Want to get your feelings about systemic injustices off of your chest? Kamelah Adams of Mimi's Fresh Tees encourages you to wear them on your chest. And now, her apparel business—an online-only store since it was created in 2018—is opening its own brick and mortar store and community gathering place in Old Town, celebrating its grand opening this weekend.
“I know I have the audience and community for it,” says Adams of her decision to open the physical space. “Right now a lot of people have online fatigue, and they want to be out in the community, [they] want to have an interpersonal connection.”
Adams started Mimi’s Fresh Tees three years ago when she became more aware of how systemic injustices affect children of color, and specifically the impacts of discrimination within the education system that her own child experienced. She wanted to find a way to encourage more conversations around social justice and thought that people could start these conversations “by wearing their beliefs on their shirts.”
The brand’s slogan is “Wear your truth.” The shop sells social justice-themed apparel for all age groups, body types, and style preferences, with the goal of amplifying tough conversations about systemic racism.
The new store celebrates its grand opening on June 12 with prizes and refreshments promised for shoppers. Fans of Mimi’s Fresh Tees have been asking about a storefront since the company’s inception, and Adams decided “now is the time.” But her vision for the space goes beyond just a place to buy her popular hoodies, tees, hats, and more—she also sees it as a community gathering place where she will hold social justice and equity events for Portland. “We’ve all had a long year,” says Adams. “I feel like now is the time for us to get back out in the community and shop local, but also rebuild community.”
The grand opening of Mimi’s Fresh Tees takes place between 12 pm and 3 pm on June 12 at 123 NW 2nd Avenue.