Holiday shoppers have more choice than ever this season, if they want to support our local community, as well as find the perfect gifts for family and friends. From holiday marketplaces and downtown popup shops to locally-owned Internet stores, there are plenty of places to find urban apparel, jewelry, books and gifts of all kinds.
"If you shop online, you should be shopping at Café Give," says Ketan Sampat, founder of the www.CafeGive.com website that gives a percentage of everything you spend to a good cause of your choice. "We have lots of Portland nonprofits on our list: Transition Projects, Friends of the Children, I have a Dream Foundation Oregon, Friends of Trees, The Children's Relief Nursery..."
In fact, those are just a few of 142 nonprofits that benefit from Café Give. If you buy through Café Give from Powell's Books, for example, 5 percent of what you spend will be donated to the nonprofit you choose to support. More than 350 retailers have partnered with Café Give, including sports companies like Adidas, Columbia Sportswear, Vans, Reebok, REI, Lucy and Patagonia; and major retailers like Macy's, Nordstrom, Walgreens, Kohl's, Lancôme and Benefit.
Also online, you can find urban apparel at The Hip Hop Junkies, founded by former NFL player and PSU grad Niyi Sobo with his business partner Bobby Jones. With the motto, 'For the Love of Hip Hop," the online store (www.thehiphopjunkies.com ), offers unique locally designed tee-shirts from $17, along with sweatshirts at $45 and snapbacks at $40. Check out their frequently updated product line and entertaining online magazine, which features new music videos from both Northwest and nationally known rap artists.
If you're looking for edgy street wear, Rum and Koke (www.rumandkoke.com ) has beanies, tees and hoodies ($17 to $44), designed by Portland-based Hayley Bauske. Or if pure shea butter and natural perfume oils are more your style, check out Shamika Bishop's products at her website www.Xoulaxation.com .
And buying online is also a good way to support your local hip hop artists. Tickets to shows featuring local artists are just one way to show your love. Support Luck One by gifting tickets to his Dec. 29 performance at Holocene. Or support Cool Nutz and the Jus Family artists by downloading their tunes from www.vinylfluidrecords.com .
To buy urban apparel in person, Cool Nutz recommends Capital Brand, which has a store located on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. at Knott Street. Capital Brand offers tee- shirts for $25, snap-back hats with RARE emblazoned over the bill ($65), and buttons.
Or head to the Martin Luther King Jr. Fashion Plaza, 8900 N. Vancouver Ave., where 'Top to Bottom,' carries street wear for everybody's budget. You'll find jeans, dickies, stilettos, Chuck Taylors, snapbacks and hoodies, all at affordable prices.
Upper Playground at 23 NW 5th Ave. also stocks a wide range of urban clothing and accessories. Upper Playground offers snapbacks at $45, men's hoodies from $60 to $120, bandanas from $10 and women's bags from $20. At Compound, 107 N.W. 5th, you'll also find women's and men's urban gear: from NIKE Air Max Juniors at $160 to The Hundreds brand snapbacks at $34.
Find books, clothing, bags and jewelry at the African American Holiday Marketplace set up in Reflections Café and bookstore, 446 N.E. Killingsworth Street. S. Renee Mitchell offers a range of African-inspired gifts, while Gloria Cash's jewelry showcases her signature gold and pearls.