Shopping Local to Support Small Businesses: Our Recap of Unique Markets Portland and Los Angeles
Over these past two weekends, the Shippo team attended Portland and LA’s Unique Markets events, where a diverse array of over 150 designers, emerging brands, and artists showcased and sold their specialty goods. The booths featured something for everyone, including jewelry, housewares, gourmet artisanal gifts, art, fashion, and leather goods. To make it easy for vendors and their customers alike to get their purchases from Point A to Point B, we provided a shipping station at our own Shippo booth and allowed event attendees to ship their new goods for free.
We saw some familiar faces at Unique Markets Portland
Wenjing Yang, owner of A Nod to Design, was a second time vendor at Unique Markets Portland, showcasing her beautiful, handwoven jewelry and handmade soy candles.
Yang has been a Shippo customer for over two years. “I love it! It’s so easy to use”, said Yang. “Everything is connected to my Wix account and automatically syncs. I save 20% on shipping costs, and I can reinvest that back into better packaging and branding. For a small business owner like me, every penny counts.”
We also saw Sarah Joye Kang, owner of Joye Made Clay, who was showcasing her simple and modern farmhouse pottery that she handmakes in rural oregon. While a Shippo customer for over a year and a half, it was Sarah’s first time at a Unique Market and she fell in love with the community. “I feel like I’m surrounded by the greatest. All of these people had an idea and turned it into a business. It’s a great community to be a part of ” said Kang.
Unique Market’s Portland chapter is woman-owned and run by local Heidi Reichert. Passionate about small businesses and investing back into the local economy, Reichert started Unique Markets Portland to create an experience for all community members that inspires and raises awareness about the power of shopping local. Over $400,000 is injected into the local economy at each market!
And a few more familiar faces in Los Angeles
Our team also set up shop at Unique Markets LA, chatting with small business owners and manning our busy Shippo shipping station to help vendors and customers ship their purchases back home or to loved ones.
Ana Osgood, founder of Äventyr California was at Unique Markets LA selling her leather bags, accessories, and bandanas – products all inspired by her love of colors, patterns, textiles, and travel. A Shippo customer for two years, she told us she “was looking for easy plug-ins with my e-commerce platform, Squarespace, and Shippo was the main contender. It only took me five minutes to connect my storefront to Shippo, and ever since then, my shipping process has been seamless. The interface is easy to use and the pricing is good.”
Temazcal Life founder Erika Aldrich was there as well, selling a variety of soap bars and natural bath sponges. “We’ve been using Shippo since the beginning of 2019. When I first looked into doing e-commerce and was looking for options, Shippo was the simplest and it allows me to have a lot of flexibility”, she told us. “Shippo integrates with everything I use.”
We also got the chance to speak with Carissa Ortega, owner of Ninong’s Dessert Lab. Carissa initially opened a restaurant in 2018, but once Covid hit, she decided to shift her focus to e-commerce, selling ube pancake mix, ube cookie butter, and baked desserts such as Pandan Crunch Loaf, Calamansi Poppy Seed donuts, and more – all of which were available for purchase at her Unique Markets booth. Carissa told us that “Shipping rates are much cheaper through Shippo, which I really appreciate since I’m able to make the price of my product cheaper to customers!”
Signs with statements such as ‘Small but Mighty’ and ‘Have a big impact, Shop small’ were sprinkled around the venue, perfectly capturing the spirit of this summer’s Unique Markets events – an inspired community coming together, small business owners and shoppers alike, to support and empower the local Portland and Los Angeles economies.
We felt lucky to be a part of these truly unique events and can’t wait to come back!
To learn more about how today’s merchants small and large are saving time and money with Shippo’s seamless shipping solution, be sure to check out our full library of customer stories.