Downtime with Emma Pelett

The founder of Portland Night Market and VP of City Liquidators talks about hobbies, family vacations and why she loves the Shakespeare Garden.

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What I’m watching
The Crown on Netflix. I love seeing the beautiful costumes and getting a “glimpse” into what royal life was like.

What I’m reading
I recently finished Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. Just started Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond.

Must-have gadget
AeroPress coffee maker.

Latest download
Venmo. I love how easy it makes sending and receiving funds.

No place like …
My hometown of Portland. The Shakespeare Garden — only flowers and plants that Shakespeare wrote about are planted in the garden. Peninsula Park, the people who ride unicycles down Burnside, the gritty inner Eastside where I’ve spent most of my life, getting lost in Powell’s Books, the cherry blossoms in spring, the food and coffee culture.

Business role model
Kat Schon from Portland Store Fixtures. Kat’s commitment to her community, willingness to think outside the box, and generosity of her time and spirit are all qualities I admire and hope to one day possess. She is a powerhouse of a woman and always lifts up those she encounters, even if it is with tough love.

Family hearth
Every year just before Thanksgiving, my mom, my sister and I bake pies. We stay up until the early hours of the morning baking dozens of pumpkin, chocolate cream, pecan, apple, sour cherry, pear and lemon meringue pies. The next day we deliver them to our friends and family all over the city.

Most unusual City Liquidators find
As a buyer I get to travel the world for the unique and unusual and bring it back to Portland to sell in the store. The most unusual finds are always my parents’ Walt and Pammy’s treasures, ranging from vintage mirrored bar signs and autopsy tables to giant neon signs and more.

My mom wanted memories, not gifts, for her recent birthday, so she asked my sister and I to join her in Europe to make some. We laughed till we cried at the theater in London, explored art galleries and visited every Christmas market in Paris.

When I’m not working
I love to road bike, trail run, read, bake and cook.

Behind the scenes at Portland Night Market
Over the past year of running the Night Market, we’ve realized that small businesses sometimes need help becoming established or growing to the next level. Beneficiaries of our Micro Enterprise program receive a discounted rate at the market, social media tips and strategies, support from our core team, and opportunities to connect with business mentors.