This past weekend, founder and designer Modi Soondarotok of IDOM swung open the doors to her new shop and studio space in the 811 E Burnside building. Though laid out like a shop rather than a workspace, in contrast to their previous home on foot traffic-heavy NW 23rd, entrance will mostly be available by appointment, with some regular hours on the weekends, and plans to participate in the neighborhood's First Friday art receptions and parties.
Suite 213 presents a bit more of a challenge compared to the other shops in the building, primarily because it is located on the second floor, leaving the options for catching the attention of passersby limited basically to a sandwich board. But Soondarotok has always done very well with social networking, keeping an active and inspiring blog with a refreshingly personal, inclusive voice. Once her online store gets running, she'll be poised to keep the shop and label humming along largely by word of mouth.
As a brick and mortar in the meantime, fans will recognize it as simply a tighter edit, with the racks dominated by the IDOM line, Saint James' iconic French stripe tops being the only other apparel firm represented, although accessory lines like Brehan Todd's jewelry and longtime featured handbag line Jenny Yuen also have a presence. I look forward to seeing how the change of pace will affect the evolution of the shop and Modi's impressive capability and creativity as a designer. Here's to things looking up.