Small business owner and jewelry designer Betsy Cross of betsy & iya had the idea for Little Boxes a few weeks before Thanksgiving, 2011. Together with her business partner (and husband), Will Cervarich, the two rallied several store owner colleagues to agree to affinity discounts, pool funding to create a print and web presence, and solicit donated prizes for shoppers.
That first year, 90 shops signed up and we collected over 8,000 raffle tickets from delighted Portlanders. The promotion has grown ever since, and become a Portland Black Friday institution.
We do this crazy thing because we believe that shopping locally-owned, specialty retail stores shouldn’t feel like an obligation and that shopping should feel more like a leisure sport, and less like an adrenaline-fueled running with the bulls. We believe the Little Boxes offer the type of experience that makes the holidays special: a warm greeting, unique gifts, and personal customer service. We’re constantly inspired by the passionate and dedicated small business owners that create Portland’s rich, varied, and warm retail scene and even more inspired by the passion and dedication of Portland shoppers who walk through our doors.
Thank you for checking us out and for shopping with us. You’re fantastic.