Monday, January 24, 2011

Portland DIY Resources Adventure

I can't believe how many stores there are in this town offering great finds and deals to the small businessperson like myself. Tools, supplies, materials, displays, packaging, furniture, munchies, you name it! There is a store in town that sells it - and they do so with such character :)

I took my friend Amy on an adventure last week... Amy rents studio space with me at Aquila and is relatively new to town, I wanted to enjoy the afternoon with her and show her some of these great stores in Portland that are so useful to her crafty business.

Here was our itinerary:
  1. Winks Hardware
  2. City Liquidators
  3. Bunk (sandwiches)
  4. Portland Store Fixtures
  5. Pitman Restaurant Supply Store
  6. Harbor Freight

View Useful Stores in PDX in a larger map

As you can see the tour centered around one particular area of Portland, the SE waterfront area, cuz its awesome and packed with businesses that let their customers wander warehouses full of stuff.

I took Amy to Wink's first. I love me some W.C. Winks Hardware. Its a manly place, a quality hardware store, and its been in Portland since 1909. I love that you take a deli number to get your purchases. They seem to specialize in stocking wire of all types. This is very useful to me as a glass artist.

Then we continued on down the street to City Liquidators. We wandered every floor of both buildings. Its been a while since I've done this - this picture is from one of the warehouses, there is an entire floor of office chairs, we couldn't find the light so it was sorta dark...
photos courtesy of Amy - she was posting pictures of our silliness via her funphone on Facebook while we wandered warehouses!

After 6 floors of seating options, kitchen supplies, tools, office gear, warrior helmets, lighting and file cabinets, we decided it was time to eat. In need of fuel we headed over to Bunk for their famous sandwiches - delicious.

this is a picture of Amy at City Liquidator. Seriously you never know what you might find in this place!

Next was Portland Store Fixtures. This place is fabulous - and - they were having their first ever complete warehouse sale! It was pretty crazy, everything was on sale. Both Amy and I found some things we had to purchase. Everything in the warehouses was price-tagged in prep for the sale, and the labels were cracking me up. I bought this one display mostly because I loved its label, and I can use it to dispay a little mobile :) "Tall Shiney Thing".
We got a tour of all 3 buildings. They have renovated a new space down there right around SE 3rd and Main to rent to artists. Spaces are starting at a flat rate of $100 a month and there are larger spaces as well. Its a wonderful funky space - go ask them about it if this sounds interesting!

Continuing down the street we visited Pitman's Restaurant Supply - very useful place for the glass artist looking to buy inexpensive stainless steel things. They have both used and new kitchen supplies.

Our last stop was Harbor Freight on the way back up to the shop. This place is just amazing. Its like the dollar store for men. Cheap tools. You buy what you pay for, so yes, some of it is total crap, but its all cheap! And they have really useful stuff in there. Both Amy and I found a handful of things that we had to buy. I always seem to be drawn to silly things there... I found this kit from my little friend Micah:

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