A women’s apparel and accessory boutique that started in the Seattle/Tacoma area has relocated to downtown Oregon City.

Flying Monkey Mercantile — the name was inspired by “The Wizard of Oz” — will occupy 600 square feet of retail space fronting Sixth Street in the building that houses Homelife Furniture at 610 Main St. While in Tacoma, Karen Cartwright grew her business from a 100-square-foot shop to 1,200 square feet. Her success was founded upon creating a personal shopping experience with a boutique atmosphere for affordably priced dresses, purses, jewelry and accessories.

“One key to success is to have a fun space that is jam-packed with great product,” Cartwright said. “Creating a personalized shopping experience with a boutique atmosphere and affordable pricing is the next step.”

Cartwright relocated to the area with her husband and decided to open Flying Monkey because she remembered her visits to downtown Oregon City as a child. After moving to the area she was impressed with the recent revitalization.

“When I saw the changes in downtown Oregon City, I knew I wanted to be a part of that, part of that energy and excitement,” Cartwright said. “Running a local business and shopping locally — this is how you help your local economy.”

The boutique retailer of women’s clothing and apparel carries locally sourced products and a selection of sizes to “fit real women” Cartwright said. “I spend a lot of time searching for merchandise and ordering unique products.”

As an entrepreneur with previous experience in retail, Cartwright and her Flying Monkey Mercantile fill a growing niche of restaurants, retailers and creative professionals flocking to downtown Oregon City’s 169-year-old marketplace.

“It’s clear that Karen knows the business of retail,” said Ethan Erickson, community coordinator for the nonprofit Main Street Oregon City. “She has experience marketing, merchandising and making customers smile.”

Cartwright is interested in fashion, design, color and helping women feel good about themselves. She’s also made a commitment to sourcing products from around the region.

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