I love going to small businesses that have character, familiarity and coziness. Arirang Oriental Market is no exception. Started by Mr. Woo, a wonderfully humble Korean man, this little community market, located at 7940 Martin Way E, Lacey, Washington, boasts a variety of products that will satisfy any type of Asian recipe outside of Tacoma and Seattle. From fresh garlic, to homemade kimchee, to Thai and Hawaiian products, you can find most ingredients to satisfy your Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai or Chinese homemade dish. For you Hawaiians craving home cooking, you can find crack see, poi (frozen), Aloha Shoyu and other yummies.
I must not neglect that this little market does specialize in a few things besides homemade kimchee (by the way, is good for kimchee fried rice): kim pop and chop chae. Kim pop is a Korean sushi roll that includes watercress, takuan and carrots wrapped in plain (not vinegared) rice with nori (seaweed paper). Great for a quick lunch or to take to parties as an appetizer (or as we Hawai’i people call it—pupu). Chop chae is a stir-fried noodle dish with a bunch of julienned veggies, garlic (of course) and clear noodles. This, too, is a great dish for a lunch or pupu.
Alice Woo and her husband Sung now run the store but the elder Woos are on occasionally to say hello and help out in the back. This is the small enterprise that is being perpetuated through the next generation, while serving those with Asian product needs.
Next time you go in, let Alice know you read about their great establishment on Talking Small Biz!
After spending some time in my home state of Hawai‘i, I’ve grown to love Tahitian pearls, Hawaiian-inspired jewelry and Hawaiian Reggae music.
Korey Kreations is a Hawaiian-grown small business that embodies the spirit of A-L-O-H-A. After meeting Korey Gayer from Ewa Beach, Hawai‘i at the 3 Days of Aloha Festival in Vancouver, WA, the spirit of Hawai‘i (and small biz) lives on! Her jewelry reflects the colors, elements and essence of the Hawaiian Islands while expressing her individuality through her custom jewelry. Primarily featuring her art on Facebook, she provides a great assortment of pearl and shell-ladden bangles, shell earring hoops and whatever you desire. Please visit Korey Kreations on Facebook, patronize Hawai‘i small business and enjoy the spirit of the Hawaiian Islands.
Little treasures are all around us, especially in west Olympia, in Washington State. The recession has subsided and more little businesses are cropping up. There’s a new little boutique that’s not even a year old yet but packs a good fashion punch. Industrie Clothiers is situated in a little strip mall, next to Jay’s Farm Stand. Owner Amy Peters, who’s been in the retail apparel industry for a number of years, decided to launch her business that reflects her understanding of affordable, trendy clothing, while balancing her other full time job—Mommying. Industrie Clothiers’ main focus is casual lifestyle- primarily premium denim and cute tops. Brands include 7 For All Mankind, Hudson, Joe’s Jeans, J Brand, Maison Scotch, True Religion, etc. Every time I go in there, I cannot help but purchase a new blouse or dress. Her prices are affordable without sacrificing style, including offering Joe’s jeans. In addition to women’s apparel, she’s added some men’s casual and kids’ pieces. There are also luscious scented lotions and candles to set the “ooo-I’m-in-heaven” atmosphere to any home, as well as purses and easy slip on flats.
I encourage any one of you who want fashion, for yourself or your family, in a relaxing atmosphere where the owner (and great staff) is always on hand to help but not harass, visit Industrie Clothiers on Olympia’s Westside at 4419 Harrison Ave NW #103, Olympia, WA 98502.
I love small business. I love the fact that someone or people would have a passion for something so much that they’d risk their comfort zone to offer their passions to the world. I especially appreciate small businesses that overcome many challenges and come out stronger and more focused.
I love fashion, clothing and the Polynesian flair, which can all be found at Tiare Teiti (Tee-are-eh Tay-ee-tee: roll your “r”). Ida Teiti, a very hip Tahitian, who designs her own prints and apparel, established this little boutique. If you’re a maverick for style and love color, then Tiare Teiti is the place for you. Her beautiful, bold floral print patterns and dress styles are appealing to the eye and demonstrates avante garde panache. But men, don’t feel left out, there are the Tiare Teiti men’s Tahitian aloha shirts that are bold, and exuberates the Polynesian male style. Besides apparel, this trendy shop also offers scarves, bags, pareaus (pah-ray-ohs or sarongs), authentic Tahitian vanilla and Tahitian pearl jewelry. You can also find Honey Girl swimwear for women and girls. When you make a purchase, your items will be carefully wrapped in tissue and tied with a cord that boasts a coconut piece (that can be later used as a pendant if you’re good with crafts) and placed in a cool mesh bag.