Letter From the Owner:   

Welcome to our second Social Impact Report.

Publishing a Social Impact Report allows us to self-reflect, seek advice and stay accountable on the annual goals we set for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our business.

We’re going to tell you a little bit about us, assess how we did on our 2022 goals, and set our sights on social impact goals for 2023. 

About Woonwinkel:

Woonwinkel is a Portland, Oregon-based home and gift shop where everyday goods shine bright. You may have noticed we’re a bit color-obsessed. We hope our passion for color makes a visit more than just a shopping trip--we want it to uplift and inspire.                           

Our Vision and Values:

While the search for colorful objects is fun, our vision goes beyond what we can put in someone’s shopping bag. We also strive to metaphorically "see in color". We believe differences within our team and our community make us stronger and richer. We prioritize building an environment in which different perspectives are valued. We'll share more about our values throughout this report.

This report is a collective effort by the Woonwinkel team. 

-Kristin Van Buskirk, Owner (she/her)


About Us:   

 Brena (she/her) 
I love being a part of our little crew and learning about all the designers/artists we carry in the store. There's always something new to learn! When I'm not at work I like spending time outside. In the winter, I enjoy snowboarding at Mt. Hood Meadows and during the summer, I spend a lot of time along the Oregon/Washington Coast. In between those times I love cooking and trying new recipes. My favorite color is forest green.

 Theresa  (she/her)
I love being a (tiny) part of this dynamic and inclusive team! I’m an intensely visual person, so spending time in this colorful haven is a delight for me. When I’m outside the shop I spend my time enjoying the colors of nature and trying to capture illuminated moments with my phone App! Is it possible to choose just one favorite color?! Let’s make it cyan, like tropical oceans.

 Molly (she/her) 
I love working in this small shop that engages both the creative and logical sides of my personality. As the Operations Manager I help keep things shining bright and running smoothly at the store. Outside of Woonwinkel you'll find me watching live music, engaging with friends or working in my art studio.  My favorite color is ever-changing but it's currently lavender.
Lauren (she/her)
I'm a part-time Lead Associate and Event Coordinator here at Woonwinkel. In addition to the daily responsibilities of helping manage the shop and sales floor, I also get to plan and organize events and pop ups! Outside of Woonwinkel, I work as an artist, and manage my own website and business. It's really nice being able to work in an environment with other creatives, and collaborate on projects such as product and window displays. I also appreciate being able to support other small businesses and local artists through pop ups.

 Kristin (she/her)  
The thing I love most about Woonwinkel is being surrounded by joyful shapes and colors, and working with a very creative little team. When not at work, you can find me working on my 100-year-old house, or camping or hiking. My favorite color might be green (these days). Or maybe yellow. Or maybe....yah, it's hard to choose. I like color.

Analysis of our 2022 Goals:   

magazine cover: Keeks

  Representation Goals:   

It’s a colorful world and we like it that way. We want our shop to reflect the world in all its rich diversity. To that end, we’re ever expanding our collections of products and publications by Black, Brown, queer, and other resilient marginalized groups that have been historically underrepresented in media and on store shelves. We aim to share our platform to spotlight small brands and artists we love, whether we carry them in our shop or not, especially those who may not have had the same structural privileges aiding their business-growing experiences because of racism and other forms of discrimination.

2022 Representation Goals: 

  • Measure how we're doing on our 15% pledge, to ensure at least 15% of the brands we carry continue to come from Black-owned companies.

How we did: Currently 13% of the brands we carry are Black-owned, down from over 15% the year prior (that doesn't include books with Black authors..ie: Black Food, The Hair Book, You Grow, Gurl which meet our goal of representation but aren't distributed by Black-owned publishers).

  • Maintain visual representation of Black and Brown bodies in the publications and artwork we carry and expand the visual representation of queer, disabled, and bigger-sized bodies. 

How we did: We maintained visual representation of Black and Brown bodies and expanded our representation of queer, disabled and bigger sized bodies in the several publications and artworks we added to our collection.

  • Make our goal of spotlighting small brands and artists measurably consistent. Our newly quantifiable goal is to highlight brands twice every quarter through pop up shops, art & design exhibits, IG Lives, and IG Takeovers. 

How we did: We think we were fairly consistent on spotlighting artists and small brands through pop up shops and social media shares, but losing a key staff person who managed our social media has made it a little more difficult for us to quantify those efforts. 

NEW Representation Goals for 2023:

  • Bring representation of Black-owned businesses back to at least 15%, in line with our 15% pledge.
  • In the artwork and publications we carry, maintain visual representation of a wide range of people including Black, Brown, queer, disabled, bigger-sized bodies, and aging bodies.

    postcard with the words See in Color

     Community Goals: 

    We tangibly contribute time and money to organizations in our community that advance diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. 

    2022 Community Goals:

    • Continue monthly donations to local organizations that advance diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and provide immediate action with community aid. Be transparent about the chosen recipients for monthly donations, and celebrate those organizations both internally and externally
    How we did: We continued our Monthly Local Donation Program. Each month we donated to one local non-profit that advances diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. 
    With the loss of a valuable team member who managed our monthly giving, we failed to consistently meet the goal of being transparent about the chosen recipients, both internally and externally.

    How we did: We continued our quarterly donations to She the People and we also added a monthly donation to the ACLU this year, specifically to fund state campaigns to strengthen abortion protection laws.

    • Start closing annually on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to enable staff to volunteer in the organization of their choice and to celebrate Dr. King's legacy of service to community.

    How we did: We closed on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. After doing a little research, we decided not to limit our staff volunteer day to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but instead we enabled staff to choose a day this year on which they can skip their Woonwinkel shift in order to volunteer in the organization of their choice, while still getting paid for their shift. We did this because of the need for volunteers all year long.

    NEW Community Goals for 2023:

    • Recommit to sharing information about our chosen monthly organizations internally and externally.
      • We'll share our monthly donation recipient in internal and external newsletters, and on a poster in the back room.
      • We'll publish a list of our chosen recipients in each annual Social Impact Report
      • We’ll share links to our chosen organization on Instagram.
    • Invite staff to decide the local non-profit organizations to which we'll donate this year.

      different colored robot toys arranged in a heart

       Team Goals: 

      Diversity within our team and our community makes us stronger and richer. We prioritize building an environment in which different perspectives are valued. We act on that through who and how we hire, and how we pledge to communicate within our team. We cited as our number one goal in 2022 to Be A Great Place To Work so we had a lot of goals in this category.

      2022 Team Goals:

      • Managers will complete DEI training by the end of Q2

      How we did: Our owner completed the Portland Means Progress 5-Week Intensive Course for Executives, which is based on the TechTown Executives Best Practices for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Toolkit and one associate completed the 5-week Intensive Course for Internal Champions of DEI

      • All staff will complete a 2-day DEI training session by the end of Q3

      How we did: Every staff member* completed a 2-day DEI Training conducted by Court Morse of Action Path. A huge thank you to Sarah Shaoul, of the Bricks Need Mortar group of small business retailers, for working with us on creating this class that enabled several small business to pool their resources and complete this training together. (*Black and Brown employees had the choice of opting out since the work of overcoming bias and re-creating workplace cultures and policies to be inclusive needs to be primarily shouldered by white people). 

      • Form a paid-volunteer DEI committee who will craft a 3-year DEI plan 

      How we did: We succeeded in writing a mission for the DEI committee, but failed to fully form or activate the committee in crafting a 3-year DEI Plan. In the absence of a committee, we still made sure to seek a broad range of perspectives on our DEI actions and policies, including consulting with DEI practitioners on our Team Culture Guide and pay policies.

      • Retool our methods of meeting and communication with employees, with these main goals:  ensuring transparency, rallying the team around a common vision, building a strong  team culture according to our Team Culture Guide, deepening training, information sharing 

      How we did: We added quarterly all-staff meetings and employees report that the methods and tools for daily communication are working

      • Institute options for reducing stress and burnout, like 4-day work weeks and semi-flex schedules for full-time employees
      How we did: Because of little interest, we didn’t institute policies for full-time employees for reducing stress and burnout but we may re-visit this in the future
      • Start conducting exit interviews to learn from the experience of departing employees

      How we did: We started conducting exit interviews 

      • Start conducting anonymous employee experience surveys

      How we did: We did not yet start conducting anonymous employee experience surveys. The smaller our staff gets, the more we wonder how anonymous a survey really will be. Readers, do you have any ideas for us on how to enable staff members to share their experience here, in a way that feels safe for the employee?

      • Finish the Employee Handbook to ensure everyone has visibility to our policies, particularly policies that impact equity and inclusion

      How we did: We have a strong draft of the Employee Handbook but need to finish it and share it with the staff

      How we did: We added a conversation about the Team Culture Guide and our values into employee onboarding, and reviewed it with staff in one of our quarterly meetings

      • Introduce the goals and details of a transparent pay policy to the staff (since having a transparent pay structure is a best practice for reducing wage gaps between races and genders)

      How we did: We shared the details of our pay policy so employees know exactly what the starting pay is for everyone, and how increases are determined (when specialized responsibilities are added, and by seniority). A conversation about the policy was added to employee onboarding.

      • Establish a source for HR consulting/mediation who are committed to DEI and committed to objectivity (not always siding with management) 

      How we did: We chose an external Human Resources firm that has DEI at its core, but have not yet introduced it to the entire staff or explained how/when an external firm might be called

      • Continue to ensure our team includes a well-rounded mix of skills and perspectives (across ages, race, identity)

      How we did: This year was up and down in terms of keeping our team comprised of a well-rounded mix of skills and perspectives (across ages, race, identity). Because of a challenging year financially, we decided not to rehire after some natural attrition, and we also had to make the difficult decision to lay off a valuable member of our team. Losing team members meant losing some diversity in our team’s makeup. We’re down to 5 employees from 10.

      NEW Team Goals for 2023:

      • Separate our performance evaluations from pay increases so feedback can be exchanged in a non-competitive, supportive and empathetic manner.
      • Participate in a Portland Means Progress policy-crafting workshop in May (we'll choose one policy to assess and revise for equity and inclusion).
      • Introduce to the staff to the chosen external resource for Human Resources consultation. Craft a policy that explains how and when an employee or manager might take steps toward external involvement.
      • Have a one-on-one session with a local DEI practicioner through Portland Means Progress, as a check-in on how we're doing with our DEI goals.
      • Assess: now that we're down to a tiny staff of 5, is a committee that acts on behalf of a larger staff still relevant? Or is there a better way in a smaller team to stay activated on our DEI goals?

       Sustainability Goals: 

      We’re committed to selling and using products that are eco-friendly, recognizing that adverse environmental impact is often felt most directly by the least powerful people.

      2022 Sustainability Goals:

      • We didn’t have  specific sustainability goals for 2022, but we did take a few actions related to sustainability:

      How we did: We added eco-friendly products. We challenged some vendors to be more sustainable with their packaging. We continue to obsessively re-use packing materials for our web-order fulfillment.

      NEW Sustainability Goals for 2023:

    • Find a sustainable way to show customers that we’re using re-used materials in packing their shipment, and encourage them to re-use the same materials. 

    •  Financial Equity Goals: 

      2022 Financial Equity Goals:

      • When our financial targets are met, we’d like to hire our federally-funded Worksystems intern by the end of the year.  

      How We Did: We hired our federally-funded Worksystems intern and took on another intern through the same program and we were able to hire her recently as well.

      NEW Financial Equity Goals for 2023:

      • Raise wages across the board 6% to keep pace with inflation
      • Seek data on retail manager salaries in the region. Attempt to hit the median for the region, or better.


      This year brought many challenges. 2022 ended with a tough financial report, and the layoff of a valuable team member. We lost a handful of other dedicated team members through attrition, and didn't rehire those positions for financial reasons. So we're down to a skeleton crew and that means we have fewer resources with which to meet our goals. A big part of 2023 will be about figuring out what our biggest priorities are for making a positive social impact, and to make sure we're equipped to do each one well, and in a spirit that would make our former team members feel proud.

      We’re pleased to report that we’ve had incredible external support from the Portland Means Progress organization, of which we became members in early 2022. By becoming members of this group, we pledged to 1. Pay at least $15/hour 2. Create work experiences for underrepresented youth and young professionals of color 3. Create culture change in our organization by providing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) training and tools for our staff and leadership 4. Complete Portland Means Progress annual reporting every January. We greatly appreciate the programming and assistance PMP provides in meeting these pledges. 

      How We Stay Accountable:   

      Our Commitment to Transparency

      We’re publishing this report on our blog so anyone can find it anytime. Writing this was a group effort; we asked for input from our entire team.

      Our Call to be held Accountable

      We’ll share this report with the public, and also our customers, who we ask to keep us accountable.

      Our Request for Feedback

      Will you share your thoughts with us? Please connect with us at info@woonwinkelhome.com. We’re all ears.

      Thank yous

      Thank you, thank you, thank you to the mighty little team of 5 here at Woonwinkel who spent time thoughtfully contributing to this report by helping assess how we did on our goals, by editing, and by enthusiastically crafting goals for 2023.

      - Kristin Van Buskirk, Owner

      Kristin, taking a selfie in a mirror on which the words "i love you, i love you" are scrawled

      artwork by Shanalee Hampton, at Gallery Go Go