Our 42nd Avenue, the neighborhood prosperity initiative and economic development agency making great strides in the Concordia and Cully neighborhoods, held an open house on April 7 to welcome the community to its new incubator space for small business start-ups, GO42, on the corner of Northeast 42nd and Sumner in Cully.
Earlier this spring, the agency moved its offices into the freshly renovated space and, in addition to making a co-working space available for neighborhood freelancers and entrepreneurs, opened up four retail spaces and offices, facing the street on the western side of the building, for emerging neighborhood businesses.
Four women, Kristen Dilley of Nightingale Acupuncture, Vida Djorgee of Essential Quality Care, Rachel Hestmark of Hestmark Designs and Inger McDowell of With Love, From PDX, are the business owners who christened the new space – which is supported by a grant from Metro to help keep lease rates affordable.
Hestmark, a seamstress and bag designer, also runs a youth entrepreneurship program that teaches kids about concepts like product development and marketing by becoming active designers of their own businesses at the Cully Farmer’s Market.
“The primary role of Our 42nd Avenue is to ensure that members of our community benefit from emerging economic opportunity in an inclusive and equitable way,” saidMichael DeMarco, Our 42nd Avenue’s executive director. “It’s a privilege for us to support these community entrepreneurs in their journey. Our job is to give them an on-ramp. The combination of the relationships they’ve nurtured and the opportunity to grow here on 42nd Avenue is essential to building an economically inclusive community. We hope to foster more opportunities for community members in the near future.”
On the northern wall of the GO42 building, neighborhood artist John Vance has painted a mural of major league ballplayer Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in 1947 and famously wore the number 42 –the only number retired universally throughout the league. The visually striking mural contains an inspirational Robinson quote: “A life matters only in the impact it has on other lives.”