Tender Loving Empire (TLE) was founded in 2007 in Portland, Oregon by Brianne and Jared Mees to promote the wide array of creatives they were encountering. Its mission is to enlighten customers, enrich employees, and empower artists. TLE operates five stores in the Portland area selling apparel, jewelry, housewares, prints, greeting cards, and music from over 500 independent artists. TLE Records—the namesake record label, initially created to release Jared’s music—has gone on to put out over 100 albums.
TLE is deeply enmeshed in the local creative economy and to date has worked with over 1,000 artists and paid millions directly to small businesses. Recently, TLE launched the My People’s Market gift box, stocked with food and housewares made by local BIPOC artists. 100% of proceeds were donated to NAACP.
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, TLE was initially forced to close its 5 stores (4 of these stores have now reopened) and pivot exclusively to on-line sales. In the interim, it has significantly strengthened its online presence and launched several online gift box offerings that have helped sustain the business.
Brianne Mees, COO
|Four-Year Revenue Growth (%)||275.1%|
|Four-Year Jobs Created||30|