Every now and then, we find a place that completely captures our hearts. Little Things—a tiny jewelry and art spot tucked behind a lilac storefront in NW Portland—is one of those places. Though the space is small, it’s filled to the brim with incredible treasures from 60 artists. (Seriously, every time we turned around, we found something else we wanted to take home with us.) With the exception of some bracelets by one LA artist, all of the items in the store are made locally. And even more impressive? Owner Andrea Angell has a personal relationship with each and every one of the artists (she considers them all close friends—we love that).
Lucky for you, Little Things is throwing a First Thursday celebration tonight from 6-9PM. Eat a little, drink a little, and check out the prints of featured artist of the month, April Black!
E+E: How do you go about selecting artists to feature in the store?
Andrea Angell: It goes both ways; people approach me and I approach them. It’s curated, so I try to get things that tie in with the lines I already have. I’m also drawn to things I don’t see everyday; I like to find that underdog and guide them through the advertising and marketing side and help them get established in Portland.
E+E: When did you first open the store?
AA: I opened it in November 2010, so I’ve had it for a little over two years now. Sometimes it’s really hard, but it makes other people really happy, and that’s what I love about it. I love it when people to come in, try things on and just have a good time. I try to interact with everyone that comes through the door and let them know about the different artists, because each piece has a different story. I really think of this store a foster home for the pieces; I’m just trying to find them good homes. When I make a sale, it makes me really happy to have someone else be excited about and help out a fellow artist.
E+E: Tell us a little bit more about your own line, Travelust Jewelry.
AA: Travelust is kind of my side project. I use vintage atlases, stamps, maps and dictionary pieces. I do a lot of custom work, so pretty much you could say “I want Madrid or London or Paris” and I’d cut them out for you and a few days later, you’d have a necklace. It’s really nice because they’re so personal; it’s a really great gift for somebody. People always have that special place in their heart, whether it’s a hometown or a place they fell in love, so it’s really fun for them to showcase that.
E+E: Do you think you’ll stay in this location?
AA: It’s a really small space and I’d love to expand more and sell more clothes, so I’m looking for bigger spaces in the NW. Nothing’s really caught my eye yet, but when it’s right it will happen. I mean, that’s how this all began; everything kind of fell together, so I’m just waiting for that next step. I’ll probably still keep this small space, though, because I think it’s so cute! It’s nice and cozy—perfect for jewelry, but if I were to do anything else in here, it would burst at the seams I’m pretty sure.
1720 NW Lovejoy #102
Portland, OR 97209
Written by: Lauren Kodiak
Photo courtesy of Little Things.