Portland, Oregon: Palace
Words & Photographs by Joanna Han
Be careful not to wander into Palace without a good hour to spare and a pocketful of change to spend.
In 2009, Charlotte Reich was living across the street from an empty space off Belmont Street that was begging for some life. “I told myself, no, you are not opening a shop—but the idea of doing something completely different from anything I’d done before ended up being too enticing.” And with that, she opened Palace in January 2010.
The racks, organized ever-so-charmingly in color order, are packed with a mix of vintage dresses from the ’20s, Italian wool sweaters from the ’50s, South American textiles and Navajo accessories, all presented alongside new labels such as Fog Linen, Hansel from Basel, Made on the Moon and Fjällräven. “I love vintage, but I also like modern pieces that have one foot in the past and one foot in the future. I always give vintage and modern the same amount of love.”
Scattered around the rest of the pleasantly crowded shop are baskets of socks in every pattern and color, bowls of Japanese Washi tape, stacks of candles from France, rows of backpacks from Sweden, a case of big sunglasses from Australia and pyramids of locally made soaps and fragrances. You’ll eventually convince yourself that you simply can’t do without the cute awkwardly shaped glazed ceramic spoon or a striped chambray linen cloth napkin in blue and gray, and red.
“One of the interesting things about owning a shop is that it’s an extension of you, and therefore evolves with you,” she says. “A couple years ago I started dying vintage T-shirts. I take plain thin white tees then hand-dye and distress them. We sell them at the shop under our in-house label, Prism Factory, and they’ve become some of our most popular products.” Charlotte also began organizing pop-up shop events with other similarly minded businesses in the city. “It’s great to feel the love and support within the community and see the connection between our wares.” Charlotte plays with lots of other ideas for her shop, but for now she’s “quite happy with it being a little shop in Southeast Portland.” We’re happy, too.
828 SE 34th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97214