Our vendor spotlight is a new series on Something Borrowed Portland that will feature local vendors, their insights, stories and inspiration. Kickstarting the new series is a boutique near and dear to my heart, the Salty Teacup. Karen was hugely instrumental in making our wedding unforgettable. From her craftiness in making my wedding dress, to my brooch bouquet and boutonniere, Karen is an amazingly talented woman and I absolutely adore her store.
What is a typical day for you?
Half the day spent running all over town looking for fantastic deals on great items to re-fill the teacup, getting inspiration, keeping up with what’s new & going on. Second half of the day is usually in the shop helping customers, evenings spent in the shop re-stocking, re-arranging and making new merchandise. The wee hours of the night are spent online sourcing & marketing and working on special orders.
What project, event or moment are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of making it past our two year anniversary & being able to help keep dollars flowing in our local community, thru buying materials locally to employing folks & spending as much as I make at my neighboring businesses.
What makes your work and/or the Salty Teacup unique?
The most unique part of my business is how much time and care goes into each & every item that comes into the shop. Frequently I will bring in a single item specifically tailored to one special customer. Everything I sell is either found, made, redesigned, repurposed & displayed by me. I use very few traditional wholesale resources for finished products so that I can keep the largest percentage of our merchandise unique &/or one of a kind.
What makes the Salty Teacup sustainable?
Our business is sustainable in the environmental sense in that we recycle nearly everything. Used cardboard & paper get’s recycled or repurposed into new packaging or tags, bubble wrap is recycled from our neighbor’s shipments, anything organic is carted home and added to our composter, fabric scraps are all saved and used for smaller & smaller projects. Over 50% of our merchandise was previously owned or has been upcycled from vintage components. We do not own a car so take mass transit, bike or ride share with friends and neighbors to bring all the items we source in to the shop.
Name one of your favorite vendor sources that you couldn’t do without.
Emerald Petals, supplies all our plants & her flowers make me smile. Besides she is an eco-conscious florist.
Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration is everywhere.
Describe your typical client:
Our ideal client is someone that appreciates whimsy, eclectic collections & wants to feel like a wee child that cherishes their belongings with wonder & awe.