El Roi Apparel is a men’s and women’s clothing store located right on Main Street in downtown Pendleton, OR. Hi, my name is Carolyn and I own this beautiful shop with my dear husband Lowell.
Lowell (originally from Eastern Oregon) was attending Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee where he met a girl from Florida in a coffee shop. We were married shortly thereafter and moved to Dresden, Germany for Lowell’s last semester abroad. As we prayed for what was to come next, the city of Pendleton was laid on our hearts. We made the cross country move in August of 2017.
I managed another locally owned clothing store in Pendleton until its’ closure in 2018. I decided that I wasn’t done serving the local community’s apparel needs, leading my husband and I to open our very own retail clothing store.
Whether it's hearing the needs of our local customers or endorsing ethical standards for working environments overseas, it is our responsibility to do all that we can for those who are impacted by us. That is why we do our level best to partner with brands that provide fair wages and safe work environments for the people that make the clothes we carry.
From the beginning, I knew that I wanted our business’ name to be a blessing over our clientele. After several weeks of praying and contemplating, I was reminded of the story in Genesis 16: Hagar, the servant wife of Abraham, was being so mistreated by her mistress Sarah she decided to run away. God heard her cry in the wilderness and came to comfort her. He told her to return to Abraham and Sarah and He blessed Hagar and her son to be born. She, who was an Egyptian and not a chosen one if Israel, had a direct relationship with the Almighty God. She gave God the name “El Roi” which means “The God who sees me”. I wanted everyone who came into the store, whether knowing or not, to carry the blessing of that Name. The Creator sees you in your struggle and desires to bless you in your hardships.