March is National Women's Month, and we are celebrating all of our female-owned businesses in Downtown Bend. For our final post, we are featuring the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA). The Downtown Bend Business Association is run by a female Executive Director, Mindy Aisling, a female Board of Directors President, Jen Steigman and Board Vice President, Sarah Jordan.
Mindy Aisling is a 3rd generation entrepreneur, both parents and both sets of grandparents all owned and operated small businesses. Mindy grew up working at her mom's photo lab and her dad's auto repair and auto body shops. As an adult, Mindy has owned and operated 3 different successful small businesses. Mindy is passionate about entrepreneurship, creativity and communication. Her values also include a strong belief in volunteerism and giving back to the community. She previous served as a volunteer mediator at the Deschutes Court House and Community Soulutions of Central Oregon.
Mindy brings decades of expertise in leadership and small business management to the Downtown Bend Business Association, where she's been in service to the Downtown Bend community since 2015. In her free time, Mindy loves long backpacking adventures, challenging mountaineering trips, playing board games with friends, listening to live music, competing in bar trivia, and like any good Bendite - drinking craft beer.
I am a born and raised Central Oregonian with 20 years experience as a clothing boutique owner, seamstress and alteration specialist. I discovered my passion for design from my grandmother who was a professional seamstress and tailor, she taught me everything she knew! So in 2013 I took the leap and made A Better Alteration my main focus with its own location and brand.
A Better Alteration is a premiere tailoring and alteration boutique located on Wall St. in Downtown Bend. A Better Alteration is a professional and contemporary sewing studio. We raise the bar and provide every client with a personalized experience specific to them. Our contemporary staff has an eye for what’s on trend and will collaborate with each guest to make their vision come to life.
I take pride in my modern approach to tailoring. With an eye for what is on trend, I have a talent for seeing what a garment can become. I have filled a niche in my local community and currently work with multiple stores, dry cleaners, and hotels around town.
Outside of the shop I am a mother to a college student, a Superhost on Airbnb, and I enjoy Crossfit to start my days. I am driven by creativity, challenges, and hard work. I love living and working in beautiful Bend!
Forge Humanity, was founded in 2016 with the idea that “we might not be able to help everyone, but everyone can help someone!” Owners and Founders Amy Farkas and Tiphane Townley ( and their two pups, Foster & Maximus).
Giving back isn't just our passion, it's who we are. Every company we carry has a social mission. You walk away knowing that your purchase has purpose.
We believe love and charity have no borders. We work with companies from all over the world that focus on fair trade practices, environmentally conscious and affecting the world positively! We know Forge Humanity existence is not singular, it is part of a bigger system of people, values, communities, organizations and nature. We want to thank you, for believing in and being part of our conscious, sustainable business. To truly generate change, it takes a great deal of commitment and joining forces. Thank you, for being on this journey with us and Forge Humanity. "Be the change you wish to see in the world." Mahatma Gandi
Keep up to date with Forge Humanity, and their new and changing product lines by connecting with them on Facebook and Instagram, and make sure to visit their store at 126 Minnesota Ave in Downtown Bend.
Lauren Kelling, owner of Oregon Body and Bath, loves spending her days in Downtown Bend. When she’s not skiing Mount Bachelor with her family, you will find her catching up with long-time shoppers at her shop, which has been open for 26 years, or helping out-of-towners select the perfect keepsake from their visit. A proud member of the vibrant downtown business community, Lauren enjoys the sense of camaraderie she feels with other retailers downtown, all of whom help make Bend the amazing place it is.
Lu An Carone-Rhodes is the owner of Princess Athletic (Bend) and Running Princess (Corvallis). She previously owned a coffee shop and a travel agency and finds owning a business to be always challenging but also fun.
She has a Masters Degree in Social Work and worked as a mental health therapist/counselor for ten years prior to purchasing Running Princess. She and her husband, Brian have a small, hobby farm in Corvallis and also own a condominium in Bend. She splits her time between her two favorite cities.
Kathleen, manager of Princess Athletic, is a runner, mountain biker, skier, yogi, paddle boarder and genuinely up for anything.
She has lived in and out of Bend since the 1970s and managing Princess Athletic gives her the opportunity to do what she loves marrying fashion with adventure and encouraging everyone to just get outside!
Princess Athletics is located at 945 NW Wall St, Bend, OR 97701
My name is Suzanne Molt and I am the owner of Arrange, an interior design and home furnishings studio located off Brooks Alley in downtown Bend. I believe our environment is essential to our well-being. We all have a life story and I believe our home is the setting to our story.
Mixing new with old, finding meaning and purpose in every space is what I specialize in when working with clients in their homes. Everything we surround ourselves with should be authentic, practical and beautiful. In the shop I aim to provide items that support this philosophy. A bit of timeless French mixed with Pacific Northwest style is our look. Come by and see us soon!
Loana Perez is just 29 years young and the owner and operator of 3 small business here in Central Oregon with one of them being right here in the heart of downtown Bend. Loana wanted to create something that was fun and makes people smile while staying close to her asain culture. That's when TeaCupFuls was born, a boba tea shop with a full espresso bar that's not just an ordinary cup of tea or coffee. Loana took these sweet and ordinary drinks to a whole new level by topping them with cotton candy, donuts and waffles.
Marty as been a business owner in Downtown Bend for 50 years! Anyone who has met her knows that she is delightful, intelligent and savvy. Merriam-Webster defines Moxie as: force of character, determination or nerve. Marty is all this plus a heavy dose of style.
Marty began her entrepreneurship when she was 9 years old in the Philippines. It all began when she asked her mother to loan her 25 pesos for her produce venture. Her mother not only gave her the loan, but also shared with her some words of wisdom, “First, you have to suit up and show up. Second, you cannot be an oak tree, you have to be a willow tree, because the only thing for certain in life is change and when change occurs everything goes to ground zero. Third, as long as you can see, you can get up… And, last but not least, when life hands you lemons you make lemonade and when that’s not enough, lemon cookies, lemon meringue pie, lemon bars………”
Fast-forward to 1978 when Marty became the first women manager out of the 68 Weisfield’s Jewelers stores. Not surprisingly, that first year Marty won the District Manager’s Competition by selling the most diamond jewelry in volume and percentage. As a successful woman, Marty has paved the way for other women to follow in her path. The Bend store became a significant training center for future manager under Marty’s tutelage.
Marty opened her first store, Marty’s Fine Jewelry in the Oregon Street Mall followed by Ashley Christine Clothingon Bond Street, then Designers Fine Jewelry on Wall Street and Designers’ Artiquites and Furniture.
Currently Marty owns Ice Fine Jewelry on Wall Street and she just recently purchased GiGi’s Boutique next to Footzone! Marty is nowhere close to stopping – it fact, with GiGi’s, she is just getting started.
Over the years, several boards have been privileged to have Marty’s wisdom and contributions; including the Tower Theatre Foundation, The Small Business Development Center, The Network of Entrepreneurial Women, and The Bend Downtowners Association – just to name a few. She has also supported over 400 charities throughout Central Oregon.
To this day Marty loves her work. Her customers often ask, “When are you going to retire?“, to which Marty answers, “When I get it right.”
In September of 2017, the Downtown Bend Business Association spearheaded a gathering to celebrate her 50 years in Downtown Bend. The Tower Theatre put a notice on the marquee, friends congratulated her over wine and snacks at Mockingbird Gallery, and Marty was given a painting of her store, Ice Fine Jewelry, called “Wall Street Reflections by Richard Boyer. You can see more of Richard Boyer‘s work in October during his one person show at Mockingbird Gallery.
After this Marty-Party, Councilor Barb Campbell declared it Marty Smith Day during the City of Bend Council meeting. Councilor Barb Campbell gave a wonderful proclamation highlighting some of what was when Marty first began doing business in Downtown Bend.
“Where as, when Marty Smith started her business in Bend…There were logs, not kayaks, floating in there river;... There were fewer than 14,000 potential customers;...The hospital was still on the hill downtown and kids may have cut classes at St. Francis to see Love Story or Two Mules for Sister Sara at Tower Theatre... Today, Sept 6th, is Marty Smith Day in Downtown Bend!“
Marty Smith is a living legacy, and we are so honored to have her in Downtown Bend!
Meet the Lemon Tree Chefs:
Chefs Jaclyn Perez and Betsy McDonald come together to present Bend with a unique dining experience. Betsy brings to the table, 30 years of professional cooking as well as a Degree from the best Culinary School in the USA, Culinary Institute of America. Jaclyn brings with her a different set of flavors and training in some of the best restaurants in France and Italy. Together, they make an unbeatable team.
Jaclyn and Betsy met while working on mega-yachts, cruising around the world and providing exceptional dining experiences for their clients. The cuisine was completely driven by what was fresh, local and available. Guests were always treated to the specialties of the port of call each day. In this way, Jaclyn and Betsy developed their “Style” of clean, fresh international fare prepared with lots of love!
Now the Chefs are home in Bend….get ready to be loved by two chefs with a passion for cooking, a strong affinity for vibrant world flavors and a desire to serve great food to the people of Bend!
Originally from Romania, Sanda has traveled throughout Europe, sampling the world cuisine from a young age.
Fascinated by the American culture she moved to Bend, Oregon where she started her career in the service industry, covering every aspect and position.
Sanda has spent last 10 years perfecting her hospitality skills, honing a passion for customer service and building relationships. The same passion will be evident at your event.
Citizen Bar & Kitchen
1045 NW Bond Street, Downtown Bend