I’m going to join the recent horde of bloggers who have done a writeup on one of Portland’s latest pop-up shops, Boy’s Fort, on 10th and Alder downtown.
After reading a few blogs and finding out about the shop from Thrillist, I had to check it out myself, because it seemed to capture a niche market of male-focused Americana and rustic style that I thought was awesome, and all signs pointed to a really well executed interior design and presentation. In other words, both the businessman and designer in me were intrigued.
Below are a few shots of presentation in the shop. I’d give the designers and merchandisers an A-. The shopping experience was honestly a pretty cool one. The nature of the layout and themed “rooms” lent itself well to lingering and really spending time looking at and experiencing all the merchandise. Every aspect of the shop was well thought out and carefully curated to support the shop’s theme and ambiance. Overall the style and merchandise of the shop was a resounding A+, but some of the music, and a handful of clashing or contradictory elements prevented it from being a complete homerun. Combine that with some serious sticker shock on select items, and I’m left with a mixed feeling on the shop. I want to love it and tell everyone about it, but as a modestly capable DIY’er with an eye for design, I find myself much more inclined to reproducing much of the shop’s work myself, or finding it at vintage stores and garage sales for pennies on the dollar.
Boy’s Fort has already received a great deal of hype and attention in the several days it has been open, but time will tell how it does for the holiday season, and if it has the traction to become a full-time establishment. In NYC or LA, I’d say hell yes, although at the same time it wouldn’t have be as novel, as both cities have well-established men’s boutiques and lifestyle stores with solid followings. No, Portland is a much smaller (and lets face it, somewhat broker) market for some of the high-end and overpriced merchandise I saw in the store, and as much as we in Stumptown love our local artisans and hand-picked vintage, we may find $3500 salvage wood tables a tough pill to swallow for our modest bachelor pads.