AS A SOLACE to those of us without getaway plans to a tropical locale, Portland in January is great for sales. The post-holiday racks are teeming, and discounts are high, plus it's a good time to peek in on what 2011 will look like. When you hit up your favorite shops this month, you're likely to stumble into a bargain without even trying, but this week also holds one of the biggest sale events of the year: the PDX Collective Sale.

The twice-annual sale featuring independent boutiques and other vendors is in its 11th iteration, this time featuring Pin Me Apparel, Parts + Labour, Radish Underground, Zella, Suite 6, Brenda Dunn, Lizard Lounge, Gypsy Chic, Danger Valley, Bubble Boutique, She-She, and Seaworthy. Casey Nicol of Hood River's Parts + Labour took a moment away from spearheading this edition to check in with me about the evolution of the event.

MERCURY: Do you have any recorded measurement of how much the PDX Collective Sale has grown over the years?

CASEY NICOL: I would say it has grown considerably since we started, from maybe 100 to 1,000 or more shoppers over the two days. We started out at [the since-closed] Apotheke above Andina in the summer of 2006 and have done it twice a year since.

What's new this time around?

Participants such as Pin Me Apparel have participated since the beginning, but we always have new stores, designers, or artists who join in. It is so much fun to meet new creative people in our area to be inspired by and network with. Recently we decided to expand from a one-day event to two days. That way if shoppers can't make it on Saturday they can come on Sunday and not miss out.

How would you say it has evolved in focus?  

I would say the focus has broadened over the years from being just stores selling clothing and shoes to including independent designers and artists. For instance this time we have Brenda Dunn, an amazing artist from Portland participating.

What are the plans for it moving forward, and how many times will it be held in 2011?

The plan for now is to keep it the same. We are at capacity with 11 participants, and always have to turn vendors away, but I like the feel of it not being too crazy big. Everyone at the Ace [Hotel] has been so wonderful and accommodating for the past several years, it's been so great! We do the event twice a year—once in January and once in August or September.

The PDX Collective Sale, The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel, 403 SW 10th, Sat Jan 22, 11 am-5 pm, Sun Jan 23, noon-5 pm