The entrance sticks, but eventually gives way. There is an immediate soothing smell of craft, beeswax, paint, and ink. The wooden floorboards creak. There are brightly colored candy skull molds, pumpkin paper cut outs and black cat stamps.
“They change [the decorations] with each holiday and season,” a shopper said. “Isn’t it fun?”
This is Collage, a classroom and art supply store located on Alberta Street in Portland Oregon. First-time shoppers aren’t the only ones that slow their pace in fear of missing something.
Everyone in the store slows his or her pace. It is an “artist’s haven,” a shopper said.
Collage gets its inspiration for its themed decorations depending on the month. This month is Halloween. There are various jewelry-making supplies, everything from studs to earring clasps, to pendant holders, to bracelet charms. On the left side of the store are miniatures. There are also hundreds of decorative stamps in a cove.
There’s a room that is lit up and filled with people. The assistant manager, Darey Dubose, explained this room to me.
“It’s $5 Friday class night,” Dubose said. “On certain Friday nights from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. we have classes for $5.”
Collage has backrooms for kids crafts, side rooms for oil and acrylic paints, printmaking materials, beeswax, dyes and other materials for encaustic, a new craft in which a person can paint with wax.
“The miniature pencils [excite people]. People always say the same thing. “ ‘They’re so tiny, they’re so cute!’ ” Dubose said. “Both artists and crafters shop at Collage.”
Between the nooks and crannies of craft supplies and the decorations that pop up in the least expected places Collage feels cozy. Though the building creaks and the door handle sticks Collage attracts artists, crafters, tourists and all sorts of people.
“People often say, ‘I could live here,’” Dubose said.
Collage has two locations, one in Portland and the other one in Sellwood. The Portland Collage is located at 1639 NE Alberta St. in Portland Oregon, and can be reached at (503) 249-2190. The Portland Collage is open Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information visit http://www.collagepdx.com or ‘like’ their Facebook page.