Mabel & Zora celebrates 10 years!

Posted on 31 May 2016

Happy 10th Birthday Mabel & Zora!

Hanging the sign at Mabel and Zora
I can't believe we've had Mabel & Zora for 10 years!
Over the last decade, Mabel & Zora has been at two different locations, had two floods, and I've given birth to two children.  We've been through First Thursdays and Last Thursdays; parties with with waaaaay too much champagne and website designs with waaaaaay too much Flash happening.  We've had good ideas and bad; too many attempts at carrying shoes, crazy employees, amazing employees, amazing customers and let's be honest, a few stinkers, but we've persevered!!!  ; )
Opening Day, June 28th 2006

Check us out on opening day: June 28th, 2006, "Last Thursday"

My favorite story about our opening night:
We opened on Last Thursday on Alberta Street, and had no idea how busy it would be.  We had wall to wall customers within a couple hours.

My mom and sister-in-law were helping run the shop while my husband Corey, (who everyone thinks grew up doing this, but actually was a chef and had no idea how retail or fashion worked,) got pulled aside by a customer who asked him a question:

Customer:  "I love this dress, but it feels really low and revealing, what can I do?"

Corey:  "Oh, you need a cami."

Customer:  "Great!  Can you get me one?"

Corey then tracks me down and asks, "What is a cami?"

He had overheard the rest of us suggest it to customers throughout the night and had no idea what it was!  Just a few short years later, there would be women in Portland who would only trust their fashion decisions to my lovely husband.

The memory of opening day still makes me smile, and I feel proud that I can say (now a decade later) that all our hard work and learning curve was worth it!

Opening Night at Mabel and Zora
My niece serving lemonade on opening night in her MZ tee!
Favorite memories, accomplishments and just downright fun times over the last 10 years:
One of our customers got our logo's owls tattooed on her arm
We had a wine rep pouring wine in our shop for a jewelry trunk show...the jewelry artist and wine rep ended up getting married!
We've raised one bulldog and 2 daughters in the shop.
I've fulfilled my lifelong dream of becoming a clothing designer with my own line
Our 3 year anniversary party ended up being the day that Michael Jackson died.  We had hired a DJ for that night and he played "MJ" all night long.  That will always be one of the most special evenings of my life.
I've made lifelong friends from our employees, customers and business colleagues that I will always cherish.
Lots of painting on Alberta Street
2 weeks of painting, "It HAS to be white & yellow!"
So many things have changed and improved in my store over the last 10 years.  We have evolved with the shop, and the shop has evolved with me as I've gotten older (and wiser.)  We carry more mature brands that focus more on quality than trends.  I feel so proud of the lines we have curated over the years for MZ, and I love continuing to grow and learn from my business.  I'm really proud of what we've accomplished.
Mabel and Zora in the Pearl District
Mabel and Zora in the Pearl District
Our shop has evolved into colorful and bright space.  But I still see some yellow in there....!
 Our customers have kept us in business for an entire decade. Through an economic recession; snow storms; and enough rain to fill an ocean our customers continue to be so loyal in supporting us.  But even more amazing is the friendship they've shown us; taking a chance on us, and giving us so much advice on every possible subject!
We love you all so much.  You are the reason!!!  THANK YOU!!!
The ladies of Mabel and Zora
Our largest crew hosting a baby shower for me, I love you ladies!

Come celebrate with us!

June 28th
Come celebrate our first 10 years in business!
More details to come - save the date!  xo

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  • Mom: June 02, 2016

    I just can’t believe it’s been 10 years!! I also can’t believe all the changes over the past 10 years. I remember that opening night and every last Thursday when there was a line out the front door for customers waiting to pay and also lines at all the dressing rooms. It was crazy…..a good crazy and so much fun. You’ve worked so hard, you and Corey and it truly is a ‘family affair’. And yes, all your hard work has paid off, You have an amazing design line and following and your boutique is top of the line, a real asset to Portland and I’m just so very very proud of you.

  • Katy K: June 02, 2016

    I loved this blog post SOOOOO much!! Cheers to you on a job (very) well done. Lots of love form the Grayling Family. XO

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