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Customer takes over the helm

New owner Nancy Minyard says she'll keep the eclectic mix at downtown shop
by: John Klicker, Nancy Minyard stands inside Second Options at 316 N. Main Ave., in Historic Downtown Gresham, on her first day as owner.

It is Nancy Minyard's first day as the owner of Second Options, a downtown Gresham retail shop, and the Texas-born Gresham woman is knee deep in nit-picky chores like paperwork and figuring out the security system, when the flowers - a bright bouquet from the building owner to say congratulations - arrive.

Minyard arranges the flowers on her counter and shakes her head with surprise.

'I can't believe he did that,' she says. 'These are so nice.'

Cheerful in their bold purple and yellow coats, the flowers blend in with the rest of Minyard's eclectic gift shop.

Nicole Carlon, the original Second Options owner, opened the store in April 2005. Located two doors down from the popular downtown Gresham hang-out Cafe Delirium, at 316 N. Main Ave., Second Options, with its 'I got this from my favorite great-aunt's attic - you know, the aunt who used to be a flapper/taxi driver/artist' type of décor, gained a number of loyal customers, including Minyard.

'I've always loved this store. I shopped here quite a bit … and one day, when I was down here, I heard that Nicole was thinking of selling,' Minyard says. 'I talked to my husband that night about buying it, and he said he thought it was a good idea.'

A former hair stylist with two grown children, Minyard needed something to occupy her mind and Second Options was a good fit.

The store's new owner says she'll keep the blend of unusual home/gift/clothing items, but will add more 'true vintage' instead of vintage reproductions.

Her daughter, Erica Strande, 20, whom Minyard teasingly calls 'an apparel specialist' will help find retro clothing and other vintage accessories for the shop.

Minyard has great expectations when it comes to downtown Gresham's retail center.

'I'm hoping this gets to be a lot more like Hawthorne Street … and I think we all need to stay open later, especially in the summer,' Minyard says.

She'll keep the store's name, Second Options, for at least a few months, to get customers used to the subtle changes. She's also going to keep the same hours - 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., but may stay open later through the summer months.

For more information on Second Options, call Minyard at 503-491-9404.