Meet our newest Retailer, Field Trip Shop in Portland! Kara and her husband Steve have opened this shop. We connected on Instagram (the world's meeting place) and when we were on the West-coast recently we had to visit! One thing lead to the next, and now our products can be found within their beautiful shop.
See the shop and meet Kara! It has been a pleasure of ours getting to know her and visit the shop.
Hello! Tell us about Field Trip, and how it started?
It has been a dream of mine to open a shop for a long time and I think I got to a point where I was tired of wondering about it and decided to make it happen! I've always been in the design world and have been creative most of my life, so it felt natural to create a space that supports creativity, community and design. I worked for big companies for over a decade as an apparel designer and on the side would have my own projects, like an Etsy shop where I sold my own creations. I really appreciate the work that goes into handmade products and I want to see these artists supported. Field Trip is a space that not only offers these kinds of products for sale, but also has a workshop space where locals come teach their craft and that's where the real love and support come through!
As a new store in Portland, what do you feel sets Field Trip apart from the other stores?
I'm hoping to become more of an interactive space than just a retail store. Since we offer so many workshops I want people to feel like they can drop in and find something fun to learn. Or they can come chat about things they make and discuss how we can collaborate. The space also has a small gallery wall so that adds another element to supporting smaller artists. I like to think of Field Trip as a community space as much as it is a shop.
You desire to cultivate community in Field Trip, how do you see this happening already?
I've already been seeing this in my workshops. We have been getting such a great response already and I am watching people learn and chat with new friends and leave with a new skill, a beautiful craft and feeling happy. It really makes this all worth it.
What are your dreams for the store?
I feel really thankful because Ive already started to see my vision come to life. My dream was to bring people together and during this first month of workshops Ive already seen this in action and it makes me so happy! The space feels at its best when I've got 10+ people in the workshop area learning how to dye, chatting, connecting to new friends and also have people perusing the shop trying, examining, and interacting with all the products that are so well made. It has been really exciting!
What kind of design advice do you have?
Keep going! I think a lot of designers have a vision and many times that vision isn't actually the end result and it can be easy to get discouraged. The more designers I talk to, the more I see that design and creation really are a process. There are a lot of trial and errors along the road before you get to the place you want..
When we were in, we saw you had you kiddos with you, how is it being a small-business owner and also raising small children?
It has been a pretty smooth transition. Im still home with the kids during the week and take them to the shop when I need to get things done and they can do a craft. On the weekends my husband has the kids when I am at the shop and also evenings when I'm at the workshops. We get them excited and make them a part of the shop, which is also teaching them some good life lessons of responsibility and commitment etc. The hardest part is not having much family time, but I know this will change when they start school and for now we make sure to have breakfast and dinner together all week :)
Can you tell us more about running a business, what are some things you've learned so far?
I'm not sure I have much solid knowledge as of yet! What I do know that works best for me is to be kind. Im sure every business owner deals with some not so nice interactions, as I have already, and at the end of the day I just want to stay true to myself; which is to be a good person and to stay focused on my dream without letting other things get me down. I've also learned that I need to be conscious of letting things go at the end of the day so I can sleep!! Owning a business is a constant mental strain because there are always things that need to be done. So I've been meditating and writing to try and clear my head at the end of the day -- will keep you posted on that one ;)
www.shop-fieldtrip.com 3725 SE Division St Portland OR 97202