Once upon a time in 2006, Crafty Wonderland was born in the basement of the Doug Fir with monthly craft fairs. It grew up in 2009 with the Super Colossal sales at the Oregon Convention Center twice a year where thousands of shoppers flock to buy from hundreds of local artisans. (You probably bought some of your Christmas presents there this year, along with 16,000 other shoppers.) Then in 2010 the Portland Business Alliance and PDC invited Crafty Wonderland to open a pop-up shop at Finnegan's Toys downtown for the holiday season. Portlanders loved the pop up shop and large scale craft events so much that Crafty Wonderland is now going to be a real, grownup retail store downtown. And all the crafters and craft-lovers will live happily ever after!
Proprietors Cathy Pitters and Torie Nguyen have just signed the three-year lease to open the store at 808 SW 10th Ave. Nguyen says,
We had both always dreamed of owning a retail store, but the idea of launching it on our own and having it work out financially seemed really daunting. We couldn't have done this without the city's pop-up shop program and the amazing support of the local community.
The permanent downtown location means us locals don't have to wait for special events to buy from our favorite local artisans, and visitors to Portland can wander into the craft mecca, have their minds blown by the variety of goods coming out of our famously crafty city and take a piece home with them. CW artists can sell their work year round, which means more money, which means more art, which means everyone wins. It's a very happy story, and I can't wait to check out the store when it opens February 1, 2012. See you there.