Just a few blocks away from where I live, along Sandy Blvd. in the Hollywood District of Portland lays the latest vintage shop to open up in the Rose City – Hollywood Babylon. There, owners Brigid and Peter offer up a wide array of vintage clothing that is also interspersed with items from local indie designers at pretty gosh darn affordable prices! And did I mention they also have a pinball machine you can play – and with a certain score you can earn a few bucks off your purchase!
“It’s always been a dream to open up a vintage shop,” says Brigid, who worked in the fashion industry with designers prior to opening up shop, “I’ve collected vintage clothing for 20 years…having this store seemed like a natural progression.” Peter is of a similar state, “I collected for years too,” he shared. As for business side of things, he says “the best thing you can be is your own boss.” When asked what their favorite part of running their store was Brigid responded by saying, “My favorite thing is seeing things go to a good home,” and added that the person-to-person interaction (as opposed to selling online) is a lot of fun. “Coming to work is exciting,” Peter shared, “when you’re having fun, it makes the work day a lot different.”
Shopping vintage can add a lot to a persons wardrobe, and their community, Brigid says of why people should shop vintage. “I don’t like to look like everyone else…vintage clothing allows people to create their own style,” Brigid shared, not to mention the fact that “the quality is so much better; the fabric, the sewing…they don’t make things like the used to.” Additionally, shopping vintage is a small way to help out, “it’s great supporting your community when you shop locally…it’s an opportunity to effect where you live,” says Brigid.
The shop also boats jewelry made from local designers, “It’s also about supporting the community and local artists,” says Peter of the various items which include feather earrings to tiny terrariums that you can wear around your neck! Peter also offers up t-shirt redesigns – large t-shirts that he has cut and resewed to offer up a unique style opportunity for customers. Currently the store is offering art done by local tattoo artists, like the Aqua Net piece in the image above.
Hollywood Babylon offers up both mens and womens clothing, and includes a great footwear selection. “I’m really trying to build up the mens section, but it’s difficult,” Peter shared. Brigid agrees, “It’s difficult because men wore things out.”
Located at 4512 NE Sandy, Hollywood Babylon is open Tuesday through Saturday, 12:00 to 7:00 and Sunday, 12:00 to 5:00. Learn more on their Facebook page.