YO! has become synonymous with all things cute and fun in Portland. Sarah Radcliffe has done it again with a new North West location. With a slightly different focus, after the birth of her son Finn, she decided to put a emphasis on children’s clothing and lifestyle goods. She has hit it right on the nose with her knack for evoking playfulness while keeping function and design in the foreground. The store has beautiful light, sky high ceilings and is full of adorable kids clothes, a well curated selection of home goods, great gifts for anyone, and stocked full of fun letter press and art.
Sarah had Yo! Vintage located in local architecture firm Sky Lab’s Black Box building that was THE spot to pick up the perfect vintage piece that you had dreamt of but didn't quite know what it was. Sarah’s eye is impeccable, a true aficionado of vintage, lucky for all of us she still has a fab selection of her finds in the new North West location and online. Sarah is also busy with Sundaze Collective, the pop up Market convenes monthly at the Ace Cleaners and brings together artist and designers to sell their goods. A guaranteed one stop shop for that something special!
Way to go YO!
1. Tell us about Yo! (How long have you been open, where is it, etc.)
We've been open in our new location for about 3 months now and we love our new spot - we're tucked away a little NW neighborhood (next to the rad coffee shop Commissary and The Athletic) and I love our little community. We have a lot of different customers coming in to shop - grandmas, creatives, new mums, basically women of all ages who seem to appreciate our style and shop and keep popping back in to see what's new. I used to own a vintage shop downtown for 3 years called Yo Vintage! and we met lots of tourists whereas here we seem to have a lot of familiar faces which we love.
2. What made you decide to open a store front?
I've been in business for 5 years, first online then a store front, then back online ( when I had my son) then back to a store front! I like the two in tandem - I think it works to have both, people browse online then like to come and have a look at the products in a store - try before you buy!
I like curating a space, meeting new faces, building up a community and 'coming to work'. I feel like I'm always changing things up, exploring new lines and seeing what works and doesn't work in a store.
3. What is the concept behind the store?
It's womens, kids and lifestyle - a little bit of who I am now and who my customer is; a store for you, for your home, your bff and your kids. We have a little of everything that I love and that is tried and tested by me, my son, my friends and my family. We have lots of amazing European lines next to Portland based brands, a good mix!
4. How did you come up with the name Yo! ?
Well, as mentioned before I had a shop called Yo Vintage! and I wanted to keep the Yo! element of it. We tried lots of different variations but I liked using the word Store - so we are now The Yo! Store, but people just call us Yo! (and our website is yoportland.com so I get it's a little confusing!)
5. How do you find designers you showcase in your shop?
I did some traveling last year to some kids trade shows in NYC and Paris and that helped me meet the makers, explore new brands. My sister used to have a shop in England so helped me with some brands she loved (and also flew out here to help me set up this one, so thank you Ali)!
I also still carry some brands I used to carry from my last store but I think it helps to keep things fresh so I will be doing some more traveling this year to find some more great brands.
6. What are your 3 favorite things in the store?
I love our kids line obviously - the fabrics are so soft and I love all the fun prints, basically things I want to wear in my size! We have some amazing statement earrings by Seaworthy which are killer, the line keeps getting better and better and lastly our vintage selection, my first love, lots of great unique pieces.
7. Who inspires your style?
I feel like my style has got incredibly lazy lately, I wear converse daily! I feel like I need a new style, help!
8. Where are your favorite places to shop?
I really like Totokaelo (sale), here in Portland - work / shop - my cute neighbor - selling the best plants, Johan for the best wool hats, Palace for everything, Red Light + House of Vintage + I am that Shop for killer vintage and of course Frances May for premium! Oh! and Sundaze Collective once a month where it has all the best Portland creatives selling their treasures.