With the new year comes a big change for APORTA Shop, one that we are very excited about but that does not come without sadness. April 1st we will be closing our beautiful retail location and moving fully online. In a way it is like getting back to our roots as the store started online in 2018. The last year has been the most challenging year of our almost 5 years of having a store front. And I know I am not the only small business owner feeling this way.

There isn’t one root cause that has made this change happen but a giant bubble of events and realities. The first being I want and need a better work life balance. I have been battling long term physical and emotional burn out, one that is going to take some time to heal from. The store has given me so much more than I could have ever imagined but it has also taken so much of me. A big change is needed.

As we make this change there are two main things on my mind:

Ethical Consumerism and Ethical Selling

These two things cannot exist without each other. With the rise of Amazon, comparison culture brought on by toxic social media culture and the turbulent ongoing trend of “buying cheap and new” in consumerism it has become incredibly difficult for consumers to buy responsibly and for small businesses to keep up with the demand and cost of it all. It is a large vicious cycle that feeds off each other. 

I do feel the store has been ethical in its operation and purpose.  We have been incredibly outspoken in activism locally and nation wide which is one of our core beliefs. Every year we have made better buying decisions when it comes to products are being produced. And I feel this is a chance to look at the future of consumerism and what needs to be done to enable a sustainable future for the world. We will also continue to advocate and support the Indigenous communities of Montana and beyond which has been one of our core beliefs from the beginning. 

We are also witnessing a new Montana. We were discovered during the pandemic as a place to live cheaply with incredible access to the outdoors, but this has lead to a desperate housing crisis with the cost of living going up 30%, the cost of flying into Montana being more expensive then flying to Europe and downtown rents being tripled resulting in empty store fronts. Last year Missoula tourism bookings fell short (lodging, guided trips and more). I attribute this to how expensive it now is to travel here and the rise of inflation. This has a deep impact on towns like Missoula that depend on seasonal tourism. And with the lack of winter this year resulting in local ski resorts closing mid season this trend of low tourism is not just exclusive to our summers.

I love what I have created with APORTA Shop and deeply look forward to the pivot of continuing that creation online. As a twist of fate I began creative consulting in 2023 and it has become something I am even more fulfilled by. I have always loved helping people, supporting people and advocating for those in need. Now I get the opportunity to help people create their dreams with the experience I have gained over all these years.

To everyone who is part of our shop community, thank you. I have watched your children grow, cried with you during deaths and illnesses, felt your support during the cold winter months of the off season and celebrated with you in all of your achievements. I love you all dearly. You have changed my life. To all of my wonderful employees, I could not have done this without you. 

But this isn’t goodbye. We will be offering free local pick up every Saturday at Thesis Skincare, ensuring our Missoula community can save on shipping. As well as planning pop ups and other events in the future. We have sat down and looked carefully at the brands we carry and how we best want to operate moving forward online. This means cutting back and carrying a core collection of makers that embody our dedication to ethical consumerism and responsible manufacturing. 

And as always you will continue to see shop dog Freyja and I on the mountain. Our beautiful friends at Field Five Flowers and Country Rail will continue their tulips sales, stay tuned for an announcement from them soon. We have been so lucky to work with them in all capacities, Flower Fridays were ours (and we know yours) favorite day of the week. We still have a few more Flower Fridays this month so we hope to see you in the store for them!

Our last day in person with be March 29st. We are selling all furniture and store fixtures. This is your chance to get your hands on some custom Martin McCain furniture for your home or business. Please call, email or stop by to inquire on pricing (no social media DM’S please). 

Thank you again for making APORTA Shop what it is,