If you’ve been walking the streets of downtown Portland, you’ve probably noticed a new boutique just off W. Burnside, nestled between Solestruck and Yo!Vintage, MOJAVE. Part LA cool girl, part PDX hipster and part Southwest cowgirl, the mix of clothing and accessories in Mojave is a new and refreshing look at local fashion. The owner Chelsea Layton is a homie of ours and we went in to the new shop to look around, ask some questions, and find out what Mojave is all about.
The Incorporated: Why MOJAVE?Chelsea Layton: I was born and raised in the Mojave desert so its a huge part of what inspires me and my personal style.
TI: Who is Mojave’s ideal customer?CL: The Mojave girl craves to bold, she's fierce, zany, a roamer and seeker gypsy wanderer. Her spirit is reflected by her carefree style. She's wild and has the closet to match!
TI: How did you get into retail?CL: I actually started working in a frienda store back home in Palm Springs when I was 15, and haven't really stopped since then. I eventually relocated to LA and attended The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, and graduated with a degree in merchandise product development. I continued working retail for various boutiques in downtown LA and interning at an apparel manufacturing company. Testing out all the different avenues was awesome because I was able to figure out I wanted to be more on the buying side.
TI: Why did you choose PDX?CL: To be honest Portland was sort of an accident for me and for the store. It ended up being the best kind of accident though! I moved here on a whim with a friend last year without the intentions of opening shop here, but PDX has captivated me, made me feel at home and want to set down roots. I saw a market here and how supportive the Portland community is of local businesses, and was truly inspired. I couldn't be happier here.
TI: What is your favorite piece that you sell?CL: AHH! It’s so hard to choose just one! I would have to say the infamous mint green faux leather jacket. It’s different, and I have never seen anything quite like it before. It’s the perfect quirky twist to any outfit! (Author’s note: I have seen this mint leather jacket in action before, and it’s DOPE)
TI: What is your favorite thing to do in PDX?CL: I need to be outside as much as possible, and I’m constantly going on adventures. Watching trains, being by the river, climbing, and just being with my buds!
TI: Why did you choose this spot for Mojave?CL: I don't think there would have been a better location for Mojave to open! I love my neighbors! Truly I feel lucky to be involved in this retail project and be next to the creatives in the building.
TI: Where else do you shop?CL: I am an avid online shopper shoe junkie, notorious for tumbling my days away and searching for gems on the inter-webs! I frequent Sole Struck which is convenient because we are neighbors! I also love Animal Traffic they always have a great selection of south western style vintage and I have a sweet spot for south western stuff!
TI: What is the future for Mojave?CL: We are working on fully launching our website at the moment. Shopmojave.net within the month everything should be up and shoppable!
TI: Are you working on any projects other than retail?CL: I have a couple things in the works, I may or may not be working on my own clothing line ;] It’s in the very early stages, so stay tuned!
Check out Mojave on social media:
Mojave415 SW 13th AvePortland, OR 97205