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Portland Business Spotlight: Shop Adorn

Posted by Res Nova Law | Mar 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

All images courtesy of Shop Adorn. © 2018 Shop Adorn.

This March, Res Nova Law is celebrating Women's History Month and shining our Portland Business Spotlight on Shop Adorn. This woman-owned, woman-operated, full-service styling boutique has three locations in Portland, Oregon, with a fourth location opening soon in Lake Oswego. We had the pleasure of sitting down with co-owner Nicole Whitesell to learn more about how Shop Adorn got started and grew to where they are today.

An Affinity for Fashion:

Throughout high school and college, Nicole spent much of her time working at Nordstrom, surrounded by fashion. Although she was drawn to industry, she noticed a demand for personal stylists who were accessible to all women. Typical department stores offer accessories and mannequins dressed in the season's inspirational looks, but the service often stops there. After having an eye-opening experience with a salesperson who helped her style some great outfits, Nicole realized she wanted to help make fashion more accessible to everyone.

“I love helping women feel amazing in their own skin. ”

— Nicole Whitesell, Shop Adorn

Economy, Schmeconomy:

In 2009, Nicole braved the United States' economic recession and decided to launch her then-new business. She viewed the country's economic challenges at that time as an opportunity for creative problem-solving, and to spend each dollar with intention. Although Nicole started out with limited financial resources, this allowed her to be careful with her budget and avoid making costly mistakes. She also found that, in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis, she was even more motivated to hustle and make her business work.

“I spent a lot of time networking and building a community around me that I could contribute to while they supported me. ”

— Nicole Whitesell, Shop Adorn  

Styled by Shop Adorn. © 2018 Andrew Mesa Photography.

Styled by Shop Adorn. © 2018 Andrew Mesa Photography.

Advice from Shop Adorn:

When we asked Nicole to share some advice for other entrepreneurs, Nicole emphasized the importance of building a long-term relationship with a trusted lawyer who can help your business save money and avoid legal troubles down the line. For example, Nicole makes a habit of having her lawyer review her contracts, which has become increasingly efficient and cost-effective over time due to her lawyer's familiarity with Shop Adorn's business history and goals.

Additionally, having proper insurance coverage, a trusted insurance broker, and understanding what your insurance policies cover are key to making informed business decisions. Oftentimes, business owners don't know what kind of insurance they need until after disaster hits. Nicole learned this the hard way after Shop Adorn experienced a fire, which reemphasized to Nicole the importance of reviewing leases each year and ensuring she has adequate insurance for the business, herself as the owner, and an umbrella policy for everything in between.

The Importance of Intellectual Property Protection:

Shop Adorn also recognizes the importance of protecting its valuable intellectual property—specifically, its branding (or trademarks). At one point, a local competitor mimicked Shop Adorn's branding by calling itself “Adore,” and using the same logo and font that Shop Adorn had previously used for its branding. Trademark infringement such as this can easily confuse consumers as to the source of the goods and services. Fortunately, Shop Adorn has since resolved this problem.

“At Shop Adorn, we welcome women into our doors every day. We love them, we dress them, we style them. We are building confidence and empowering women to love themselves where they are right now. ”

— Nicole Whitesell, Shop Adorn  

You can visit stylist Wendy Westerwell at Shop Adorn on SE Division. © 2017 Shop Adorn.

We Adore Shop Adorn:

Nicole loves what she does, and it shows in the growth and success of her business. The Shop Adorn team now consists of 19 incredible women, and Nicole is grateful for each one of them. In fact, one of Nicole's biggest business goals is not only to build a profitable company, but also to be a leader in employee wages and benefits. Nicole believes that “when you pour into your employees, they pour right back into you.” We completely agree, Nicole. Thank you for being such an inspiration, and for sharing your story with us!

You can visit Shop Adorn online at:, or in person at:

3366 SE Division St.
Hours:Sun-Wed 11am-7pm; Thu-Sat 10am-7pm
Phone: (503) 477-6436

4120 NE Fremont St.
Hours: Sun-Tue 10:30am-6pm; Wed-Sat 10am-7pm
Phone: (503) 384-2431

1016 SW Washington St.
Hours: Sun-Sat 11am-6pm
Phone: (503) 206-6208

All images courtesy of Shop Adorn. © 2018 Shop Adorn.

Res Nova Law is a boutique intellectual property and business litigation firm based in beautiful Portland, Oregon. We serve innovative companies and entrepreneurs across the Pacific Northwest, and we're your go-to lawyers for businesses of all types and in every stage of business growth. As experienced litigators, we can help you resolve intellectual property and business disputes, and advise you on how to avoid potential litigation. Get in touch with our team today, and let's talk about your business goals.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation  

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