Cheers to 5 Years: A Look Back at Intentionalist's Anniversary Celebration

Cheers to 5 Years: A Look Back at Intentionalist’s Anniversary Celebration. On May 2, 2023 Intentionalist celebrated five years of #SpendLikeItMatters with a sold out event at the Seattle Sounders FC event space, The Ninety in Pioneer Square.

The event brought together small business owners, Intentionalist partners, and community leaders, who mingled as they enjoyed delicious food and drinks from local small businesses including Emma’s BBQ, Terra Plata, Umami Kushi, Frelard Tamales, El Sueñito Brewery, Elsom Cellars, Le’s Deli & Bakery, Sweet Alchemy, and Flora Bakehouse.

Cheers to 5 Years: A Look Back at Intentionalist's Anniversary Celebration
Osbaldo Hernandez (Frelard Tamales) and Monika Matthews (QueenCare)

The evening was co-hosted by Osbaldo Hernandez, co-owner Frelard Tamales & El Sueñito Brewing Company, and Monika Mathews, founder of QueenCare Products. Reflecting on their introductions to Intentionalist, Osbaldo shared how much it meant to him when Intentionalist reached out to his fledging business in 2018 to create a video that shared the story behind Frelard Tamales, and Monika talked about how Intentionalist facilitated bulk orders helped QueenCare navigate the first year of the pandemic.

Intentionalist founder Laura Clise thanked everyone in attendance for choosing to #SpendLikeItMatters and then pivoted to the surprise recognition of three businesses who exemplify the intention behind Intentionalist: Retail Therapy, Chu Minh Tofu, and The Station. Thanks to BECU, each business received $1000 in appreciation for their commitment to building strong, inclusive communities through their work. 

From L to R: Luis Rodriguez and Leona Moore-Rodriguez (The Station), Tanya Nguyen (Chu Minh Tofu), Wazhma Samizay (Retail Therapy), Laura Clise (Intentionalist), Jackie Martinez (BECU).

These businesses have gone above and beyond to foster connections and create a sense of belonging among their patrons. They have embraced diversity, equity, and inclusion as core values, and have made it their mission to uplift and support underrepresented groups. From providing job opportunities to offering resources and support to those in need, these businesses have shown that they are more than just profit-driven entities. They are leaders and pillars of their communities, setting an example for others to follow. Their dedication to making a positive impact on society is truly inspiring, and Intentionalist is proud to celebrate their achievements.

“Originally from Afghanistan, Retail Therapy owner Wazhma Samizay reminds us of the ways that small businesses facilitate cross-cultural connection and learning.” – Laura Clise

Retail Therapy is a woman-owned boutique in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood that for the past twenty years has been dedicated to supporting small independent artists and designers at the intersection of art and activism. 

The store doubles as an art gallery that has featured artists such as Seattle photographer Nate Gowdy and acclaimed painter Sabella “The Monarq,” whose featured painting series was dubbed a “love letter to Black women.” The most recent art installation featured Iranian and Afghan Artists to support and make a statement about women’s rights. Wazhma Samizay, the store’s owner, is passionate about showcasing meaningful work and pushing the edge of politics. Despite initial concerns about mixing business and politics, Samizay is proud of the work shown and the way the store has engaged the neighborhood.

“Tanya Nguyen inspires me every day with her compassion. People no matter than circumstances know that they are truly welcome at Chu Minh Tofu.” – Laura Clise

Chu Minh Tofu & Vegan Deli is a woman and Asian-owned business in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District that specializes in fresh, handcrafted tofu. Every Sunday, owner Tanya Nguyen gives back to the community by providing free meals to those experiencing homelessness. 

This act of kindness is just one of the many ways Chu Minh shows its commitment to making a positive impact in the community. By giving back in such a tangible way, Chu Minh Tofu is a true example of how businesses can make a difference in people’s lives.

“When it comes to building community, Leona and Luis walk the talk and have inspired so many people through their example.” – Laura Clise

The Station is a Black, Mexican, LGBTQ, woman, and family-owned coffee shop in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, known as a cultural hub and community stronghold. Owners Luis and Leona Rodriguez have worked hard to create a safe and inclusive space for people of color in a city where such spaces can be scarce. 

Beyond coffee, The Station is also a place of reclamation – a place to reclaim the traditions of coffee, art, and space for people of color. From hosting pop-ups, to community events and celebrations, Leona and Luis care deeply about their community and it unmistakeable in all that they do.

Cheers to 5 Years: A Look Back at Intentionalist's Anniversary Celebration
Doug Baldwin engages the sold-out crowd.

One of the final highlights of the celebration was a special announcement from Doug Baldwin, former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver and founder of Vault 89. Doug shared exciting news about Intentionalist’s first annual Small Business Community Champion Awards presented by BECU, which will take place in October. The awards will celebrate the many ways that small businesses make our communities better, recognizing diverse examples of Main Street community leadership. 

Intentionalist’s Anniversary Celebration was a truly special event, filled with inspiring stories, incredible moments, and the energy of a community that is committed to making a positive impact in the world. Intentionalist is so grateful to everyone who attended, to the emcees, to the speakers, and to all of the small businesses at the heart of our communities.

Cheers to the next five years and beyond!

Cheers to 5 Years: A Look Back at Intentionalist's Anniversary Celebration
Intentionalist team from L to R: Joel Simpson, My Tam Nguyen, Laura Clise, Maria Vargas, Simran Singh

Photos by Jane G. Photography.

Thanks for all that you do to #SpendLikeItMatters! Discover awesome brick + mortar small businesses in your community, suggest your favorites, and be sure that you’re following us on social media (InstagramFacebookTwitter).

Intentionalist is built on one simple idea: where we spend our money matters. We make it easy to find, learn about, and support small businesses and the diverse people behind them through everyday decisions about where we eat, drink, and shop. #SpendLikeItMatters

1 response to “Cheers to 5 Years: A Look Back at Intentionalist’s Anniversary Celebration”

  1. This is awesome – congratulations and hearthfelt best wishes to all engaged & involved with Intentionalist

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