By LISA BRITTON
For the Baker City Herald
Chelsa Mitchell always wanted to own her own business, and now she's supporting women entrepreneurs both local and abroad in her Mad Habit Boutique.
She officially opens Friday, March 2, with a party from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mad Habit is located upstairs at Basche-Sage Place, 2101 Main St., Suite 210. (Go up the stairs, and turn left.)
To celebrate her opening, she will have cupcakes from Sweet Wife Baking and wine from Earth and Vine - both women-owned businesses in Baker City.
After March 2, Mad Habit will be open Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Mitchell is a 2004 graduate of Baker High School, and she earned a degree in education from Western Oregon University.
She moved back to Baker City several years ago with her husband, Logan Mitchell, an optometrist at Baker Vision Clinic.
Before coming here, they lived in Alaska.
"That's where I learned about fair trade," she said.
Her goal with Mad Habit is to carry fair trade items from around the world.
Fair trade is described as a social movement to help producers in developing countries improve trading conditions and raise the social and environmental standards.
One brand she will carry is Global Girlfriend, which was founded to "help women in need help themselves."
"Eventually I'll have clothing, but this is such a tiny, cozy little place. But I'm hoping to outgrow it," she said.
Right now her inventory features her own jewelry, plus aprons, photography, goat's milk soap, hair bows, colorful tutus and scarves.
She features 15 local women.
"I have a list of 33 I've contacted," she said.
Everything is unique, and much can be described as "repurposed" - jewelry made from scraps of leather, bags crafted from coffee bags.
She calls it "nonsense stuff" - not something you need, but something you want.
"Just fun things," she said. "It's not something they'll already have."
She started making jewelry eight years ago, when she was in college.
"I actually sold earrings on my dorm bed," she said with a smile.
Her idea to feature items made by local women honors her first start at selling jewelry.
"A coffee shop in Forest Grove let me sell my jewelry there and it felt so amazing," she said.
(She now has her jewelry at Earth and Vine.)
The name of her boutique was inspired by her tendency to become so absorbed in making jewelry that she doesn't realize hours have passed.
"Instead of bad habit, it's a mad habit," she said.
She hopes to keep expanding her inventory and feature more women artisans.
"My door will always be open," she said.
To find out more, call Mitchell at 541-829-3157.