We stopped by Emily Bolles studio in the Towne Storage Building during a photoshoot for the Sturnelle Collection. Bolles’ new online vintage site sources quality vintage from around the Portland area. The new product was shot by photographer Amanda Smith with model Abby Auck. We are loving that vintage is becoming a bigger part of peoples everyday wardrobe, and the idea that something quality and current doesn’t have to come with a big or new price tag! Enjoy some behind the scenes photos of the shoot, and don’t forget to check out the Sturnelle Collection!
1. Why Portland? What was it that drew you to Portland or has kept you here?
I came to the pacific northwest when I was 18 years old. I have not been able to leave since. I have traveled the world and made attempts to move back to my native land of the Midwest...but there is something about the support and open-minded nature of this community that I cannot leave behind. I have worn many hats here-from being a classroom teacher, to a waitress to now a vintage seller and stylist. The forgiving/accepting nature of this city has made it possible for to find the hat that fits the best. I am thankful for that.
2. What are your favorite things happening in Portland (design or otherwise)?
I feel like Portland is always surprising me with new and exciting things design-wise. Whether it's a store, pop-up shop or restaurant...I think we are ahead of the game in terms of design. I like that creatives in Portland embrace the natural beauty of their surroundings and incorporate it into their designs.
3. How did your brand start?
That's an interesting story. It was actually initially out of pure desperation. I had quit my job hosting in a restaurant and also quit classroom teaching at the same time. I started selling my vintage wardrobe online in order to generate revenue. Then I started doing photo shoots with my friends and buying with the intention to sell. Eventually I started doing events and landed a pop-up shop at a friend's salon. It's been a little over a year and I am very pleased to see how far it's come. I actually never saw this in my future, but it feels amazing and scary and makes me wake every morning with a fire and direction I have never experienced.
4. What has been your biggest obstacle?
Myself. I am extremely hard on myself and am a bit of a perfectionist. I know I am not the only one who feels that way, so at least I have that to comfort me.
5. Who is your style icon(s)?
Leandra Medine from Man Repeller is a serious badass. I envy her honesty and value her humor. Also, I think a lot of my style is influenced by my mother. She was always into red lipstick and fur and has a very Parisian style, which is totally my thing.
6. What are your favorite things about Portland?
There are so many things. The tops are: GOOD food and drink, real friends and strong sense of community. I like the open-minded mentality here...
7. What neighborhood describes your style the best?
I think the neighborhood you live in tends to exemplify your style. I live in the industrial area around Burnside, where there are a lot of creative things happening and a small community of creative people hustling extremely hard. I am not sure how that translates into a specific style, but it's my life right now.
8. Your favorite thing about your workspace?
I like the simplicity of the studio, and sharing it with other talented people. I love my neighbors down the hall :) The Towne building is old and has a lot of unique history. I tend to gravitate towards that kind of environment.
9. Tell us two truths and a lie!
I was an extreme dork/nerd when I was a child (still am)
I love black and velvet-together or separately.
I work out all the time.
10. 5 things you can’t live without.
Nature (especially of the northwest variety)
Quality food and wine
World travel/vision quests
My long brown vintage backstock wool coat from a store in Montmartre.