'Mobs' may have run their course
Last August, Forest Grove artist Helvi Smith wanted to protest the then-new Dream Girls Espresso stand, whose scantily-clad servers, she felt, werent quite family-friendly.
But instead of picket signs and chants, Smith brought purses and change.
I thought, What can I do to protest in a positive way? said Smith. Id heard of cash mobs before, and as a small business owner I know that even $100 in a day can make a big difference.
Smith brought nine friends with her to Tami Doners Sugar Shack coffee kiosk on Main Street and protested Dream Girls by promoting another business. People had more clothes on there, she said.
The Sugar Shack was only the start; Smith and her friends formed a Facebook group and proceeded to mob one local business a month for nearly a year.
Businesses on their list included tea-shop HippocraTeas, womens clothing store Torys Place and Middle Eastern restaurant Izgara. Over time, the mob became less protest-oriented and more business-promotion focused.
Its brought first-time customers in to businesses where theyve become regulars, Smith said.
Lack of attendance at the last few gatherings has caused Smith to re-think the mobs, however. I would like for it to keep moving because I still think its a great idea, she said. Smith can be reached on helvismith.com.
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