This week we released our annual Shop Local Guide, and instead of just listing all the awesome shops we have in Portland, we decided to put a political bent on it because, you know, FUCK THIS ADMINISTRATION. My particular section focused on businesses that are donating to non-profits that are in opposition to Trump's policies or helping people most affected by them. (Read it HERE.) When I reached out to these businesses for their reasons behind their donations, I was overwhelmed by the responses I received. To take a seemingly negative situation and turn it into a positive by helping people in need is pretty much the greatest thing ever. Of course, some responses were longer than others and had to be edited down for space. Here are some of those full-length responses, as well as a couple that didn't make it into the article.
Donates to- Planned Parenthood, ACLU
Sabrina Jackson, Owner/ Designer- "After Trump was elected I felt a wave of negative emotions. I was very depressed and angry while simultaneously feeling helpless. I got sick of feeling helpless and realized I could empower myself and take action through my art to convey a message of resistance. The “Resist” t-shirt was born. I decided to raise money for organizations that are fighting for our democracy and people most in need. Art can be very powerful in creating change. I have always been afraid to mix my political views with my business and art, but not anymore, not after the threat to our democracy by Trump and his cabinet of horrors. I feel it has been very liberating and I hope has inspired others to do the same - to keep fighting in whatever way they can. Right now, more than ever, it is very important to speak out and allow your voice to be heard. So far, I have not received any backlash, however, I have lost a few followers on Instagram!"
Donates to- Bradley Angle House, Sisters of the Road, Street Roots, White Helmets, Standing Rock Sioux, Southern Poverty Law Center, Standing Rock Medic Healer Fund
Morgaine Faye, Owner/ Designer- "I wanted to support groups working to protect our environment and human rights, and realized that I would be able to raise more money through my business than I would be able to give personally. I was initially afraid of alienating people who didn't agree with me, however, I found the ultimate reception to be so positive as to make me unconcerned."
More after the jump!
Donates to: Planned Parenthood, Girls Inc., The American Red Cross
Marcy Landolfo- Owner, “Personally, I hate that we don't get to decide how our tax dollars are spent. Important tax dollars are funneled into big business political agendas, rather than into infrastructure, education, and public health, which benefit EVERYONE! Non-profit donation is the only way for me to support causes that are truly important to me.
I've donated to Planned Parenthood, which was an obvious first choice for me! Being a woman, being someone who has used their services when I was unable to afford health insurance, and having close friends who still have to rely on PP services for their health, I feel that my donations and support go a long way; it directly affects those I hold near and dear, as well as under privileged men and women in many communities. I also feel PP is necessary and important for GLOBAL HEALTH! They do so much, for so many. They HAVE to survive this current administration!”
Donates to- Standing Rock, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, Street Roots, BARK, Boise- Eliot School
Niles Armstrong, Owner- “I am a person who does not believe in a society based in staunch capitalism so I think it is important to share with organizations and people who are fighting against the values I disagree with or promoting the values that I do support. I think it is the responsibility of those of us reaping the benefits of a capitalist society to share those benefits if we truly disagree with what capitalism is rooted in. I think capitalism is at the root of many problems faced by people around the world and in this country. I want a world where equality is a real thing and people care about the collective whole and what is good for it and our planet. It is a complicated system and unfortunately, capital is needed to survive. We have to think of ways around this.
As for backlash, I have kept my beliefs and politics at the forefront of my business from the get go. I know when I know someone shares my values I would be more likely to support them and if someone promotes an ideology I have a problem with, I will certainly stay away from that business. If I lose customers in Portland because I believe in equality and environmental preservation (my store is about being outside so I would hope anyone who came in here would care about the environment) then I am okay with that. Integrity and transparency is very important to me.”
Donates to- Standing Rock, ACLU, Planned Parenthood
Allison Bartline and Heidi Lieberman, Owners- “When Trump was elected, a dark cloud moved over our little store, like it moved over everyone in this country. It was already very challenging to keep a brick and mortar open and to inspire people to choose to spend their money in a small local store over a cheaper, big box store. We are less than a year old so we certainly are not out of debt yet, nor making profit yet. Being a small store owned by two women, we felt that we had no choice but to speak up against the patriarchy and donate when we can afford. We both wish we could afford to donate more money, but when we can't we definitely try to use our voices and social media to promote other small businesses and speak up against the president and his policies. We have participated in the general strike, marched in the women’s march and spoke about both on our Instagram. We did lose some followers each of those days... but if those ex-followers aren't comfortable with two women owning a small business being honest about their fear for the future of women's rights and small businesses, then they just don't get it. We have bigger issues to worry about! These days, being a woman, a minority, part of a marginalized community, a protector of the environment, or even a small business owner IS political whether we admit it or not!”
Donates to- Standing Rock, Planned Parenthood, 1% of Total Sales to Environmental Causes
Alyssa Woods, Owner/ Designer- “Starting my business was a lot about finding a way to pay my rent that didn't feel soul-crushing, and even though independent businesses generally have far fewer ethical issues than large corporations, the reality is that the production of pretty much everything has negative consequences for the environment and/or for the human beings lost somewhere back in the supply chain. For me, regularly donating to organizations that have a positive impact is just a way to mitigate the effects of being a producer and consumer of goods in an ethically murky world.
I haven't received any backlash from mentioning the causes I donate to, but I also think this is something most of my customers connect with, and I'm not especially vocal about it. I'm wary of making too big a deal of things that don't relate directly to my business, because I would never want someone to feel like I was exploiting politics for marketing purposes. Something about "Black Lives Matter.... buy my product" does not sit well with me. I generally prefer to keep this stuff subtle- just enough info for customers who care and are curious to be able to find out where their money is going.”
Donates to- Planned Parenthood, ACLU, Standing Rock, The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Asylum Seeker Advocacy Group
Kimberly Kaplowitz, Owner/ Designer- “I wanted to donate to organizations that work to support those who Trump condemned during his campaign. I believe the strength of a nation should be judged on its ability to help those who need it most. And if the government won't choose to support its people, hopefully those of us who are able to donate time or money can make a little bit of difference.
Fortunately, I have been met with support and kindness from friends and followers when I've spoken about my political views, and when I've chosen to give support to organizations in opposition to the ideals of the new administration. Although the shit going down in Washington is making our future look very bleak, I do feel optimistic for our country seeing that we have friends and customers far and wide outside of our little bubble of Portland who feel the same way we do.
In January I began a project where I crafted four tiny hand pin designs specifically to raise money for Planned Parenthood. Each hand holds a different lady specific object or body part. Through this project I donated 70% of my sales and was able to raise over $1000 for the organization. I never realized this tiny project could raise as much money as it did! It was overwhelming how many people purchased pins in support. I chose to support PP with my pin project first because of the threat the new administration posed for funding of the organization, and women's health and bodies, and because I have had a personal relationship with the organization since I was a teenager. Friends and I myself have had years of support from them with everything from birth control to annual checkups and STD testing. They are an invaluable resource for health services, especially for those who don't have health insurance.”
For more things you can do that don't necessarily involve shopping make sure to check out our Resistance and Solidarity Calendar here.