Bend Magazine Profiles Desperado’s Own Olivia Harms | Summer Edition

Click here for Olivia’s Tour Schedule!

14 of Our Favorite Shops & Boutiques in Bend, Oregon


When it comes to shopping, there’s no better place to spend your time and money than at a small business or boutique. These shops often make their own wares or source small batches of products from other brands or artisans, resulting in unique looks and objects with plenty of personality.

This rings true in fashion, kitchen goods, home decor and art, so whether you’re looking to treat yourself or give a thoughtful gift, consider shopping local first. Here are a few Bend-area shops and boutiques we love!

933 NW Bond Street | Clothing & Accessories 

Nearly 24 years ago, Desperado began in Portland’s historic Pearl District as a high-end Western Lifestyle store carrying everything from custom boots to handmade rugs. In 2007, owner and proprietor Joanne Sunnarborg moved her business to Bends Old Mill District and made the move to downtown last year. They are well known for their vast array of women’s and men’s clothing, accessories, gifts and incredible selection of custom boots. Visit their website to start shopping and to check out their “Latest Looks” page that will outline their most recent acquisitions and how you should wear them!

To see the entire list of Bend’s Best Places to Shop check out The Local Arrow. 



Past Headlines… scroll down and see what Desperado has been up to this last year!!!

Risks & Benefits of Entrepreneurship —

The Desperado Story

(Joanne Sunnarborg | Photos by Kelsey Swenson and Brody Swisher)

It’s no secret that business, and especially entrepreneurship, is all about taking risks.

Desperado boutique owner Joanne Sunnarborg faced a decisive turning point in her life at age 37. She could continue working in the insurance business and face a possible dead end in her career, or take a risk and open her own boutique in Portland’s Pearl District. Like many entrepreneurs, she chose to take the risk.

In the nearly 23 years since then, Sunnarborg has owned and operated Desperado, which she moved from Portland to Bend’s Old Mill District 12 years ago. The store has a “boho,” western-style fashion theme with walls of shoes (formerly named Shoes &…) and home decor.

Sunnarborg’s advice for women who want to start a business is to “start out by doing your homework,” and “have a good business plan.” In addition to these fundamentals, she says to be “optimistic,” to “not be afraid. You’ve got to be confident.” For Sunnarborg, taking the risks that come with owning a business breed success.

With risk, however, also comes the possibility of failure. “It all comes down to what you’re passionate about, that gets you through the challenging times.” Sunnarborg says fashion has always been important to her since the first grade, when she started getting nominations for “most fashionable” or “most stylish.” She never knew her passion would turn into something she could share with others through her own business. Now, her mission is to “provide fashionable, comfortable clothing to my customers, as well as a quality customer experience.”

Gearing products toward your customers and responding to them is what makes a business successful, she says. “You’ve got to be light on your feet in a changing world, and to do that you have to put your ego aside.” Especially in the retail industry, she says, it’s important to offer unique products not available online along with good customer service and relationships.

In terms of the bigger picture, she says, “When I take care of customers, it really means taking care of the community.” She believes small, locally-owned businesses are the ones that give back the most to the community. Desperado has contributed across the board, to local schools, the High Desert Museum, cancer research and BendFilm.

Sunnarborg must make continual changes to respond to changes in the retail industry and customer preferences. These are challenging and involve the ongoing risk of making mistakes, but she has found success by adopting this mindset. Beyond her personal accomplishments, the community has benefitted from her belief in what she does. Fashion is only part of the Desperado story.

desperado is guest on
House Talk with Karen Malanga…How to tie scarves made easy & fun. 
Click here to watch now!Image of House Talk graphic with Karen Malanga and Rebecca tying scarves linking to a video.
desperado is guest on
House Talk with Karen Malanga…

Don’t miss the Johnny Was Clothing Trunk Show at desperado boutique in the Old Mill District of Bend, Oregon Friday, July 20 – Sunday, July 22, 2018!

Listen in as Karen and Rebecca share a preview of the event!

Image of desperado with Karen Malanga on House Talk.

desperado is guest on
House Talk with Karen Malanga…

Image of the Karen Malanga House Talk episode on Jafa/Viereck Trunk Show segment.

Don’t miss the Jafa Footwear & Dresses by Viereck Trunk Show @desperado.  Enjoy this edition of House Talk where Karen & Rebecca discuss the event.

Minnetonka Debuts in Vogue Magazine…


Image from Vogue magazine featuring Minnetonka moccasins.

Click here to see Vogue’s take on this classic fringed boot.

Available at desperado with shoes &… Call to reserve your pair today and we’ll happily tell you about all our Minnetonka offerings at the store: 541.749.9980.

Sneak Peek at Summer BFQ…

Images from the upcoming Summer edition of BFQ.

Making Headlines in BFQ Spring….

Plus…BFQ’s Wedding Magazine featuring our own Haleigh Newbeck!

Images of the spring edition of BFQ magazine.

Images of Haleigh & Kyle's wedding at Pringle Falls.



Making Headlines in BFQ Winter….

Bend’s newest fashion magazine, Bend Fashion Quarterly, features desperado and shoes &…  in its winter edition.  And if you look closely you’ll see desperado’s own – Rebecca Meade and her husband Eric modeling some of our great winter looks from the store.

Eric & Rebecca opened up their home near Tumalo for the shoot and dogs – Ricky & Luna were happy to photo-bomb where ever they could.

When Eric isn’t modeling (ha! not in his comfort zone) he is a private business consultant at Purposeful Consulting  and an avid mountain biker.  Rebecca loves her job at desperado and is also in charge of the store’s website and marketing.







Desperado layout in BFQ.


Rebecca is wearing:

Hooded sweater by Odd Molly $359

Corduroy skinnies by Dear John $89

Shearling Boots by Minnetonka $119


Eric is wearing:

Flannel by True Grit $129.95

Wool coat by Miller Ranch $349



Desperado layout in BFQ.

Rebecca’s outfits:

Blue Silk Tunic by Biya $245

Patti Velvet Dress by JWLA $355

Blouse by 3J Workshop $215

Eric’s outfits:

Men’s Shirts by Ryan Michael $139.95

Ricky & Luna:

Dog Leashes by Ruffwear  $79.95

Dog Collars by Ruffwear $49.95




Image of front BFQ magazine cover featuring a desperado biya dress.Desperado feature page in summer edition of BFQ magazine.

Fall BFQ….

  • A Biya dress from desperado makes the cover of Oregon’s newest magazine to hit the fashion world.
  • Bend Fashion Quarterly, aka – BFQ is taking Central Oregon by storm as this new quarterly publication features local boutiques, people, and lifestyle stories from Bend & beyond.
  • See our spread in this summer’s edition!!!
  • We went on location at the Old Mill District’s newest and hottest Wine Bar & Tasting Room – VIA PIANO – with Sandy and Daniel. Sandy is a doctor of chiropractic medicine and owner of Bend NSA Chiropractic, and Daniel owns Einstein Plumbing.
  • Sandy is wearing a Biya dress by Johnny Was, Evangelina Boots by Old Gringo (on website), & a vintage Squash Blossom necklace.
  • Daniel is wearing a Head ‘n Home Hat, Ryan Michael shifts and Timberland & DKODE shoes.
  • Photography by Maria Bay
  • Story by Pamela Hulse Andrews