Grand Skape: Family opens series of businesses in Mount Angel

June 2021 Posted in Business, Community, People

By Melissa Wagoner

Tammy Plummer, Mary Jane Field, Deanna Bany and Karra Plummer at Chic Skape in Mt. Angel

Skape is the Norwegian word for create but it’s also the word that describes Tammy Plummer, whose world revolves around all things creative from sewing and quilting to painting and cooking. She’s rarely seen without a project in hand. 

“I’ve always said, I could be Martha Stewart if I had her crew,” Tammy laughed. “I have a mind that doesn’t stop with ideas.”

An entrepreneur at heart, Tammy and her sister, Deanna Bany, started a company in 2016 centered around the creative arts of sewing, crafting, cake decorating, canning and painting that they coined Sister Skape. Initially a sideline of sorts, the sisters took a more serious view the closer they got to retirement. 

“We all wanted to do something together,” Tammy – one of six children
– recalled. 

They also wanted to move back to their home state of Oregon. And so, in January 2019 Tammy and her husband purchased a 40-acre farm in Woodburn that they hoped would one day be a hub for all things creative – Grand Skape. Unfortunately, only weeks later, Tammy’s husband passed away. But the dream the two of them started did not go with him. Nor was Tammy forced to go it alone. Rather, since that time she has been continually surrounded by a family that supports her, including in the purchase of yet another venture – Chic Skape, a coffee boutique in the heart of Mount Angel at 95 N. Main St.

“This came up and we went – oh, a coffee shop!” Tammy laughed. Recalling that even then she knew it would be much more than that.

Tammy invited her daughter, Karra Plummer – who had long dreamed of owning a clothing boutique – to come on board. The two got right to work, transforming what was once a traditional coffee shop into an Italian coffee bar and high-end clothing boutique.

“We’ve had a lot of fun using and reusing what was here,” Tammy enthused, looking around the tastefully decorated shop, which boasts racks of casual, boho chic clothing on one side and a drink bar on the other. 

And Karra has enjoyed exploring the world of coffee. 

“Karra is the type who, when she wants to do something, she wants to be an expert,” Tammy said. 

To which Karra agreed.  “I love challenges and diving deep into the Italian [espresso] thing. That was really fun for me.”

Although the shop does boast a full line of coffee drinks and smoothies – one of the specialties of the house – the duo is trying to keep things simple, partnering with neighboring bakery, Sin-able Sweets, for pastries. 

“A lot of people have said – ‘Oh, we’ve been waiting for you to open,’” Tammy said of the community’s reception to their initial opening on May 1. 

And though it has taken some time to get the word out that there’s a new business in town, customers are beginning to find their way inside. 

“It’s nice because it’s not just an awkward wait for your coffee,” Karra said of the unique partnership between coffee
and clothes. 

But that’s not the only partnership they have planned. 

“I have another sister, Mary Jane Field, who was also called back to Oregon from Wyoming,” Tammy said.  “She does manis and pedis. So that will be Finger Skape.”

Tucked away in a back room, Finger Skape is a massage chair-based nail studio.

“I’m setting it up totally differently,” Field said of her new space, which offers personalized service to one client at a time. “I’m revamping the way I’ve been doing it for 27 years. It’s going to be all about the client chair.”

In a bid to cater to even more of their clientele’s needs, Tammy and Karra have one more trick up their sleeve – parties. Specifically, those focused on painting and wine.

“I went to my first paint and wine event around ten years ago,” Tammy recalled. After that, she was hooked.

“Basically, it’s a social event,” she continued. 

While currently Chic Skape is offering coffee instead of wine to their party attendees, the hope is to apply for a liquor license.

“It’s easy to push things back and accommodate,” Tammy said, demonstrating the flexibility of the space, designed to accommodate a group of people. “And I’ve already booked two private bachelorette parties.”

It’s a lot to keep track of, but each member of the family is contributing to the overall success of the business. 

“I love being a family business,” Karra confirmed. “It’s so important to me.”

For information on the businesses, go to www.chicskape.com or look for Sister Skape on Facebook.

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