Store Visit: Milk Milk Lemonade

Milk Milk Lemonade store is located in inner southeast Portland and serves as the home to OLO fragrance. Perfumer Heather Sielaff started OLO five years ago and has grown her line of beautifully thoughtful scents to become well known around the globe. Heather and her Husband Jonathan Sielaff collaborated on the storefront Milk Milk Lemonade to create a wonderfully curated space with the full OLO line featured as well as sell other fantastic lines of home accessories, lovely personal care items, art and a great selection of teas and matcha. Jonathan and Heather transformed an old bike shop into what is now a peaceful and stunningly designed storefront and studio for OLO. The two worked closely with the talented Matthew Philip Williams on the build out, the collaboration results are some shockingly good-looking retail fixtures and displays. In addition to OLO Heather and Jonathan have brought in some stellar brands like Dream Collective, Better Late Than Never, Hazel Cox, Erica Weiner, No. Studio and Morihata. Milk Milk Lemonade is a space that would feel special anywhere and we are certainly glad it’s here in Portland! Enjoy the interview with Heather and Jonathan as well as the slide show of Milk Milk Lemonade. Oh, and a peak of their amazing apartment located right above the store!

1. Tell us about Milk Milk Lemonade! (How long have you been open, where is it, etc.)

HS: We opened the 1407 SE Belmont location in July 2014. Milk Milk Lemonade is our OLO showroom/work studio. We sell OLO fragrances, incense and body products along with some of our favorite things from around the world.

2. What made you decide to open a storefront?

HS: I was walking to the post office one morning and I saw the space for rent. I wasn’t really looking for a new work studio but this place just seemed too perfect. Jonathan and I talked it over and decided it would be a good opportunity to expand the business.

JS: At that point it made sense for me to join Heather full-time. We work really well together and love new challenges.

3. What is the concept behind the store?

HS: We wanted to put a focus on scent and anything to do with skin. The goal was to sell beautiful things that can be a part of every day ritual but to present it in a way that’s light hearted and fun.

JS: It was important to us that the overall design reflect those elements: Minimal and modern but still warm and inviting, tasteful but with a sense of humor.

4. How did you come up with the name Milk Milk Lemonade?

HS: I am plagued with earworms. The Smurf theme song and Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer” are always swimming around in my head. Jonathan and I were talking about what to call the store one day, just throwing ideas at each other. I knew the name had to be three words and could not have an ampersand but that was the only criteria I had laid out. The rhyme “Milk Milk Lemonade” happened to be on full rotation in my noggin and I jokingly said we should just call the store that. I thought more about it and figured people that knew the rhyme would find it amusing and people that didn’t know would just find it a touch twee. We thought it was a super funny name so we just went for it.

JS: We're just waiting for someone to open a fudge shop around the corner.

5. How do you find designers you showcase in your shop?

HS: Some of the designers we feature have their own stores and sell OLO, like Erica Weiner and Dream Collective. A lot of the jewelry lines we carry are designers I’ve admired for years.

JS: So many of our friends make cool shit. Although we have things from all over the world, it feels like our own community is represented as well, but in a way that is distinctive to our shop.

6. What are your 3 favorite things in the store?

HS: (1) The wall hanging by Anna Korte. (2) OLO Fragrance. Duh. (3) Binchotan Facial Cleansing Mask

JS: That's hard to narrow down, but three things off the top of my head: (1) The "smell table" in the middle of the room. (2) Lilith Rockett's teaware. (3) The art/work shirt we made with Portland Garment Factory.

7. What’s a funny shop story you have?

HS: This happened right in front of the shop but I think it counts. A guy and his little boy were walking by. The kid was around 6yrs old. I heard him say, “Everybody strawberry blows!” quite loudly. He was reading the Anthony Tortorici poster we have hanging. The strawberry is illustrated but the kid verbalized the image. I thought he might get in trouble but his dad just laughed. Or, just all the times I’ve heard people say, “Boobs” when they walk by the boob bag window display

8. Who inspires your style?

HS: Oil and laziness inspire my style. I am messy so it easier to wear all black, the oils stains don’t show as much.

JS: It varies all the time. Lately I've been really into the outfits on that CW sci-fi show The 100.

9. Tell us two truths and a lie.

HS: I dreamed the name for OLO.
I don’t care for cats.
My papa has called me “Jackass” for as long as I can remember.

JS: I've hunted octopus with a metal rod from the back of a refrigerator.
I love reality television.
Algae from the Mekong river is actually quite delicious when prepared correctly.

10. Where are your favorite places to shop?

HS: Check out my Stockists list on the website for my complete shopping guide. I only sell OLO in stores I like or would like to shop in. I am also really into shopping in drugstores. I find myself drawn to the arm brace and splint section. I’m not sure what that means.

JS: I second the stockists list. I also really love Lowell and have bouts of addiction to thrift/vintage stores.