It's hard not to be impressed and obsessed with all the local boutiques. The talent and visual eye people have here is incredible. We get even more obsessed when they are lady owned + operated. When we first walked past Palace
, located off of SE Belmont, we just couldn't resist. We had to get the deets from Charlotte Reich, the head lady. Read on!
E+E: When did you open Palace and what inspired it?Charlotte Reich: Palace opened January 1st 2010. I had previously owned Rad Summer and before an Ebay shop. Looking back there were many things that pushed me in the direction of being a shop owner, although at the time I didn't see it. Growing up in Souther California where thrifting ruled until about 2000, I would spend my allowance at thrift shops. Later my friend Jen and I would try and sell all the stuff we found thrifting at a local High School's swap meet, but really we would just drink tons of coffee and smoke cigarettes while laying in the pile of clothes we were attempting to sell. Almost all of my jobs consisted of either coffee or vintage shops. I have worked in some really amazing as well as not so amazing vintage shops. I think Palace is a little of each place that I loved.
E+E: Everything in Palace is so well-curated: How do you decide on which pieces and products to feature?
CR: I try to think of Palace as a closet. Each closet, even though there may be those wild pieces that are kept from some long ago phase, or the item you hope to wear when you are your future You, there is still an underlying theme. There is a consistency, a sense of curation. At Palace I try to showcase natural
fibers, soft fabrics that are inviting to the touch. We carry a lot of linen, silk and cotton, but I also have a soft spot for rayon. As a shop owner you have to balance what it is you find beautiful and worth buying, with what your clientele is interested in. If I had it my way we would be a frump y linen clothing and import store!
E+E: Any funny/crazy/quirky stories about Palace? Or Palace customers?CR: In terms of clientele were are super blessed! The people that walk through the door at Palace have helped shape it into the shop it is. Everyone has been so supportive and giving - a lot of the lines we carry are recommendations from customers.
E+E: What's your favorite thing about Portland?
CR: My favorite thing about Portland would be the ladies. I have never lived anywhere where there is such a high percentage of women who are independent, creative and motivated. Coming here almost eight years ago and starting a small business has been such an amazing and life changing experience. Becoming friends with other ladies making the dreams real has made it even better.
828 SE 34th Avenue.
Portland, Oregon 97214