A unique vintage shop called 'Sputnik Variety' has settled in at 1626 S.E. Duke St, just west of Westmoreland True Value Hardware, and facing the south side of QFC - in a space which, a few years ago, served as home to a private shipping service.
Shop owner Victoria Lloyd has worked at retail in several locations in Colorado and Hawaii, but moved to Portland four years ago. Her interest in quirky items from the '60's and '70's led her to open an outlet featuring vintage clothing, furniture, and oddities from the historic years of America's entry into the Space Race.
'I chose the name 'Sputnik Variety' as a symbol of the period where much of my stock originated,' explains Lloyd. 'Items here consist of about 1/3 clothing and accessories, 1/3 furniture, and 1/3 'miscellaneous', which includes such things as an old doctor's bag, a hairdryer with an extendable hood, and lots of '70's wall décor.'
'Sputnik' has a good supply of unusual shoes, funky clothing and jewelry. A dressing room in the back allows customers to try on items for fit and style. 'Whatever grabs my eye as being quirky, fun, or vintage is what I add to my collection here,' says Lloyd. 'Currently I'm looking for unusual planters and garden art, although I'm not taking consignments at this time.'
The entry of this inviting street-level shop is framed by colorful pansies and garden art. Since opening last November, Sputnik has attracted a wide range of customers of different ages and genders.
'The older folks who come in recognize some of these items as things they've used in the past, while the 20-something shoppers view it as charming kitsch,' comments Lloyd. 'You never know what everyday items will become desirable 30 years down the road.'
'Sputnik Variety' is currently open Thursday through Sunday from noon until 5 pm. You can also phone 503/233-3049 for information.