hot in the city

12 05 2010

when last you saw me, i was fleeing the shopaholics boutique in shame. BIG thank you btw to everyone who called that guy a douchebag and told me that they wouldn’t shop there! your support warms my black little heart. but onward… i still had like 20 minutes to burn before my dinner date, but needed to get my scorned ass out of there immediately. it just so happens that several of my sexiest lady friends were performing some burlesque at the recent sanctuary tattoo 10th anniversary party, and i thought it would be fun to get them saucy little good luck presents of some sort (which actually didn’t end up happening, but i did try!). but where does a girl go for saucy goods in this town that doesn’t also employ jizz moppers (i’m talking to you video expo) or carry bong parts (you too treasure chest)? the answer is nomia.

tucked up on the 2nd floor above a comfortable shoe store, you likely didn’t even know it was there (unless you’re in the habit of taking poorly lit stairways into the unknown).  but you should, because nomia is a super amazing woman-owned shop with a femme-centric approach porno and sex toys.  it’s white-glove clean, flatteringly lit, and laid out like a charming local bookstore- with the exception of the fact that the only genre is erotic. sure there are strap-ons and lube displays aplenty, but it’s very private (thus it’s 2nd floor location with no easily peepable windows), has women-only hours, and just feels comfortable, safe, and like a nice place to browse for all things rubber and vibrating. plus, they know what they’re talking about. there isn’t a question out there that will make them blush, and they’ve got resources and recommendations up yaz (pun intended).

i will spare both my mom and the other people who read my blog and actually have to look me in the eyes on occasion the details of what exactly i did or didn’t buy, but it’s irrelevant anyway. after my unceremonious dismissal from shopaholics boutique, it was so amazing to walk into a store that was warm, inviting, and cared about my needs. where the person behind the counter was more than happy to engage in a conversation with me, answer my questions, and even looked online for something i had asked about but they didn’t carry. and you know, i left that store with $22 worth of stuff i didn’t actually need (although i do firmly believe that good sex is an excellent investment), feeling good about my purchases and good about myself. my previous shame and anger had been equalized by good customer service. who knew? nomia FTW.





the cold shoulder.

10 05 2010

roughly 7 months ago (when this blog was just a wee baby), i wrote a little post about my deep love for consignment shops in the portland area. well, during that short time, yet another one has cropped up in the cavity where high-end old port used to live.  the shopaholics boutique is located on the corner of exchange and fore,  and i actually noticed the coming soon sign on their door a few months ago. i even took a photo of it (which i can’t post, but we’ll get to that in a minute)! buy you’re not missing much. they use A LOT of fuschia, and have somehow involved the eiffel tower in their logo in a way that confuses me very much (paris= classy?). but my disdain for their logo aside, i thought i would finally roll in and give it a try.  shopping is shopping, not matter how stupid the name of the store. i wandered down there after work on friday, and can’t say that i wasn’t a little hesitant to go in. their website and windows seductively dangle a stock of gently used coach bags and discount seven jeans, which are two fashion priorities that i just don’t have. i got the impression that i wasn’t their chosen demographic, but i had to do it- you know, for journalism (or possibly because i wanted a less dumpy outfit for my evening plans but didn’t have time to go home and change *shame*).

once inside, it’s easy to forget that shopaholics is a consignment store. the bright and clean space is well laid out and tailored in a way that assure’s that A) you’re only seeing their best stuff (no random filler crap), and B) you’re not completely overwhelmed with choices. it’s a high end approach that i think is smart, but that also feels cold and makes me extremely uncomfortable. i’m definitely more in my element amongst the cluttered mishmashes of material objects. but for research purposes, i press on. as it turns out, it’s not entirely consignment, but a mix of very aggressively filtered consignment stuff (they even have a disclaimer on their website about how you shouldn’t be offended when they turn your shit down), and reasonably priced new goods from brands like kensie, arden b, and true religion. it definitely wasn’t what you would call dirt cheap- with prices appearing to range from $30-$70+.  but that said, their selection (though not entirely my taste), was pretty solid. if you’re looking for an interview outfit, killer jeans, or a cocktail dress and can’t afford full retail (but aren’t quite digging in your couch cushions for goodwill money), this place is definitely your best bet. i spotted at least a few items that definitely would have come home with me if they were slightly less expensive, and if the awkwardness hadn’t rolled in to bust up my shopping haze.

admittedly, i should have asked first if it was ok for me to take pictures. i initially snapped a couple shots of a super hot high-waisted faux ombre skirt without incident, but when i turned to start taking photos of the store, the gentleman behind the counter coolly informed me that i needed to stop. apparently it was a privacy issue (even if i didn’t photograph any of the patrons). oops. i haltingly tried to explain that i only wanted to take pictures for my blog… but he  shot back “i know what you’re doing”- as if i was caught taking a poop in the dressing room or something. flushed with shame, i attempted recovery by telling him that i just wanted to write an article about the store, but it was not working out. i passed him my card- NO LOVE. a few more awkward questions smugly dismissed with one word answers, i thanked him and excused myself to finish browsing… and then swiftly but discretely  crab walked my way out the door as fast as humanly possible (to another much more welcoming store that i’ll talk about tomorrow in part two of this sordid saga).

sure, there are a few things that i wouldn’t have liked about the shopaholics boutique regardless of my experience, but it’s rare that i ever write off a venue so quickly, especially one that has quality shopping potential. and sure, i probably could have approached the situation with a little more savvy (ok, a lot more savvy), but my faux pas aside, i shouldn’t have left there feeling angry and ashamed. the bottom line is that it’s a nice store, and i’m sure they’ll thrive just fine without my approval. which is good, because i definitely won’t be returning.