Denizens of the Pearl district may have noticed the just-opened Solestruck in the former Shoefly space at 718 NW 13th. The company has operated online-only for five years, with warehouses in Tualatin and Wilsonville. According to Bryce Morrow, one of the four founding partners, a rare opportunity arose in this location's short-lease availability, and they jumped on the chance to try out a brick 'n' mortar storefront. As of now they're calling it a pop-up store, with an expiration date of January 31st, but Morrow says that if things go well they'd certainly consider staying in the space. "We don't get to see our customers," he says of the online experience, all though so far life in the Pearl is going to be a bit different than commerce on the inter-tubes. The company's most frequently shipped-to state is New York, and about a third of its business is international, says Morrow, their stock decisions cater to a fashion-forward palate while maintaining accessible price points. But the squares in the Pearl are perhaps more interested in the quieter end of the spectrum (BOOO). Nonetheless, for those who want to check out the nuttier, trendier stuff, the store has computer kiosks where you can look at the full selection, and the staff will be happy to fetch whatever you like from their vast 20,000+-pair strong warehouse space. Ditto if you just want to use the "wishlist" function in their online store from home.

But here's what you really need and want to know: This Saturday is Solestruck's grand opening celebration, and from when they open at 10 am to closing time at 7 pm, the first 100 barefoot customers to come in will get a free pair of Vans classics! Now that's a good way to make a first impression...

Vans-shoes-Classic-Slip-On-_Coffee-Pink-Icing-Checkerboard_-010604.jpg