Many of you have repeatedly said how “unbelievable” it is to have such a great resource available such as Something Borrowed {Portland}.  I can admit, it’s probably a little hard to believe.  Who would want to do something like this?  There’s much, much more to it than you probably realize.  And it all starts out a little like this… Born in Seattle, I moved to Nome, Alaska when I was three years old.  For those not familiar with Nome, I sum the town up best by saying “if you don’t think hell freezes over, you’ve never been to Nome, Alaska” (I’m only half joking).  It’s desolate, the snow fall’s sideways, and there are no roads in or out.

Nome Alaska

Nome Alaska

In the fifth grade I moved to a small Eskimo village seventy-five miles northwest of Nome, White Mountain.  We had no running water in this village of two-hundred, but I didn’t seem to notice much.  Winters were filled with recreational activities at the school (which is quite common all throughout Alaska) and the other season, Summer, is spent hunting and fishing to ensure you have enough food for the winter.  Us kids would play kick-the-can in the dirt road, followed by hide-and-seek.  Or, we’d watch over the younger siblings in the family while our parents were out on their hunting trips.

I only spent a year in White Mountain, moving back to Seattle and jumping around between Anchorage, Portland, Phoenix (talk about a fish out of water) and then finally landing back in Portland where I now (obviously) call home.

White Mountain, Alaska

White Mountain, Alaska

What does this lengthy back story have to do with Something Borrowed?  A lot.  You see, growing up in rural Alaska taught me more than I think I would have ever learned anywhere else.  There are no chain stores, malls, high end bridal boutiques, wedding planners, or heck, even a Michaels.  If you want something, you either make it, borrow it, occasionally order it online or simply do without.  There is no Craigslist for Nome, Alaska (I bet you looked, didn’t you?).  Gas in Nome is currently at about $5.50 a gallon.  Yes, you heard right.  Do you think people are going to have a $20,000 wedding?  No, in Alaska dollars, that’s equivalent to around $30,000 when you add on the extra shipping. My point is, you learn to use the resources around you.  The community pools together, heck, in some cases the entire town or village makes up the guest list!  I guess you could say that at an early age I was exposed to this giving nature. Fast forward to the Fall of 2008, when I graduated from the Master Recyclers 8-week extensive training program.  Woah… have you ever seen how much crap we throw away?  Seriously folks.  We have got to get a handle on the stupid stuff we buy.  When you actually go to the landfill and you’re standing on a hill that’s layer on top of layer of nothing but TRASH you get a wake up call.  Plastic bags filled with wedding favors guests didn’t want, disposable plates (or even “compostable” ones that really don’t break down in a landfill) and so, so much more.
Lane Bigsby

The girl behind the goods

When you combine how and where I was raised, my inner treehugger, my soft side (there was a time I volunteered nearly every other day)… AND my wedding obsession (because I do have one), well, you get Something Borrowed {Portland}!  The seed was officially planted just before our wedding when a group of us brides-to-be met hoping to exchange our own wedding items (which we weren’t able to do).  The idea sounded novel to me and it stuck.  My love for volunteering and helping others, knowing what it’s like to plan a wedding on a budget and well, it JUST MADE SENSE. To read each and every one of your comments assures me that THIS is something our city needs… EVERY city needs.  If not to save a little money at the very least to build community and maybe, just maybe save a little from going in the landfill, too. {nome image credit: ra64 via creative commons}

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