Since November, the orange sign of Budd + Finn has marked a cozy retail oasis amid the gray streets of Old Town. Owner Kevin Pilla, 50, migrated to Portland from New York City a year and a half ago with his partner and two dogs: Budd, a collie mix, and Finn, a lab mix. “I fell in love with Portland when I used to travel for work as a product developer,” Pilla says. “The politics, food, the fact that you can walk everywhere, and the warm people—it all really hooked me.”
Pilla had also always wanted to open up his own store. His imagined a shop that would provide shoppers with interesting, hard-to-find items that “were inexpensive, user-friendly, and designed by vendors that have a noticeably edgy and diverse style. When I finally moved to Portland it seemed like the perfect scene for me to do this.”
Pilla was recovering from ear surgery when he walked to his local coffee shop and saw a "for lease" sign in the window of an empty space. Two months later, Budd & Finn held its grand opening.
Pilla aims to sell high-quality items at affordable prices: “I want to help people create their own personal space without breaking the bank, so I balance price and quality with unique items.” But really, the homey shop reflects the owner's quirky personal sensibility as much as any business model The garb of some Buddhist monks inspired orange as the primary brand color. Pilla features fun animal products because of his love for rescue animals. He uses vendors from a list he compiled in his years in product development, and reaches out to local vendors with eco-friendly backgrounds.
“My items all have passionate backstories," he says, "which make a product more tangible and real.”
He carries a line of lotion and candles from the San Diego company Further made from reclaimed materials; doggie treats comprised of non-GMO ingredients; local certified-organic and eco-friendly bamboo plates and utensils; pillows from NYC that have bold geometric and diamond knit patterns; pocketbooks of drink recipes from Portland bars; and greeting cards featuring rescue animals with a profile description on the back. And birds. Lots of products featuring all different types of birds.
At the end of the day Pilla pulls his square Budd & Finn sandwich board inside with, as he describes it, a deep sense of satisfaction. “I’m not going to become a millionaire doing this. But going into this job you want some sort of satisfaction and that’s it for me. This is a passion project and so far I’ve heard nothing but a positive response from customers which makes my heart warm.”
316 NW Broadway, Monday-Saturday 11 am-6 pm, Sunday 12-5 pm.