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A Modern Day Mercantile – Brave Collective

Jennifer Riker had a vision to create an inviting retail space that honored women, no matter their age, size or style. Recently, along with her husband, Jay Riker, she turned that goal into a reality with the opening of Brave Collective. Described by Riker as a modern-day mercantile, this new boutique on Bend’s Westside is an offering of apparel, furniture and gifts with unique appeal.

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Carrying everything from relaxed, everyday T-shirts to specialty silk scarves and chic cocktail wear, Brave Collective focuses on making the products and price points attainable for a broad range of female customers. The shop’s name is intended to remind every woman that they belong in a place free of comparisons and self-doubt, whether they are age 18 or 80. The store also prides itself on its casual and friendly setting. “For me, personally, it’s not just about clothes, it’s about people. It’s about empowering women,” says Jennifer Riker. “One of the things we aspire to do is to make it a place where everybody feels comfortable. Part of that comfort level is not only the environment you create, but making it dog-friendly and kid-friendly too.” In this vein, customers can enjoy comfy lounge seating, complimentary beverages and a small play area for children to busy themselves while their mothers take a break to shop.

Recognizing that no two women want to dress alike, Brave Collective purposefully keeps its inventory fresh by changing out much of the apparel each week. “I’ll only buy five to six pieces of the unique items,” Jennifer Riker explains that the store receives anything from hats and belts one day, to basic tee’s, tanks and jeans another day of the week. “We get shipments all the time.”

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In addition to representing a range of nationally recognized designers, Brave Collective also features local artisans. Throughout the store one can discover attractive, handcrafted barnwood tables, up-cycled industrial furniture pieces and delicate glass terrariums with floral centerpieces and created by Central Oregon vendors.

“I think there is a need for local focus,” Jennifer Riker says. She hopes to spread the word to more women, via the store and her new blog on the store website, where she shares inspiring stories of women caught in the act of being brave.

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