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East meets West at Scappoose boutique

Shannons Boutiques & More reflects owners heritage, survival and aspirations


by: SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: ROBIN JOHNSON - Shannon's Boutiques and More is on the second floor of the downtown retail building. Eventually, owner Mila Prakash hopes to move to a location on the main floor to attract more passers by. Mila Prakash opened Shannon’s Boutiques & More April 13 with the help of her son and daughter-in-law.

The cozy store — located at 33555 E. Columbia Ave., Suite 211 in Scappoose — specializes in fine jewelry, an assortment of clothing, antique and designer home furnishings and gifts from around the world.

Prakash decided to open the store in honor of her son Ashmil Shannon Prakash, who died in 1999 at the age of 10 due to a brain tumor.

“As a kid, he always had a plan in mind to create a business, then eventually give it to me,” she said. “So I decided to open a shop in his name.”

So far, business has been a bit slow, but Prakash hopes things will gradually pick up. She has been coming up with ideas to bring in more customers, such as offering henna tattoos and selling her own mixes of masala spices. “We’re praying every day that something will happen,” she said.

Originally, Prakash wanted to open an Indian restaurant, a culinary reflection of her heritage, but the costs were too high. She’s hoping Shannon’s Boutiques & More will provide an opportunity to realize that dream.

“After three years, we will put all of our profits into building a restaurant,” she said.

Prakash’s family continued to grow after the death of her son. She witnessed an interesting sign on the day her daughter Ayesha was born.

“Shannon had a birthmark on his left leg,” Prakash said. “When Ayesha was born, she had the same exact birthmark on her left ankle... this is not just a shop, there is something behind it.”

Prakash said she and her husband are unable to find employment due to medical issues. Before moving to Oregon, Prakash fell into a sinkhole, resulting in injuries that have required 11 separate surgeries since the incident. In 2010, Prakash’s husband had a heart attack, which later required quadruple bypass surgery.

Prakash moved to Portland with her family in 1994 from the Fiji islands. “We were Hindus until my son passed away, then we became Christians,” she said. “After that, we were rejected by the Hindu community.”

The Prakash family has lived in Scappoose since 2001.