Save the Date for June Dairy Parade

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Clear your calendar and rev your engines for June 26: The 64th annual June Dairy Parade is a-go, though it will once again be inside out. The parade theme will be “As the World Churns.” (Fitting, we think, for how our community keeps trekking along despite any of last year’s obstacles.)

We looked at every angle possible for hosting a traditional parade, but based on current state guidelines and OSHA enforcement, there’s simply no way to line our streets with the some-20,000 parade spectators that usually show up to watch. So instead, entries will stage along a parade route, and spectators will drive through to enjoy the floats, dancers, and other festivities.

Although we are eager for the days when we can return to a traditional parade style, we’ve found that the inside out model is a good temporary substitute. Last year more than 400 cars showed up to drive through the parade route, which consisted of approximately 50 entries staged for nearly a mile. As cars drove through, parade entries passed out candy, cheese, jerky and other goodies from a safe distance, so none of the snacks or swag you’re used to was missing!

Both participants and entries had a great time. And as a testament to our success, a handful of other cities in the region reached out to us for tips on hosting their own inside out parade. We’ve become an example for how to hold fun and safe community celebrations during the pandemic!

Of course, we are always looking for ways to improve. This year we will start the parade at 10 a.m., an hour earlier than usual, to avoid the increased traffic on Pacific and Main that caused some delays last year. We’re planning to block additional roads along the route to ensure that vehicles can get through the parade in a timely fashion, as well as adding measures to reduce the wait-time at the fairgrounds. We’ll have more on the specifics as June 26 gets closer.

We also hope to grow the number of entries and participants this year to make the inside out parade bigger and better than before. So break out your globes or butter-making equipment, get creative, and help us celebrate all things dairy! After all, the dairy industry is a big deal here in Tillamook.

If you would like to be a staged entry in the 2021 June Dairy Parade, please submit your application by May 31 at junedairyparade.com. And keep your eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for updates and additional information.

#ShopTillamook Launches This Week

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Did you know you can purchase high-quality farm and garden supplies, homemade bath bombs, hand-painted vintage furniture and mouthwatering smoked meats all right here in Tillamook County?

Sometimes it feels easy to forget how fortunate we are to have so many amazing local retailers in our community. More than saving a long drive into Portland, these local shops power our economy, support beloved community events and our children’s sports leagues, and care about our hometown just as much as we do.

So we’re launching the #ShopTillamook campaign to remind everyone about all of our great retailers and show our local shops how much we appreciate them!

#ShopTillamook is an idea gleaned off the success of our past events promoting local businesses. Think #TillamookTakeout meets Shop Small Sweepstakes. In many ways, #ShopTillamook combines those two events to show off all the great retail options available in our community – and give you a reason to buy that special shirt or fancy new tool you’ve been eyeing for a while. After all, it pays to shop when every purchase makes you eligible to win one of 80, $50 gift cards!

The rules are simple: Every time you purchase an item from a locally owned retailer between April 4 and May 31, snap a photo and post it on Facebook or Instagram using #ShopTillamook. Each post automatically enters you to win gift cards to local stores. There is no limit to how many times you can enter, so the more you shop, the more likely you are to win!

Each week we will randomly select 10 winners to receive a gift card to a local business. We’ll also share videos of several local businesses to give you an opportunity to scope out your next purchase and learn a little bit more about retailers throughout the county. Between our videos and your pictures, we will flood social media with hundreds of reasons to visit local shops. Let’s encourage each other to buy locally!

Shopping locally helps our community thrive. It supports your neighbors, your friends, and your family. It keeps our community vibrant and unique. And it shows local business owners – the same ones who support FFA, youth sports and local nonprofits  – that we appreciate all they do for our community! They took a risk to open a business and provide you with great products and services just down the street. Participating in the #ShopTillamook campaign is a great way to say thank you.

The Tillamook community showed up for our local restaurants big-time with #TillamookTakeout, and we hope you’ll all do the same for #ShopTillamook. What better way to do that than to treat yourself to a new shirt, a nice piece of furniture or a new gadget. And, of course, enter yourself for the opportunity to win a gift card!

Welcoming Kristin Holleran to the Chamber Board of Directors

Kristin Holleran

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

If you are a regular reader of this column you might notice a theme lately: We have a lot of new faces (and new energy) here at the Chamber. I am excited to introduce you to our other new board member, Kristin Holleran.

Kristin HolleranOriginally from Spokane, Wash., Kristin is the Director of Plant Operations at the Tillamook County Creamery Association, where she has worked for the last five and a half years. She oversees all the manufacturing, cheese making, packaging, ice cream and whey products. She joined the Tillamook Chamber Board of Directors as a way to get out in the community, meet new people, and start giving back.

“The Chamber is involved in almost every major event in the community,” she added about why she applied to the board of directors. “I am looking forward to being to help with the Tillamook County fair booth, the Cork & Brew Tour, and to help bring up and foster the Young Professionals.”

Kristin has been a part of the TCCA scholarship committee for the last several years and said she has seen first-hand how talented and driven the youth in our community can be, and she looks forward to opportunities to mentor young professionals as they build their careers.

Kristin added that she is passionate about chambers because they have an opportunity to be a real influence in the communities they serve. “They are a source for networking, a wealth of educational information, and an advocate for local businesses,” she said. “That has really shown through this last year with COVID in the multiple ways that our chamber advocated for our small business community.”

It’s clear Kristin understands and values the work that the chamber does, and we are excited to involve her in our many events, projects, and programs going forward.

Member News: West Elliott Boutique and Studios Turn One

West Elliott Ribbon Cutting

Earlier this month West Elliott Boutique and West Elliott Studios celebrated their one-year anniversary — and their persistence through the COVID-19 pandemic — with a special Chamber ribbon cutting ceremony. Built up of a boutique, esthetics, photos and florals, the downtown Tillamook shop is a collection of dreamers looking to bring happiness to others.

West Elliott Ribbon Cutting
Michelle Dooher, Kait Dooher, Natalie Travis, Candace Martin, Kim Martin Travis, Hailey Travis and Leilani Martin.

“So many people are repeat customers who come in and support us,” said boutique owner Kim Martin. “They could go to Portland or shop online, but they still got all of their Christmas gifts at our shop. They still think about us for birthdays or baby showers. I really want to thank the community, because without them coming in every week to support us, I don’t know if we would have made it.”

West Elliott started as a studio space for photographer Natalie Travis and makeup artist Kait Dooher.

Kait has been a staple makeup artist in Oregon for more than six years. She went to Aveda Salon in Portland right after high school, and she’s spent time on the East Coast. Eventually she made her way back to Tillamook, driven by her passion of making women look and feel their best.

Natalie has been doing photography on the Oregon Coast for four years now. She was a barista for six years before finding her passion in life. She especially enjoys photographing all things related to love: couples, weddings, engagements, motherhood, newborns, families, self-love and more.

The women started the business while brainstorming places for rent in their hometown. The space at 112 Main Ave. was perfect for what they needed. Natalie could use a portion of the space as a photography studio, while Kait could reserve an area for a spa room and makeup lounge.

In a nod to the building’s long history in Tillamook, Natalie and Kait decided to name their studio after “Mr. Elliott,” the building’s owner during the early 1900s. They added the word “West” to represent their Pacific Northwest geography.

Renovations started in January 2020. Soon afterward, Natalie and Kait realized that they had more space than they knew what to do with, so they started thinking about the possibility of opening a storefront. Natalie’s mom, Kim Martin Travis, has always wanted her own little boutique, and with this new journey, the women wanted to make that dream a reality.

Kim joined the girls in business in March, opening West Elliott Boutique. The COVID-19 pandemic took hold no more than a week later.

“We were really worried. It felt like we had put all our time and resources into this business, and all of the sudden we didn’t know what would happen,” Kim said.

But the women persevered, finding ways to continue doing business even while their storefront was closed by state mandates.

“I would post online whenever I got new items in, and people would comment on social media. Then, they could meet me down at the shop, and I could hand it to them,” Kim said. “We also did contactless payments using Venmo.”

In some ways, the pandemic inspired growth at the business by allowing other family members to start their own lines of products for stock in the boutique. Natalie and her sister, Hailey, partnered together to open the Iron Threads earring and accessory business while working from home. And Kim’s mother, Candace Martin, launched a line of bath and skincare products called Love & Lather.

Kim’s cousin, Lelani Martin, also joined in on the fun by partnering her business with the boutique. She offers Riverside Floral flower subscriptions, fresh floral arrangements and wedding floral services, which can be ordered through West Elliott.

“It’s all family,” Kim said.

By summer, as businesses began reopening, the women of West Elliott realized that their shop could and would make it through the challenge of a pandemic.

“It just all came together. Everybody is pitching in and making it work,” said Kim, noting that the boutique is able to keep overhead costs low because family members donate their time to run the cashier and other daily operations at the shop.

Chamber events also helped generate foot traffic after months without during the quarantine. Kim said the Chamber’s Sip & Shop has been particularly successful for West Elliott, which nearly sells out on the Friday evenings when customers stop in to enjoy a glass of wine and browse the racks.Sip + Shop

The boutique re-invests its profits into buying new products and expanding its offerings, Kim said.

“The shop used to be about a quarter of the size, and my daughter had the other side for her photography. But we just kept growing,” she said. “Now it’s a full, thriving shop.”

At the ribbon cutting ceremony this month, the family was “just about in tears” as they reflected on and celebrated their first year in business.

“It was really emotional. We were like, ‘We couldn’t believe we’ve made it,’ ” Kim said.  “But we are still here, and it’s better than we all expected.”

Welcoming Shannon Cahoon to the Chamber Board of Directors

Shannon Cahoon

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I am thrilled to welcome Shannon Cahoon to the Tillamook Chamber Board of Directors. Shannon CahoonShannon recently relocated to Tillamook after frequent visits caused her to fall in love with the area. She said she was motivated to join the Chamber Board of Directors because she believes Chambers are vital in each community.

She added that she is especially proud of and impressed by the work the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce continues to do throughout the county.

“I’m immensely proud to be a part of the organization and hope I can add to its positive impact and growth during my time on the board,” she said.

Of all the programs the Chamber currently operates, Shannon said one of her personal favorites has been Tillamook Takeout. “We can never say enough about what it did and does for our local restaurants and families who depend on those jobs for their livelihood,” she said.

Shannon is also excited to be a part of the advocacy work the Chamber does to help bring a united Tillamook voice to Salem when it needs to be heard.

“A good Chamber plays a vital role between creating a favorable operating environment for local businesses and advocating on their behalf,” Shannon said. “A Chamber that is operating to its full potential has positive impacts on the local business community, as well as the residents by ensuring that local needs can be met locally and that residents have access to good quality of life.”

We are so pleased to have Shannon’s positive energy and passion for our area on the board. We are lucky to have her, not only as the Chamber, but as a community. While she may not have been born here, Shannon is planting roots here and said she hopes to make a positive impact. (I would argue that she already has.)

I hope the next time you see Shannon out and about doing good work that you congratulate her on her new board position.

Mallory Gruben Joins the Chamber Team!

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

I am pleased to welcome Mallory Gruben to the Tillamook Chamber team as our new Communications Manager. You may have met Mallory at a recent Mornings on Main Street, which she has been regularly attending with her partner Jaykob Wood.

Mallory and Jaykob moved to Tillamook when he was hired as the Executive Director of the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum. Previous to that, Mallory was working for a newspaper in Longview, Wash. where she covered both business and environmental issues. She has a degree in journalism from Hastings College in Nebraska.

Mallory said she really enjoyed her job with the newspaper because she got to learn the ins and outs of the business community, both before and during the pandemic.  “It was really cool to get to tell the stories of groups like the Chamber of Commerce and the SBDC that were finding a way against all odds to make sure the business community survived,” she said. “[This job with the Chamber] is an exciting opportunity to get to continue to highlight those stories and work more in depth with the business community.”

Mallory is originally from a small town in Colorado, and she had dreams of living on the Oregon Coast when she finished college. Landing in Tillamook has been a great fit so far, and we are excited to have her expertise as a writer and journalist here at the Chamber. She is also from an agricultural community, and said she loves seeing all the cows and dairy farms because it feels like home.

“I love this type of community where everyone knows everyone, and people want to pitch in and volunteer to see the best for the community,” she said.

About her new role at the Chamber, Mallory said, “It is a really exciting opportunity and a great way to be involved in the community. I look forward to working with the Chamber and helping with the great work they already do to continue to make downtown attractive; encourage people to visit here and live here; and to make sure that our businesses are thriving.”

Mallory brings her curiosity and strong communication skills as a journalist with her to the Chamber, two incredibly valuable skills for the success of what we do.

Please come by the Chamber office and introduce yourself to Mallory when you have time. When she’s not writing, she and Jaykob have two pet rats and are learning to make cheese in their spare time.