Dino and Maya graciously welcomed us into Lowell, their North Portland store front. Lowell carries the best selection of pottery, home accessories, jewelry and oddities. Hailing from Tucson, Arizona, Maya and Dino beautifully curate a selection of antique, vintage, and contemporary work, with a nostalgic nod toward the Southwest. Lowell feels comfortable, even when you come in for the first time, it already feels familiar. Maya has a fantastic line of simple and versatile clothing called Samuels, we love her two toned raw silk tank. Dino makes hand built ceramic pieces, and designed the signage for the store. We love that Maya and Dino’s talents are so diversified and that they have found the perfect way to combine their passions into a collaborative storefront. From the coffee that they offered us, to letting us interact with the merchandise and space, it all just felt right. Enjoy the photos from our visit with Lowell and interview with Maya and Dino!
1. Tell us about Lowell!
We opened LOWELL in December of 2011, in the industrial district of the Eliot neighborhood.
We specialize in handmade, unusual, and one-of-a-kind items that range from antique to contemporary, with a nod to our background+history growing up in the Southwest. The contemporary work we carry is mostly one-of-a-kind pieces that are not available in other shops in Portland, and we also work with small contemporary lines to develop custom products specifically for the shop.
2. What made you decide to open a store front?
Opening a shop has always been a long term plan for us. We felt it was the right time and place, and so we went for it.
3. How did you come up with the name Lowell?
Names are tough. We wanted something that wasn’t evocative of a particular thing, unbranded if you will… and we kept coming back to Lowell, which was Maya’s maternal grandfather’s name.
4. How do you find designers you showcase in your shop?
A lot of them are friends, or friends of friends. We don’t have a specific process but we follow our personal taste in everything we choose.
5. What are your 3 favorite things in the store?
that’s hard to narrow down, so we’ll just share three things that are new this week which we’re excited about:
folding brass and iron combs by Angie Terry
new colors in the custom wallets made for us by Reid Elrod
primitive Raku fired pinch-pots by Carly Mandel
6. What’s a funny shop story you have?
Every day is funny, we say a lot of weird things to people, we try not to censor ourselves.
7. Who inspires your style?
We’re very influenced by our surroundings, we tend to get really focused/obsessed with an area of interest and that always leads to new discoveries.
8. Tell us two truths and a lie.
Dino has written many letters to Doritos trying to get them to bring back Flaming Hot Doritos.
We have gray haired wigs underneath our counter.
We just finished writing a book of jokes titled LOLOWELL which will be available in May.
9. Where is your favorite place to shop?
Monograph Bookwerks. They have an incredible selection of art books and objects.