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Little Boxes

These are the (tiny) businesses in your neighborhood

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By government standards, retailers only need to have fewer than 500 employees to be classified as "small." But in a town like Bend, small businesses may have as few as one employee. Of the shops profiled below, the largest tops out at 7 employees. While shopping small and local always has a greater impact on the local economy than supporting large chain retailers, when the businesses are this tiny, the effect is even more direct.

Below, we offer a sampling of tiny businesses across town—the holes in the wall that you might miss if you didn't know they were there, the hidden treasures that await the attentive explorer—and some of their tiny offerings.

SARA BELLA UPCYCLED

Sara Weiner, owner/designer

>Maker's District

How long have you been in business?

Seven years

What kinds of items/services do you offer?

Unique Upcycled purses, totes, wallets, and couture fashion pieces made out of plastic bags.

How many employees do you have?

One full-time and four part-time.

What is the square footage of your shop?

800 square feet

What is the smallest thing you sell?

Mini zip pouch for $10.

Who does your shop cater to?

People who love to shop local and green. Environmentally and artisan conscious.

Why is it important for people to shop local?

To support artists and makers who bring a valuable element of culture to our city.

Sara Bella Upcycled

1234 NE 1st St, Bend

541-420-4961

Tuesday-Friday: 11 am-5 pm

Saturday: 11 am-3 pm


VIA DELIA

Delia Paine, Owner/Buttonista

>Downtown

How long have you been in business?

I started making and selling Bend fridge magnets in 2005. I moved my workshop downtown and opened my own retail storefront one year ago.

What kinds of items/services do you offer?

Via Delia makes and sells one-of-a-kind, artsy fridge magnets, holiday ornaments, buttons and other locally-themed keepsakes. We also make custom items for other gift shops around the Northwest, and beyond.

How many employees do you have?

I have one awesome employee, at this time.

What is the square footage of your shop?

The building is 1,100 square feet, half of which is the workshop where we make products, and the other half is retail. 

What is the smallest thing you sell?

You can't get much smaller than a 1-inch round magnet.

Who does your shop cater to?

Most people who come to our shop are from out of town—tourists, people who are plotting to relocate here, etc. Of course, we also have our fair share of Bend-loving locals.

Why is it important for people to shop local?

Local purchases help sustain businesses that are unique to our town, giving it character and charm. Shopping locally gives people an opportunity to connect with each other and to build relationships in their community.

Via Delia

224 NW Oregon Ave, Bend 541-678-5968

Tuesday-Saturday: Noon-6 pm


SWEET TOOTH CAND SHOPPE

Lisa Kubota, owner/manager

>Old Mill

How long have you been in business? 

3 1/2 years

What kinds of items/services do you offer? 

We offer a fantastic selection of wrapped and unwrapped bulk candy, chocolate, fudge, retro and novelty candy, candy tins, jelly belly, sixlets, Japanese candy and soda (ramune). We also have a huge selection of Ty Beanie Boos, with the best prices in town! This time of year we also offer a variety of Christmas candy and stocking stuffers.

How many employees do you have?

5-7, depending on the time of year.

What is the square footage of your shop? 

Approx. 1,700 square feet

What is the smallest thing you sell? 

Lots of tiny things, but one of the smallest would be mini M&Ms

Who does your shop cater to? 

Everyone! Families, kids, locals, and visitors.

Why is it important for people to shop local? 

When people choose to shop local, everything they spend stays right here in Central Oregon. That helps not only the small local businesses (like us!), but also the Central Oregon economy as well. 

Sweet Tooth Candy Shoppe

450 SW Powerhouse Dr #402, Bend

541-323-3499

Monday-Saturday: 10 am-8 pm

Sunday: 10 am-6 pm


STERLING ECHOES

Denise Harrison, owner/designer/one woman show

> Reed Market

How long have you been in business?

Five years

What kinds of items/services do you offer?

Custom and handcrafted jewelry often inspired from photographs of local beer, nature, fingerprints, etc.

How many employees do you have?

Just me

What is the square footage of your shop?

1,500 square feet, but shared with two other amazing jewelers.

What is the smallest thing you sell?

Itty Bitty Silver Earrings for $29.

Who does your shop cater to?

Anyone looking for a truly unique gift since I often create pieces from my customers' photos and drawings. And of course the diehard beer aficionado looking for a "Beer Speak" piece created from a photo of  their favorite beer.

Why is it important for people to shop local?

Buying local has a ton of positive economic pluses for our community.  But, I personally shop local because we live in a town full of amazing artists and craftsmen, so I am able to find items that are not your everyday cookie cutter products. It's a quality over quantity thing for me.

Sterling Echoes

1141 SE Centennial Ct #C, Bend

541-390-8116

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