Now that we’ve landed in December, many of us are hunting for holiday gifts for special people in our lives. Seems the older I get, I’m giving practical gifts for the home that are also comforting, happy and, yes, even gorgeous!
If you need inspiration, follow me to some special Portland stores for goodies for your favorite people whether they live in a compact apartment, comfortable condo or large, rambling house. If you can’t get to these fantastic shops in person, many of them have online shopping*, too.
Via Raiz is a vibrant, inviting shop where Mexican craftsmanship meets modern design.
It’s stocked full of a mix of beautiful and practical goods, from jewelry to homewares. Owner Jennifer Bolanos thoughtfully chooses her artisans’ products and will tell you all about them with pride. PS: she hand-stenciled the striking floor!
2774 NW Thurman St
Walking into Woonwinkel
makes me feel…well, merry & bright! Sounds sappy, but it truly sums up the atmosphere here. Shopping online, you can search by designer or by color. Shopping in person, your eyes will dance around from one display to the next, delighting in the whimsy all around you.
935 SW Washington St
Pigeon Toe Ceramics is a studio run by a team of creative sisters, super close to Arciform’s office.
Sabi & Friends is a vintage homewares shop in what locals have known for years as Wayne’s Barbershop.
Kert has so much vintage goodness in this charming space, and she has nonstop energy, filling any voids with new-to-you artwork, furniture and home goods. Discover a colorful old map to jazz up Dad’s office or claim some festive barware for your sister-in-law’s next dinner party.
8713 N. Lombard St
The Granite is a Dynamic Duo
Whether you’re new to Portland or were born here, visiting Hippo Hardware helps you peek into how things used to be. They have hardware, lighting, architecture and plumbing fixtures from 1860-1960. Get lost browsing their aisles for hours or ask their knowledgeable staff to help you find those just-right glass cabinet knobs.
1040 E Burnside St
If you take the time to visit to this Old Town workshop and store, you’ll be wowed by the quality and variety of totes, belts and useful accessories (amazing work aprons!). Orox is a multi-generational family business, rich with history. They hand craft vegetable-dyed leather goods that will last many generations.
Now, I know it’s almost Winter, but you can’t deny that ice cream is a heart-warming treat. A gift card to this most excellent ice cream shop makes the perfect stocking stuffer. I’m lactose intolerant, but never feel left out here: their cow-free flavors like strawberry basil are the decadent stuff of dreams. And I love that founder Lisa Herlinger started at a tiny foodcart at the Farmer’s Market.
Downtown, N. Mississippi or Hawthorne locations
Throughout December, there’s a pop-up event put on by Prosper Portland and St Johns Center For Opportunity at Bridge City Kid. 20+ artists brought their handmade goods all under one roof. You can find something beautiful for their walls, windows or furry friends.
8402 N Lombard St
Handmade, fair trade folks arts and crafts fill this jewelbox of a shop, covering walls and packing shelves with amazing gifts mostly from Latin America. Not everything is merely decorative: there are wearables made from alpaca fleece, pierced tin frames and glazed tableware, for a start.
7413 N Lombard St
Some people don’t want or need any more things for their home. Some people have very specific taste, making it challenging to buy them gifts. Rather than spend your hard-earned dollars on something they might not like or use, why not give them a kind act instead? Clean off their street drain before then next rainstorm. Help repaint a neighborhood playground. Volunteer at their senior center. Weatherize their windows and doors. Tackle the gutters. Hang a bird feeder by their favorite window seat. The possibilities go on and on, and they will likely never forget your thoughtfulness.