In this season of buying gifts and the occasional party outfit, I’ve been focusing on buying from local independent stores. I like supporting our local economy – it’s better for local people who make and sell things here, it’s better for the environment (in contrast to that sweater made in China I had my eye on) and I think it fosters a sense of community. In the weeks leading up to New Year’s Eve, I’ll highlight a few of my local favorites, starting with Eden: A Garden of Opulent Delights.
This little shop in the Pearl is so much fun to wander through. The proprietress, Cindy Rokoff, stocks the stores with a nice selection of books, jewelry, perfume, vintage clothing, and wonderful ephemera and oddities. The salespeople are really friendly but not at all overbearing or pushy.
It’s hard to know where to start. The store has a nice selection of fragrances, including Serge Lutens. The great thing about the store’s perfume displays is that they type up little cards that list the scents in each perfume. I can skip right by anything with patchouli or jasmine in it – really, such a great idea.There are scented candles, fancy shampoos, green lip gloss, and lovely soaps. The librarian in me likes looking at the nice selection of books, mainly art, fashion and design. You can also find bottle openers in fun shapes, Bolivian shawls, colorful pillows, a small selection of candy, and rugs.
My favorite merchandise to drool over is the small but stylish selection of vintage clothes, the jewelry, and vintage accessories. There’s a rack of Little Black Dresses of all kinds with a decent variety of sizes, a rack of vintage kimonos, and a rack of pretty coats. The prices are reasonable and you’ll be wearing something unusual and recycled. They just published their annual Holiday Look Book – it’s beautifully done.
They also carry Sonia Kasparian’s stunning Urchin Re.Design dresses, which she creates (upcycles?) from old vintage pieces. They’re couture quality, and beaded and decorated by hand, truly works of art.
Then there’s the jewelry – it’s a nice variety ranging from modern silver cuffs to hand-crafted jewelry from local designers to vintage pieces. I tried on a vintage 1920s necklace with amber glass stones, and the modern statement necklace above by Kiowa Rose that incorporates old findings and stones.
My recent visit was a gift buying foray so I’m not going to reveal what I bought just yet. The store is great fun to wander through – if you’re near Powell’s, it’s just a few blocks away. Right now they have some interesting Christmas ornaments – scarabs, birds, and Chinese lamps. You can always find something curious to look at – the oddest is the stuffed peacock but the resin raccoon skull is a close second.
Eden: A Garden of Opulent Curiosities
221 Northwest 11th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209