We chatted to Andi Bakos, owner of the lovely West End Select Shop in Portland to find out more about her store.
Can you describe West End Select Shop for us?
Some have called it a “jewel box”, it’s a small and very special space. It’s located on the ground floor of an unusual wedge-shaped building in the downtown area (built in 1922). There are no right angles in my store! Our tall ceilings and Southern-facing windows help the small space feel open and bright and airy. We have a white tiled wall inspired by the buildings in my old neighborhood in Tokyo, I suppose that’s our main design feature in the shop. We strive to make everyone feel very welcome and we do everything we can do make our customers happy. There’s a good energy in the shop, for sure. Our labels are from all over the world. We focus on design-driven independent designers that we discover on our travels or through friends in other cities. We’re always on the hunt for the type of look you just can’t find in our city. We like to stand out.
What inspired you to open a store like this?
Lack of shopping options in Portland!
Do you have a typical customer? If so, can you describe him or her in a few words?We are lucky to live in a city with a healthy population of "Creative Professionals”. We have both Nike and Adidas headquarters here, as well as a ton of creative agencies. These are women (and men) who travel, have great taste and are looking to invest in quality items. That said, our customer base is highly varied and we see people of all ages and backgrounds and interests come in.
How do you display your one we made earlier necklaces?
We use them as wall art! We have hung them all over our white walls on clear hooks so they look like they’re floating. People love them! We have some in the window and they always bring people in the shop.
Can you tell us a little about your neighbourhood and recommend a few places for us to visit?
The “West End” neighborhood is the center of all happenings in Portland. Use the Ace Hotel as your center point and explore 4 blocks in every direction to find the best of what Portland has to offer. (We’re just a block away from the Ace). Get a coffee at Courier, a slice at Sizzle Pie and make sure you have at least 2-3 hours to dig into Powell’s Books.