Stepping through the door at Trade Roots is like entering an international marketplace caught in a rare moment of calm. No hustle or bustle, no strange languages or smells, and no sweat dampening your underarms or brow—just Trade Roots' tranquil world of colorful tapestries, women's clothing, jewelry, trinkets, handbags, and quite the selection of scarves will surround you.
The family-owned, fair trade boutique now in its 22nd year is run by Tamara Patrick and her niece Katie Keys, and has been located on NE Broadway at 1831 for more than 20 of those years. Trade Roots prides itself on the fact this it is not your ordinary import store.
"We try to carry fair trade items so we're not supporting factories and child labor," Patrick emphasizes, "which most import stores do." She notes that their craftspeople are paid a living wage, so they can pay for basic needs such as food, shelter and health care for their families.
Sourcing items from all corners of the world via trusted importers, Patrick says the store's most popular items are scarves and a wide variety of jewelry with
1831 NE Broadway
beautiful pieces coming from locations like Nepal, Thailand, India, Guatemala, Mexico, Indonesia, and even right here at home.
Local artists include co-owner Keys' "very wonderful, unusual jewelry," according to Patrick, and also the cards and jewelry of Trade Roots employee Nancy Smith Klos. Other Oregon-based jewelers include Joseph Brinton and Jazzola, plus tiny sculptures from Southern Oregon.
Amongst the Indian perfumes, natural soaps, hand-carved soapstone elephants, and wooden wall
hangs quoting Gandhi and Buddha, Patrick says her favorite objects in the store right now are little raku—a type of Japanese pottery—dream catchers adorned with gemstones. Plus she adds, Trade Roots is also "one of the few stores that carries interesting hats all year round."
Trade Roots does offer shopping online but you have to place orders by calling the store. "Because we have so many one of a kind things" in small quantities, Patrick explains, it is necessary to speak with someone at the store before purchasing.