Articles by Charity Thompson

Charity Thompson

Charity Thompson lives in Portland's Irvington neighborhood and works as a writer and educator in the Portland Metro area. She's a former staff writer for the Vancouver Business Journal and North Bank magazine in Washington State, as well as the Lewiston Tribune in Idaho. Charity co-authored the Spanish-English stageplay, Strangers/Extranjeras, with Looking for Lilith Theatre Company of Louisville, KY, and has performed with Mortified Portland. She has a Master's degree in education and a Bachelor's degree in English. An archive of her journalistic, educational and creative work is at snapshotstory.

Why Do-It-Yourself When It's Often Easier to Pay Someone Else?

DIY Culture: Why Portlanders Get Creative, Practical in Hands-On Ways

DIY Culture: Why Portlanders Get Creative, Practical in Hands-On Ways

When Kristl Bridge opened Portland Homestead Supply Co. in Sellwood in June, a visitor asked her why anyone would take tasks such as canning, pickling, and soap-making into their own hands when it’s often easier to pay someone else to do the work. “It was our first day open, so my first response to it ... was to sort of panic,” Bridge recalls. “I thought, ‘Wow maybe nobody will [do more...

Choosing the e-Path: Making it Work, Turning a Profit, Finding a Niche

Portland Authors, Publishers Finding Success With e-Publishing

Portland Authors, Publishers Finding Success With e-Publishing

Tammy Strobel just might be the poster child for success as an independent author and e-publisher. After starting a blog four years ago, Strobel decided to write about her efforts with her husband to downsize to their home in pursuit of happiness and simplicity. By 2010, Strobel had enough of a following to quit her day job. That year, she self-published two e-books from Portland, amassed thousands of blog readers, more...

Local Booksellers Responding to Customer Needs

Portland's Indie Booksellers Foray Into E-Book Sales

Portland's Indie Booksellers Foray Into E-Book Sales

When it comes to e-books, the owners of small, independent book stores in Portland tend to have complicated feelings. On one hand, e-books are fancy and fun. On another hand, they might be pulling people away from neighborhood book stores. On one hand, they encourage reading. On another, they discourage readers from paying full prices. And so it goes. Portland booksellers are finding middle ground with the more...

Portland Gardeners Encourage Heirloom Seed Use for Plant Diversity, Vitality

It used to be that a collection of seeds was a vital possession, and that protecting seeds from one’s own garden meant protecting a family’s food source and livelihood. “Seeds were smuggled from Russia, from places in Europe,” says Corina Reynolds, a Portland-based permaculturist who grew up with victory-gardening grandparents. “People would sew them into their skirts or their suitcase more...

Fashion Trucks: Lodekka, Wanderlust and Showvroom Give Business a New Spin

When an entrepreneur decides to open a boutique inside a trailer, bus or truck, the endeavor requires equal parts nostalgia and innovation. Portland has two fashion trucks—boutiques housed in renovated vehicles (plus one in the works)—and they are all vintage or resale clothing boutiques. That’s by coincidence, but not without reason. “There are some common lines between finding your more...

The New Face of Portland's Economy: A Conversation with Author Charles Heying

We know, we know. Portlanders love bicycles and microbrews. Portlanders love all things artisan. Portland loves Portland, and the city is making a name for itself in the world. But does that mean anything apart from providing unique options for an afternoon out? It means plenty, according to Charles Heying, the author and editor of Brew to Bikes: Portland’s Artisan Economy. Heying is an associate professor of more...

Local Hat Makers: A Tip of the Hat to the Handmade

You don’t need to be at the Kentucky Derby or a Sunday picnic to sport a well-made hat. A hat can be the solution to a bad hair day, a wardrobe mainstay or a protector from the elements. Hats are used more practically in frigid, windy cities such as Chicago and New York, said designer ElizaBeth Rohloff. But Portlanders tend to wear hats as statement pieces. “You don’t wear a hat so people will more...

Supportland: How Local Can You Go?

So, a Portlander walks into a bar. The bar is locally owned and that's part of the draw. The Portlander places an order, and when it’s time to pay, she pulls out a Supportland card along with her credit card. The bartender swipes both cards—the credit card for payment and the Supportland card to gain rewards points for visiting a participating local business. Whenever this Portlander visits a more...

Cocktail Rings, Layered Rings: Bold Statements Beyond the Middle Finger

We all know her. That woman with no money who looks effortlessly chic every time she steps out of her cheap apartment. Rather than $200 tank tops or a 90-minute beauty routine, these days her secret might lie in versatile garments accented by bold cocktail rings and layered metal bands. “They’re a really easy way to punch up an outfit without worrying about necklines and shirts,”said Irina more...