PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Every holiday season, local entrepreneurs get the chance to “set up shop” in vacant retail spaces across downtown Portland and sell their wares.
These aptly named pop-up shops typically disappear after the holidays are over but a few are pursuing long-term relationships with the City of Roses.
One of those shops is Crafty Wonderland.
Torie Nguyen and Cathy Zwicker launched the craft store in 2010.
It started as a pop-up shop but bloomed into something more. Nguyen and Zwicker eventually signed a lease for a permanent downtown location to try their hand as full-time store owners.
“I think it went so well over the time that we were open, and we were having such a good time that we were like, let’s see if we can keep this open,” said Nguyen.
Then, in late 2018, Nguyen and Zwicker opened a second Crafty Wonderland in the Alberta Arts district.
Both women are staying true to the same spirit of opportunity that helped them launch Crafty Wonderland in the first place by showcasing local artists in their stores.
The shops offer everything from posters, candles and sweatshirts to hats, jewelry and greeting cards.
In total, some 200 local artists are featured at Crafty Wonderland’s original location at 808 Southwest 10th Avenue, while 80 artists are on display at the new shop at 2022 Northeast Alberta Street.
And so the little craft store that dreamed big is paying it forward.
“It’s kinda scary, but also really exciting that we are able to support ourselves in this way, and support so many local artists,” said Nguyen.
Other local stores that got their start as pop-up shops include Boys Fort and Bridge and Burn.