ADDRESS: 145 NW 2nd Street, Corvallis, OR 97330
PHONE NUMBER: 541-754-1424
WEB SITE: www.siblingrevelry.com
OWNERS: Catherine Holdorf and Dorothy Williams
YEARS IN BUSINESS: 15
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES: 9
WHAT THEY SELL: Comfortable women’s wear, hats, jewelry, accessories, locally made pottery and other artisan accents
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Their selection of hats. Plus at least one chuckle per customer!
Just around the corner from the Farmer’s Market and the Willamette Riverfront downtown is an eclectic clothing, gifts and accessories shop that’s sure to elicit a smile or two from shoppers. It’s Sibling Revelry, owned and operated by sisters Catherine and Dorothy, and they’re proud to help women, especially those over 30, feel both fashionable and comfortable. Step in under the awning at the corner of 2nd and Jackson, and be treated to a lush array of colors, fabrics and multi-ethnic designs in comfort women’s wear, from bright batiks to pastel cottons, yoga and active-wear to flowing silk-alternative ensembles.
Shoppers can also “revel” in delightful displays of hats — a Sibling specialty — as well as fascinating accessories, whimsical gifts for all ages, jewelry, pottery and other local artisan goods. Half of the store’s clothing stock is from USA suppliers, and the Siblings promote more than a dozen local artists through consignment.
Catherine, how did you and Dorothy get started? We realized after we had been here awhile that people in Corvallis tended to shop for their clothing out of town. We had grown up sewing and making our own clothes, and I had gone to design school in California. This was how it all came together. We also have two aunts and a grandmother who ran clothing stores. So it was in our blood!
What has your business done to model sustainability? Sustainability is important to the overall livability of Corvallis. We practice recycling in pretty much every part of our business. Our bags and boxes and packing tissues are post-consumer materials, and we utilize recycled products as much as possible. We recycle a lot of plastic – we thank the Co-op for taking all of that! There are compostable cups for our water dispenser, and I reuse my calculator tapes three or four times. It took awhile but we were finally able to obtain lower-energy bulbs for our track lights in the store.
Are there other ways you contribute to the community? We have been active in Downtown Corvallis Association. It’s important for the downtown area to look nice, and we’ve helped with the planters and flower baskets and the Riverwalk. We try to pay back to the community through donations to local nonprofits like Community Outreach, Linn-Benton Food Share and others over the years. I have taken that [Buy Local] to heart, and make sure I shop locally, too!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a local, independent business in Corvallis? The main advice I would have is, use your own taste and flair. You have to listen to your customers and carry what they want for the price they want! Listening to your customers is [the same as] what sells. We have brands that we loved that have not sold, and you have to let go of that [personal preference].
How has your business handled the issue of “fair trade” goods? Fair trade is a tricky business. The intention is good but certification can be difficult. You cannot always know for sure where [products] are coming from and whether they are ecologically produced. It can get really complicated! But we have always carried things from companies that deal with fair trade groups, like Lost Horizon in Bellingham (WA). They are connected to a Nepali company that sells products from women’s knitting associations (known as “workshops”) in Katmandu.
(Interview and article by Karen Kos – July 29. 2012)
The Local Business of the Week program is designed to help the Corvallis community identify our locally owned independent businesses by featuring one business each week. The program is part of the Buy Local First campaign co-sponsored by the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and the Community Independent Business Alliance (CIBA).