There is a special place in Portland tucked away in the North waterfront industrial district filled with the most amazing selection of curated goods. With a vibe that will blow you away, it feels so comfortable you will feel right at home, the goods are selected in a way that make each pretty thing feel like it has a place and purpose in the midst of a Mecca of housewares, accessories, textiles and furniture. This place’s name is Beam & Anchor and it comes with our highest recommendation to shop and embrace one of the most perfect retail environments we have experienced. Besides the magical retail experience there are studios located above the shop that house some of our favorite Portland makers; MAAK Lab, Wood & Faulk, Revive Designs, Earthbound Industries and Phloem Studio. Beam & Anchor was founded on the basis that it would embrace and support a community of makers both locally and internationally, the store has followed through on that promise and done a phenomenal job of thoughtfully carrying an astonishing collection of skilled makers. Enjoy photos of the store as well as the great interview with co-founder Jocelyn Rahm.
1. Tell us about Beam & Anchor!
We have been open for just over 2 years and we're over on Interstate Blvd. just north of Widmer brewery.
2. What made you decide to open a store front?
We were both closet creatives for years and years and when you ignore those impulses for too long they tend to get louder and louder until you can't take it anymore and have to do something about it. I desperately needed to leave my corporate job and Robert was burnt out from being a therapist. We had a carpe diem moment (or year as it were) and decided, what the hell, life is just too short to not pursue a dream. We had always fantasized about our ideal retail space and with such a thriving creative community to tap into we decided to go for it.
3. What is the concept behind the store?
The first thing we were really passionate about was building a community of like-minded creatives with the hope that we could foster collaboration, friendship and a supportive and lovely environment to work. That concept iterated into having a retail space to sell goods that were made right on location and by other makers that we resonated with. Our main goal with the retail space was to make it more experiential than the average retail environment and creating synergy between the making and selling was one of the ways we wanted to go about creating that experience for people.
4. How did you come up with the name Beam & Anchor?
We had a Mast Brothers chocolate wrapper hanging on our inspiration board with an anchor pattern and we loved the way it looked and liked the word too. We especially liked the idea that beyond being a functional object, it also means a thing or person that can be depended on for support and stability. The word beam had a similar dual meaning that we thought complimented the word, anchor. We also just liked the way they sounded together. It felt right so we went with it.
5. How do you find designers you showcase in your shop?
It was pretty easy to find local designers because we had been paying attention and we got lots of rec's through word of mouth. Then it was a combo of going to cities and checking out the creative scene, following blogs and researching concepts we liked and then identifying who was making them. For instance, we've been looking for someone who makes cool brooms and we just found a guy that's going to start making some awesome custom ones for us. We also have lots of talent that comes directly to us, which is great.
6. What are your 3 favorite things in the store?
Wow - that's impossible to answer. It's always rotating but we love the faceted wood planters by John Sardari - they're really exquisite. We just got a bunch of new stuff in from Lilith Rockett - we adore her work. And then because they're part of our work family and make amazing stuff, we're somewhat partial to what comes from upstairs from Ben of Phloem Studio, Matt of Wood & Faulk and Nori of Maak Lab.
7. What’s a funny shop story you have?
Currie and Patrick (our amazing collaborative partners) have a dog named Greta who used to hang with us at the shop quite a bit. One time she was upstairs in the studios and decided to pee which leaked down into the shop and made a nasty mess. C&P think twice about bringing her around now.
8. Who inspires your style?
I would say were less inspired by singular individuals and more inspired by ideas, concepts and feelings. We are inspired by true warmth in people and spaces, the gorgeous brutality and unrelenting resilience of nature, objects and people that resonate deeply because of their histories, what they've been through and the wisdom and texture gleaned along the way.
9. Tell us two truths and a lie.
One of us dated a TV actor in college.
Early in our relationship, we took a year off to explore Asia.
We have matching sun and moon tattoos in the exact same place.
10. Where are your favorite places to shop?
All the wonderful vintage shops scattered throughout the PNW
Alameda Antique Fair - we've been hitting that spot up on the regular for over 12 years
The lovely farmer's markets sprinkled throughout Portland in the sunny months