The merchants of SoLo are purging our storerooms & warehouses and bringing the goods to SoLo for two days only this year … Friday, April 29th & Saturday, April 30th … 10am-6pm both days. Shop for the best bargains of the year!
We’re often asked about the history of the old items we sell, but it’s rare that bios come along with them. Believe me, we ask, but often it’s hearsay or speculation. Sometimes, we get lucky and we find something at the original source … a shut-down factory or grandpa’s old workshop … where provenance can be revealed. But most often it’s left to our imagination and sometimes more fun that way.
Eleven years ago this week, 309 South Cedros Avenue was abuzz … delivery trucks unloading, display cabinets being installed, artwork going up, computers booting … excitement was in the air! SoLo was about to open its doors!
SoLo was the brainchild of Carole Carden, owner of Del Mar’s beloved and sorely missed Esmerelda Books & Coffee. Carole and I had boutiques in the Cedros Trading Company, which was a collective of about forty merchants, previously occupying the building that houses SoLo now.
In 2000, the building was sold and the Trading Company dissolved by spring of 2001. The new owner of this 10,000 sf warehouse enlisted the services of acclaimed architect Jennifer Luce to “gut” the warehouse and build it out to accommodate his landscape design studio and a retail operation to front the space. He then approached the owner of his favorite bookstore, asking her to bring an outpost of Esmerelda to Cedros Avenue. But with the book business suffering, Carole had a better idea. Take the standout merchants from the Cedros Trading Company (all looking for new outlets), bring in a few notable newcomers, and form a more selective collective of about eight merchants to offer a truly unique and diversified shopping experience. The result is SoLo, the standout of the bustling Cedros Design District for eleven years now!
The 4,000 sf space is anchored by Carole’s perfectly curated art/design/architecture/lifestyle book selections. SoLo offers diverse styles of home furnishings and accessories, antiques and art, cards and gifts, soaps and candles, toys … something for everyone. Most of our core group is still intact and I’m so proud to be a part of the talented and creative team that is SoLo!
Cheers to our eleventh anniversary! Love ya’ Carole!
// Photo: Jennifer Price
I love revisiting my industrial treasures in their new homes …
Five years ago, while exploring the Pearl District in Portland Oregon, I saw a sign for the “Lizard Lounge” hanging on one of the district’s great old warehouse buildings. Thinking it was probably a cool bar, I had to investigate. But inside, I discovered a retail store that had only just opened their doors to the public. The Lizard Lounge is a clothing “lounge” created by Horny Toad activewear company. The concept store features cool clothes & accessories, local artists, occasional live music, comfy seating areas with TVs & free wireless, an iMac bar and fresh Stumptown coffee on hand at all times.
Taking note of the industrial display fixtures (some of which were rescued from the basement of this former Crane Plumbing Building), I made it known that I peddle similar wares. Shortly thereafter, a truck was being loaded up at SoLo, bound for Portland. My pieces joined a collection of old factory carts, foundry tables, medical cabinets & vintage machinery that provide a creative backdrop for Lizard Lounge’s garments. Throwback items like old cash registers, typewriters and toolboxes round out the great displays.
A must-visit when in PDX!
It’s that time again. The merchants at SoLo are gathering up goodies from their warehouses and private collections for SoLo’s only storewide sale of the year.
Be there early for best pickin’ … Open 10-6 on Friday the 27th & Saturday the 28th, 11-5 on Sunday the 28th.
photo// Jennifer Price