Are you the owner of this business? Become a member of Neighborhood Notes to manage and enhance your directory listing, and gain access to tools, information, and resources to help your indie business thrive.
Joe Biel's literary path has been unconventional. Education didn't bore him, but school did—in four years of high school, the Cleveland, Ohio, native says he was never once assigned a book to read. Once he was free of that unimaginative environment, he indeed "discovered that there was a lot worth reading." So, he left the Midwest heading west, and in 1996, opened his own bookstore and publishing company. In keeping with his unorthodox approach, Biel chooses to promote the works of outsider artists, DIYers and conservational activists, selling a potpourri of buttons, patches, videos, zines, and instructional books highlighting "forgotten" skills, like sewing or how to grow and cook your own food. And one of the best parts of his job is that, "Often, the customer becomes the artist,” he says. “A lot of stuff we sell now has been designed by walk-ins, whether they're from Portland or are visiting from another state."