ComeUnity brings community together


Zoe Toperosky (she/her), Editor and Writer

A sense of unity, pride, and community; all of this and more is what goes into the nifty storefront positioned on Troy Street at the top of Multnomah Village. 

ComeUnity PDX brings neighborhood spirit and local artwork into one collective space that focuses on giving back to the community and bringing people together. 

Owner Nell Bostwick felt that there was something missing from the Portland gear scene. It is easy enough to find Portland and Oregon clothing, but creating neighborhood specific gear provided something that was missing. 

“You’re really connected with your neighborhood,” Bostwick said. “And I felt like that’s something that’s becoming more and more prevalent here because, especially with COVID too, it’s like you’re with the people in your neighborhood.” 

Bostwick grew up in the Portland area and after coming back with her family 10 years ago, she wanted to find a way to bring the community together and give back. With a background in retail and design, Bostwick said she wanted to get out of corporate America, hence the establishment of ComeUnity in December 2020. 

With the drive to bring individuality to each neighborhood in the Southwest area, Bostwick designs unique logos that are locally printed on hats, shirts, stickers and sweatshirts, providing a style for everyone — whether that be a play on a pop culture icon, such as Metallica, MTV or Guns n’ Roses, or simple designs that highlight the unique pride of different neighborhoods.


“I love that people like what I like, which just cracks me up sometimes that the people like my same style,” Bostwick said. 

Besides the fun and unique designs that are present in ComeUnity PDX, there is a rotation of local artists that feature their work along the walls of this all-in-one shop. Following the trend of community, ComeUnity brings artists from around the Pacific Northwest, with 90-95% of the artists coming from across Oregon. 

While there is an art gallery aspect to this shop, Bostwick wanted to ensure that it wasn’t your typical, no-talking, no-touching museum setup. 

“I knew if I was ever going to have a shop and it was going to have art, I wanted to tap into this real approachable feel,” Bostwick said. “Because I was even talking to someone today about how people will go into an art gallery and you almost feel like scared to talk or if you don’t know art you feel like you can’t engage, and I wanted it to be a space where kids felt comfortable, adults felt comfortable, and be an approachable space.” 

And this approachable feeling greets you as you enter the establishment with an immediate intrigue in the creative designs and artwork that flood the walls and shelves. But it is not just the friendly atmosphere and unique souvenirs—Bostwick focuses largely on giving back to the community, with about 20% of her profits going back to charities. 

Bostwick gives back, primarily, to the Oregon Food Bank, saying that she stands behind much of what they do. “I really love what they stand for. I love that 94% of the money that comes into them goes directly out to programming. So they have been one of the main people that I support,” she said. 

However, Bostwick notes that she donates to Neighborhood House as well, seeing as they are in the same neighborhood. ComeUnity has also done specific events for places like Planned Parenthood and Ukrainian Crisis Relief where a portion of their proceeds from a certain day went to a specific organization. 

“I feel like, for me, it’s all about giving back to the community. So it’s like supporting the store, making sure the store will survive, supporting my artists, supporting local charities,” Bostwick said. 

She also noted that donating makes people feel good too, stating that people know they are doing more than just buying a t-shirt, they are giving back to the greater good. 

With the intent to bring people together while simultaneously giving back, ComeUnity has quickly become a pillar in the Southwest Portland community. Bostwick has built up a following of people who love her unique and playful gear and have fallen in love with the local art that is displayed throughout the shop. 

“It’s all about supporting the community, giving back to the community,” said Bostwick. “That’s the whole point and purpose. Hence my silly name, ComeUnity.”