Torys Place answers call for local fashion option
Survey shows most in Forest Grove travel elsewhere to buy clothing
Women looking for designer clothes have a new option in Forest Grove.
Resident Victoria Webster opened Torys Place Friday, March 7, at 2015 19th Ave., where she sells secondhand designer womens clothes from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.
Ive worked at Nordstom cut my teeth on it in the 90s so I know labels, said Webster, who works at WillaKenzie Estate Winery in Carlton the rest of the week.
More than 20 people showed up during the stores first two days, she said, with nearly 30 more this week, including a couple repeat customers. The stores email list added 31 addresses.
I can see right now theres going to be a demand to stay open later and increase days that are open, said Webster, who has already added Thursdays to what started as a Friday-Saturday schedule.
She jokes that she created the store out of necessity for herself. There was nowhere close by to shop like this. I had to go into Portland.
Webster isnt alone in that feeling. At Forest Groves annual town meeting last month, 54 percent of the attendees said they shop mostly elsewhere.
And more retail in the community got the second-highest ranking (18 percent) on a list of eight important issues facing Forest Grove, with some people mentioning clothing stores in particular during small group discussions.
Torys Place will be the third clothing store in Forest Grove.
Sweet Pea Treasures on Main Street, adjacent to Connies Corner Cafe, offers a wide range of brands, both new and used.
Lola Store, on the south side of Ballad Towne Square, offers mostly secondhand clothes for both women and children, according to owner Dilcia Duarte.
Unlike these stores and Goodwill, however, Torys Place specializes in high-end items.
Her customers are paying partly for the hours they save by not having to wade through racks of non-designer clothing at less-discriminate secondhand stores, she said.
Ive already gone and searched the (Portland) area for the designer things that are from Nordstroms and Macys, said Webster, who also buys like-new clothing from women updating their closets, although that requires an appointment.
In Cornelius, WalMart and Fred Meyer offer clothing, though not with a high-end focus.
Originally from Gresham, Webster has wanted to open such a store since she was in college, but a job took her to Seattle, then California for 23 years. When a new relationship brought her to Forest Grove a year and a half ago, she decided it was finally time.
Webster said she has always shopped resale for great prices on designer items. And youre reusing things instead of just throwing them away, she said. You can get a lot of unique things resale.
At her own store, she sells Juicy Couture, Coach, Ann Taylor, JCrew, Rock & Republic, Joes Jeans and Lucky Brand, to name a few.
Im selective about what I have, said Webster. Everythings in new or like-new condition. Its all ready to go.
Most of her current inventory comes from a high-end resale shop in Sacramento, Calif., which had to downsize. Webster a loyal patron bought much of its stock and carted it up to Oregon, but says she hunts for items all along the West Coast.
In a few months, she said, shed like to use her experience working for nonprofits to get involved with local charities, donating a percentage of sales to good causes.
Her store is already something of a good cause decorated with nearly all repurposed materials. Doors from West Tuality Habitat for Humanity Restore have been made into shelves. Goodwill mirrors have been spruced up to look mod. She also uses only recycled bags for customers purchases.
Recycling is always in fashion, Webster said.
For more information, call Webster at 503-858-0635, send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit torysplace.com.