Portland, OR & online
Mix of vintage, new and local
Noun is owned by Buckeye-turned-Beaver, Stephanie Sheldon. She runs it with the help of her sensational husband, Thomas and trusty sidekick, Cristine.
Stephanie lovingly handpicks everything she sells and would certainly keep it all for herself if only she had a giant house.
As an editor, I was drawn in by the name of this Portland shop — Noun: A Person's Place for Things. As a shopper, I'm drawn to Noun's mix of vintage finds and new and locally crafted goods.
Name/Title: Stephanie Sheldon/owner
Launch date: November 1, 2006
Inspiration for opening: I daydreamed about opening a shop for many years but never knew how it would manifest itself or what products I would focus on. I moved to Portland in 1997 and soon made friends with a couple who had a beautiful home and decorated it primarily with the old things they found at estate sales. I tagged along on a few trips and soon found myself addicted to the hunt. I realized I was good at looking past the muck and dust to see the inherent beauty in old, forgotten objects. And living in Portland, it's hard not to be inspired by the artists and craftsman that you meet on a daily basis. I simply put those two things together and VOILA! - a shop was born.
Merchandise source: We have 3 categories of merchandise: vintage, new and local. Nothing is off limits when it comes to sourcing vintage - thrift stores, estate sales, flea markets, auctions, dumpsters. We do it all. Items in the "new" category come from catalogues and are made all over the world. "Local" most often means it is made right here in Portland, although in the last couple of years we've started to branch out and include other artisans and small studios from around North America.
Best selling item: We sell a line of bags by a local company called Nan-Made Objects. They're made from scrap Pendelton wool and Danner leather. Not only are they gorgeous but they are a true feel-good purchase: you go to a local shop, buy a locally made bag, constructed from locally-made materials. That's a WIN! WIN! WIN! (And they fly off the shelves because of it.)
Your favorite item: We have a vintage toy piano in the shop that I kinda love. It plays perfectly out-of-tune notes and it's hard to walk past it without tapping a few keys. It's a tie between that and these colorful enamel lockets that just came in from Paris.
Favorite store (other than your own): Hard to choose but Alder & Co. is certainly one of my local favorites. It is impeccably curated, beautifully merchandised and manages to be both modern and inviting. I've found few shops are able to achieve those things simultaneously and they do it perfectly.