Thursday, April 19, 2007

In Step & In Style

Don't miss this article by Erin Hoover Barnett in "inPORTLAND": Uptown style, downtown address/Victoria Taylor keeps The Mercantile fashion-forward amid change, including an impending move.

At Christmas time all the presents were wrapped for the family, Mike's Mom and Dad, our daughters and the grandkids, my Mom and Dad and my brothers and sisters. Now it was our time. We went downtown and the first place we stopped was The Mercantile on the corner of 7th and Park. Mike found a sweater for me in a style unlike any I had ever seen in a wonderful gray-brown color. It fit perfectly and I could dress it up, wear it to work or dress it down and wear it with jeans. We asked the very helpful sales woman to hold it for us while we continued shopping.

Mike looked across the street at the big hole in the ground and then saw the Virginia Cafe up the block next to The Merc and said that Tom Moyers new highrise will be taking out this block. He wondered how long The Merc will be at this location and where they will move.

Barnett's article gives us a history of the store and owner Victoria Taylor. Victoria is one year older than me. She was born in 1949. She bought the store in 1975, at 25. Don't worry about losing The Mercantile to progress. The PDC is wooing her to stay downtown and has invited her to partake of low-interest loans.

Victoria Taylor's advice on Suceeding as a shop owner:
* The store is an extension of yourself.
* Know your customer by spending a lot of time on the floor.
* Listen to what your customer wants.
* Believe in what you are selling.
* Be able to wear every hat that business requires.
* Build good relationships with your vendors.
* Learn how to sell.
* You must be able to invest the hours to make it a success.
* Remember, it's not a museum; the clothes have to go out the door.
The last thing we did that night shopping was to stop back in to The Mercantile. The special sweater was waiting and my husband added it to his Christmas presents for me.

I've already circled Victoria's picks for spring and The Mercantile can expect a visit soon:
Lightweight trench coat

The new "little" dress (Hint: It's not black)

Dolman-sleeve tunic top

Straight-leg jean, white for sure

Extra-long tanks and T-shirts

At-the-knee shorts

Lacoste polo shirt, the new fit (longer, more buttons)

Flirty skirt

Multistrand bracelets and hoop earrings

Extra-wide belt

Missoni anything, for the color -- Victoria Taylor (as translated by fashion apprentice Erin Hoover Barnett
Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery
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