She’s just 24, but Candace Molatore has the eye of a seasoned style-industry pro. The native Oregonian has built an online following as a body-positivity advocate and branding consultant. She’s known for colorful, sun-drenched photography, documenting her life in gorgeous spaces as she, say, models Charlotte Russe looks or creates editorial images for local lines like Minnie & George.
When it comes to what she laughingly calls the “Instagram Guide to Portland,” two new spots fit the bill. Old Town’s hip new hotel The Hoxton is a top drinking destination: she favors the “just stunning” velvet- and gold-heavy lobby bar. On the east side, she digs the tropical, daiquiri-blessed Palomar. “The design is cohesive down to the napkins they put under the drinks.”
For shopping? “The aesthetic of Tender Loving Empire fits mine really well,” says Molatore of the local chain, a record label and one-stop shop for gifts. “They do a good job of tying together a lot of Portland people in one spot.”
Even when she’s in relaxation mode, a strong aesthetic is a prerequisite, so Molatare opts for Knot Springs (left), inside the Yard building, for a steamy soak. “I like the smell the minute you walk in,” she says. “They have a beautiful macramé piece that [local maker] Emily Katz did, along with two walls that are all windows. It feels very breezy.”
But you’re most likely to spot her at Tea Bar, perhaps sitting in the south-facing windows of the café’s Pearl District’s location. “I know I’m biased, but I was actually a customer before I started working for them,” Molatore says. (She runs Tea Bar’s Instagram.) “Erica [Swanson, owner of Tea Bar] is very specific about the buildings she chooses so the way they face brings in ample light,” says Molatore. “And I’m trying to soak up as much light as I can.”