"And we love to get specific about what we offer, in a kind of FAQ way."

October 2021

One of the best aspects of having a general store is that a different shop may be seen, depending on the person. What a visitor needs or appreciates most bubbles to the surface.

All people walking through the entrance is generally great, but especially delightful is the confident stride of one returning. The window peekers turned customers are fun too—when something special and specific pulls them in.

A lifestyle & gift shop like ours tells a story about a kind of living (in our case we aim for goods of a thoughtful and charming nature) and has a lot offered in the space. And we love to get specific about what we offer, in a kind of FAQ way.

Are we a homewares store? Yes! It might be the most obvious choice. You might notice the aprons and kitchen towels with the intricate embroidery. Cheerful pillows with animal faces, and blankets stitched by hand from cotton saris. Things that make a home warm and cozy. Maybe noticed first is the vintage kitchenware, still brimming with charming utility, or block print dining fabrics that brighten a table.

Do we sell books? Yes! We’re not a bookstore, bookstore, but books play an absolute must-have part. We carry a thoughtful mix of fiction and not—a charming book about owls or a mushroom Audubon guide can be found alongside Pulitzer Prize winning fiction (currently The Night Watchman by from Louise Erdrich). New to the shop titles (Loaners, co-authored by the founder of Portland’s street library and her best customer) and “regular” ones already with multiple restocks (James Baldwin’s, The Fire Next Time, Anne Lamotte’s Bird by Bird, Frank Herbert’s Dune…) are on hand. And, yes, as our first Google review suggests, “ask the Owner about The Gentle Art of Wandering.”

Do we offer art? Yes! Fine art prints and some original pieces by local artists can be found here—elevating the store and ready to elevate someone else’s home. In keeping with our love of a cost range, of course we also carry small prints (and letterpress cards suitable for framing). Our local artisan wooden jewelry by Phi and hand-crafted leather goods by BlessPDX fit into this category too.  

Are we a metaphysical shop? Not exactly! But we certainly appreciate the form. As it stands, we have a store area very affectionately dubbed woo-woo corner. We keep our offerings here pared to quality essentials. Thoughtfully selected tarot and oracle decks and cloths (with some offerings by the Dark Exact and Stasia Burrington) are included here. And the accompanying sensibility and magic wafts throughout the shop. Ultimately, we fully acknowledge the power in cultivating a charming sanctuary home, and appreciate objects and practices that add to this goal.

Do we have things to wear? Yes! Our jewelry selections are expanding and we have deep appreciation for a good textile. Our wear and tote are quality basics: Beautiful block print robes and natural fiber scarves (from India). Seasonal accessory woolens--berets coming soon (from Canada). Strong and pretty cotton market bags (from France), and totes like our upcycled denim ones (from Spain).

Do we have apothecary? Yes! Award winning charm level Donna Wilson towels make it to the checkout counter daily. Stocked near are gorgeous Ortigia soaps and scents from Sicily. (Check out our new tins with their signature leopards). Onsen Saru Bath salts and fizz are small batch regulars alongside local essential oil blend Camamu soap. We love to rotate in natural ingredient gems and charming bath & body accessories.

Are we fiery? Yes!—We have a extensive selection to (safely) burn (away from the shop). Candles in amber jars from Herland Home, with expert scent combinations and equally inviting names. Like “Dawn” that offers a ginger, oregano, black pepper, and tobacco mix. And “Solar Eclipse” with limoncello, birch, patchouli, and tangerine. Palo santo modeled into nubby sticks and bricks and fair traded by Incausa. Locally gathered herb bundles from Necessary Magic. SeaWitch Botanical  incense that burns clean and faintly lingers in the best way. Thankful Sage floating acorn candles that are hard to keep in stock! That the burnables come with a box of matches (with something sweet on the cover, of course) is our fun “why-not?”

Do we love a woodland theme? Yes! And before we knew it was a thing, too. (The big established stores must have peeked into East Borough Shop to copy our critter themes ;). We can’t help it that we happen to be on trend there, at the moment. Talk to the talon—we’ve been owl loving since the 70s.

And we have stickers and patches and pins and two-dollar candy (made in NYC since the 30s) because we want people to be able to easily walk away with something, if they want to.

Coming here is an experience—and our aim the aim is for special. Hope to see you soon!