The list of new independent shops I need to check out is starting to get lengthy. Since winter gave way to spring, a tidy pile of new addresses have quietly cropped up, expanding our already abundant options for quirky shopping based on the personalities, specialties, and obsessions of creative small business owners. Until I'm able to hit the streets, I've scoped out a few of the hotter ones (AKA stalked them online):

Rhapsody: Celebrating its grand opening this Friday from 5:30-8 pm, the new addition to the Ford Building has a distinctly urban-bohemian vibe, with lines like Seven for all Mankind and LA Made swinging alongside casual, summer streetwear and accessories for women, with some baby gear added in for the tykes. In addition to clothing, they also carry some home goods lite, like candles, lighting and art.

Lowell: Charming vintage dÉcor, clothing, and jewelry in as well as locally handmade renditions by Portland favorites (AK Vintage, Liam Drain). It's not thaaaat new, but somehow I've never found my way to the tucked away NE Russell location, YET. By my eyes are liking what I see.

The Shoe Store: A longstanding complain of mine is Portland's relative dearth of shoe stores, but it's a problem that's been steadily remedied over the years by more and more clothing boutiques dabbling in footwear and the occasional openings of dedicated outposts. Sneaker fanatics got another boon this spring when the Shoe Store opened its doors in Alberta, although they also specialize in cheerful, colorful socks. FACT: Everyone loves a cheerful sock!

The Shoe Store