stay away from the shop.  I stayed at home alone--no Will, no Gingham--and I attempted to (*gasp*) relax.  I ate soup, watched antenna TV, and let the couch embrace me.  I flipped between several stations, not finding any major satisfaction until... I saw a Black Friday Macy's commercial.  With a bunch of loud voices and lots of red, it pronounced that for the first time EVER, Macy's is opening at 12 am on Black Friday.  WHAAAAA????? What the!? Who the!? How the!?  ...why the??

Will sorts the 8,500 maps we had printed into piles for delivery to stores.


I turned off the TV and with a silent house, my brain wheels started moving...like, kinda fast.  The commercial made me think about all those awesome shops we love so much in Portland.  Shops, like Radish Underground, Mabel & Zora and Tender Loving Empire, that have supported my efforts as a designer, from the very beginning.  Shops that help designers, like me, believe that our work is worth something.  Shops that search high and low for products that mean something to them, with you in mind.  Shops that can tell you a story about the designer behind the product.  Shops that helped build a community with character (and most likely, used their own hands to do so). I started thinking---why can't we do something together that makes people want to shop a different way on Black Friday. Will came home that night and I sort of hesitantly brought up my idea--I knew it was pretty much INSANE for us to take anything else on this season, much less organize a whole new event.  BUT I felt so excitedly passionate about it, that I went for it.  It was Will's response and enthusiasm that really made this thing move forward. We geeked out in a swift 30 minute brainstorm session, and the rest is kind of history. Little Boxes, was born.


We're a happy duo. And we LOVE working crazy hours together...really, we do. Photo Credit: Motoya Makamura, The Oregonian

I am so amazed by the community's response to this.  In 3 weeks, the support and enthusiasm that our amazing design team, the unbelievably awesome shop owners, press, and general public has shown towards this event brings tears to my eyes.  Yep, I'm a sap (er, didn't you already know that by now??).  But seriously, isn't Portland awesome!??


It's the link you've all been waiting for, and the Little Boxes 2011 Logo, courtesy of Keel Creative. 

Now, all you gotta do is shop the event and meet your favorite local shop owners!  Let's let this event be the kickoff to an amazing, local, sparkly-lighted, mulled wined, ginger-snapped cookies holiday season.  Who knows, you might even win an iPad or tickets to OVO by Cirque du Soleil.  We're all open from 10am - 8pm and we can't wait to see you.  Click for more details about Little Boxes. THANK YOU, PORTLAND. (you rock my world). -betsy

6 thoughts on A love affair for Portland: LITTLE BOXES.

Little Boxes is BACK. « Betsy & Iya Jewelry:

[…] have some seriously awesome things up our sleeves for you!  The first: Little Boxes.  Last year, Will and I dreamed up Little Boxes in 3 weeks; it was a massive success.  This year we’re pulling out all the stops. […]

October 05 2016 at 09:10 PM


yyyyyeeeeaah baby! you two rule!

October 05 2016 at 09:10 PM


Yes…the dynamic duo!
Super Ideas with Little Boxes of Portland,
Super Creative promotion,
Real Retail Rendezvous! …What Fun!
So happy for all businesses that participated!
Happy Sales to you ALL!

October 05 2016 at 09:10 PM

The Worry Project. « Betsy & Iya Jewelry:

[…] things that became my 2011—the building of the betsy & iya shop, creating Little Boxes, planning my sweetheart’s milestone 30th birthday party, Iya’s wedding across the […]

October 05 2016 at 09:10 PM

Another Kind of Thank You. « Betsy & Iya Jewelry:

[…] trips (his idea), spontaneous expanding into a full-on retail space, or creating a madly successful city-wide Black Friday event in only 3 weeks, we go after it HARD.  Not to mention all the day-to-day things: uhhh..building […]

October 05 2016 at 09:10 PM

OOTD: A Breath of Fresh Air. « Betsy & Iya Jewelry:

[…] planning for this year’s Little Boxes & preparing for holiday madness cheer, Betsy has been one busy lady! She has been seriously […]

October 05 2016 at 09:10 PM

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