Boho Lifestyle

While wandering around downtown Napa the other night with a girlfriend trying to find a good cocktail, we happened upon the open doors of brand new Boho Lifestyle, a beautiful space filled with creative home goods, handmade soaps, jewelry, pottery, and other gorgeous objects. I immediately fell in love with a set of iridescent blue tumblers that were strewn about the room in various places; each one surprising and charming me more and more.

Handmade glasses by Roost - Like drinking out of a glass bubble!

Handmade glasses by Roost – Like drinking out of a glass bubble!

Owner Indra Fourtney, a contagiously bubbly woman full of smiles and styling ideas, ran around the shop showing us her unique wares. Many items are produced by locals and themed around the idea of nature and created by “cottage industries” instead of larger corporations. You can get anything from organic powdered laundry soap by French Laundry, to men’s dress shirts made of Turkish cotton! Jewelry by Emily Shelley was apparently flying out the doors, and Indra encouraged me to make a few pieces to sell in her shop as well! I better get on that.

Figs. Of course.

Figs. Of course.

My interior designer friend rabidly flipped through her beautiful collection of design books and ended up leaving the shop with a limited edition, flowing blue top designed specifically for Boho Lifestyle that looked perfect on her. I left with a handmade soap by Pine Tree Top Soap Shop in Eucalyptus, made entirely out of natural ingredients and essential oils. In addition to selling beautiful oddities, Indra does interior design and event rentals through her shop. The merchandise is truly unique, and inventory rolls over quickly, so check in regularly!

Eucalyptus Natural Soap

Eucalyptus Natural Soap

Boho  Lifestyle opened its bohemian doors August 10th, but they are hosting an official open house, Friday 9/13 from 7-9pm. The address is 1238 First Street, Downtown Napa. Here is her Facebook page, or you can call (707) 337-5870 to check on store hours. I hope to see you there!

Nice Legs! Table Legs, that is...

Nice Legs! Table Legs, that is…

Now, can someone tell someone else that these cups would look perfect in my cottage?

Glass Cups by Roost

Glass Cups by Roost



Brightly colored dresses in the window suck me inside faster than I can control, and then I see the silver glitter on the floor of the front entrance. This is my new favorite shop, and it opened up yesterday.

Dresses and underskirts, layering skirts, jackets, and bloomers are handmade by Amy Dotts of Portland, who was a regular Last Thursday vendor on Alberta Street for the past two years. The dresses are bright and invite lots of smiles – with prices starting around $120, it is a great deal for handmade, local clothing. Each one could be easily dressed up or down with a flick of the wrist and the right pair of tights or pearls! There are a variety of prints and solids, and one of my favorites has little bicycles all over it.

Part inspiration, part oddity, the knitwear by “Girl with a Hook” is something unlike anything I have seen knit before, and very mystical. The hats appear almost distorted in shape, each one created with handspun yarn in a freeform style. I placed a hat on my friend Martina and she looked charming and elfin at the same time. I didn’t leave the shop empty handed, for I fell in love with one of the knit headbands ($40)- it has sparkley yarn and bubbly bits woven in, and wass surprisingly warm on this cold December day.

Just as charming is the jewelry by Viki – whimisical and inspired by nature, Vicktoria Ciesiul uses recycled metals and beautiful stones. Each one looks unique and sophisticated.

All of the vendors are local to the Portland area – and the term, “it takes a village” really applies to Dotts. Amy Dott’s mother greeted me in the store, her dad created the metal shelving in the shop, and the individual designers are all closely tied as friends. I plan on wearing my new Girl with a Hook headband all winter, knowing that no one will ever have an identical one as this!

2916 NE Alberta St
503 516 0567

video: h&m store opening

It’s 40 degrees outside on November 11th, 2010,  and I can hear the crowds before I see them. They chant, “H&M! H&M” methodically as if to a prompter. I round the bend and see barriers holding back flailing teens – is Justin Bieber here? Confused tourists and passerby look around in bewildered states and wonder what the fuss is about.

The line wraps completely around the block and disappears. Every time I think I discover the end of the line, I am directed further and further back, an entire 6 city block lengths before the true end of the line. Some people have been waiting here since the night before at 10 or 11pm; while others hoped for a decent place in line at 6am. I show up an hour before the 12 noon opening and think I’m doing well! There is more H&M chanting at the entrance and loud hip hop music coming from an unknown origin.

The countdown to the door opening at noon is dramatic: the crowds funnel into the shiny new space, and the line moves forward for about five minutes before coming back to a screeching halt. As I figured, the store has already reached capacity. I move the length of one block every 20-25 minutes and wonder if I will ever get in. After another hour in line, I still have not gotten inside! I abandon the wait and the hunt for cheap clothes so that I can go to work. I will be back, and maybe I will actually buy something If they didn’t already run out of every item in the store!

H&M at Pioneer Place
700 SW Fifth Avenue
Portland, OR
(503) 228-5800

video: modo

I drive by Modo nearly every day, and fawn over their beautiful dresses in the window display. Today I finally ventured in to discover what it is all about, and am pleased to discover that it is a wonderful designer resale and consignment shop. Modo carries a fine array of newly-affordable garments by normally expensive brands such as Nanette Lepore, Vera Wang, and Calypso. There is even a gorgeous mango colored print top by Marc Jacobs for only $45!

Their denim is organized by size, rather than awful stacks of mystery denim, where you have to dig and flip tags around for five minutes only to find that they don’t even have your size. Notable denim at Modo includes Paige Premium Denim, J Brand, Earnest Sewn, and Cheap Monday.
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video: leanna nyc

As September’s first Thursday approached, I looked forward to the grand opening of Leanna NYC – the Pearl District’s newest boutique, inspired heavily by the fashion forward attitude of New York City. Owner Leanna Carreon, a Portland native, designed for eight years for various designers in New York City, including Jessica McClintock (who designed every teen’s dream prom dress!). Her exposure to the fast-paced fashion world of the East Coast led her to realize that Portland has the enthusiasm for fashion but lacks in supply. Thus, she has made it her goal to bring the current trends from NYC to PDX.

The modern woman doesn’t want to run home and change for a night out on the town. She should be able to make her outfit go from work to play with just a couple of updating tweaks, and Leanna NYC caters to this demand seamlessly. I am most impressed by the line, Gracia, with embellished dresses and tops in wearable shades of brown, grey and black. These are unique, bold separates you could easily layer over jeans and leggings for a more casual look, or put on some heels and pin your hair up for a night out. Gasp.

Leanna NYC specializes in an array of distinct shapes and cuts. I commend her selection for being more about creative fit and figure than outlandish color combinations. Of course, there is an endless supply of black lace pieces and studded minis. As pictured, grey is the new neutral, and you will have more than enough at your fingertips at this boutique. Her selection makes looking good seem effortless. The shapes and design lend to providing you with an effortless chic demeanor. You won’t look like you’re trying to hard, yet will stun everyone in the room.

The price point is moderate for the most part, with high end denim lines (James Jeans) as well as recycled and organic cotton basic tees by Spun, based in Seattle, at the affordable price of $25-$40.

The space itself is quite creative. Leanna’s own photography lines the walls (if you like her photos, they are also secretly for sale!), and blue glass chandeliers hang from the ceiling. A sophisticated velveteen waiting area is provided for your shopping accomplice. At the time of the event, there were labeled cupcakes that had rearranged themselves into spelling out “CLEANN” by the end of the night, but supposedly they spelled out the store name just hours prior. Don’t wait, this East Coast fashion is being devoured quickly, and you don’t want to miss it.

Leanna NYC
402 NW 12th Ave. Portland, OR 97209
503 719 6197

video: bargain hunting 101

Today only, a very special sale is going on at the Crystal Ballroom. 50 local indie businesses are all in the same place, with massive discounts. Select shops are even offering an additional discount during the last hour! Accessories, clothing, baby toys, home furnishings, and lots more is on sale. I got excited over bags by Ellington and Kevia, as well as clothing from Moxie and Frock. Get your bootie over here before it ends!

Bargain Hunting 101

August 15th, 12-5pm

Crystal Ballroom – 1332 W Burnside

video: ecovibe apparel

After personally trying on the entirety of the shop’s garments, I’ve decided EcoVibe Apparel in the Pearl district is my newest go-to environmentally friendly boutique.  Apple green VOC-free paint cheerily welcomes me inside, and I am surrounded by an array of the softest, most affordable and delicious merchandise in town.  Coconut-based body products by Malie, tunics by Trinity and Ya Da, bags from Ellington’s Eco Style line, and Good Society’s organic dark-wash denim fill the room.  There is a small section of hand picked menswear; most notable are the bunny-soft, wool cashmere blend sweaters by Same Underneath.

Regal dressing rooms that are larger than life dominate the back of the room.  There are plenty of hangers, so even if you try on everything in EcoVibe’s collection, the clothes won’t fall off.  Don’t you just hate it when you try on five pieces of clothing, only to have three of them fall on your feet because they don’t fit on the hangers? Continue reading