Recently I attended the opening of PDX Pop-Ups, the shop project that was launched in 2009 by the Downtown Retail Strategy Task Force to fill vacant storefronts with local shops, designers, artists, and craftspeople. Honestly I had never visited the Pop-Ups in years past, choosing instead to just shop for immediate family members using Amazon and eBay (I know, I'm awful. I just really hate to shop, especially around the holidays!) Attending this has changed my tune however, and if you have the same aversion to holiday shopping as I do I highly suggest checking them out, and since they are locally focused you probably won't encounter the same jerks that you would at, let's say, any of the big box retailers. You are guaranteed to find something for everyone on your list between these four shops, which I will now describe for you:
Emit- 535 SW Sixth Avenue
If you love bright colors paired with geometric shapes, this shop is for you. Emit blends performance fabrics and modern silhouettes to create bold, distinctive women's apparel and home accessories. Everything is designed and manufactured locally, including the complex laser cut designs that are the focal point of each piece.
Boys' Fort- 614 SW 11th Avenue (In the Governor Hotel)
Cozy and inviting, Boys' Fort features 45 artists and counting, with a focus on locally made, re-used, recycled, and vintage goods. A "Carefully Curated Manthology of Stuff", this shop showcases custom-built furniture, reclaimed lighting fixtures, men's bags, wallets, and jewelry, and bespoke personal fragrances.
Wolf's Apothecary- 902 SW Morrison Avenue
Wolf's Apothecary features local health and beauty products with a collection of turn-of-the century goods. Owner Jewelie Randall also owns Flora, and with this shop she wanted to go with a more rustic and masculine vibe. Along with the beauty products (for men and women) you will find lots of great jewelry, candles, and gifts.
Enchanted Alpaca- 902 SW Morrison Avenue
Enchanted Alpaca is owned by Carol Thayer and Rick Daugherty, who have a boutique in Hood River by the same name and have been raising Alpacas for 17 years. Alpaca fiber is four times warmer than wool, half the weight, wicks away moisture, and pretty much lasts forever, making it an ideal fabric to drape yourself in in our cold and soggy climate. Coats, sweaters, hats, and scarves can be found at this shop, which features over a dozen local artists, as well as products made by native Quechea hand artists from the Andes. Also featured are beautiful coats from Peru made from complex textiles that are made in fair-trade mills.
The shops are open through December 31st and hours are Monday-Saturday 11-7, Sunday 12-5. Go forth and shop!!!!