Great Little Shops 2019

Shipwreck! Is the Riotously Colorful Neighborhood Shop You Needed

Snag a vintage party dress, locally made earrings, and imported Swedish clogs, all in one fun trip.

Photography by Eden Dawn November 26, 2019 Published in the December 2019 issue of Portland Monthly

Shipwreck!’s spacious spot on N Killingsworth bursts with color like an in-season fruit basket. Racks of vintage sweaters and midi skirts, a rainbow of Turkish towels neatly folded on a wooden table, heaps of sturdy Swedish clogs, violet Japanese tights, delicate-smelling French soaps, and beautiful Mexican tunics all mingle with displays of rhinestone party sunglasses, nail polish, and jewelry.

“One time I went to a psychic and asked her to help me with my business, and her whole advice was, ‘You’re colorful, and that’s the thing missing in Portland—a celebration of color,’” owner Marcy Bruce recalls. It’s what sets her three-year-old vintage/modern boutique apart from the city’s minimalist movement. “Most of the stores you go to, it’s all neutral,” she says. “And I really felt that I had a voice that’s
different than what’s already been done.”

The psychic might’ve tipped her in the right direction, but Bruce has lived this life before, in a sense. Raised in North Bend, Washington, she’d been living in Eureka, California, for years, working as a vegetable farmer before opening the original Shipwreck! there in 2007. In 2016, she sold the Cali boutique to an employee, moved to Portland, and brought her eye for vivid color, worldwide product sourcing, and good vibes with her.

The shop is “an international mashup—I like to merchandise things well and celebrate how well things were made and the details that go in,” she says while simultaneously arranging Amaree & Reese lapis and brass earrings in a glass case, stepping over ever-present shop dog Daisy, and greeting incoming customers. “I wanted to create an environment where people were like, ‘Oh my gosh, my kids can play with the dog and a basket of toys and my husband can sit in a chair and people can use the bathroom. There’s so much more going on than just shopping.”

805 N Killingsworth St,

Filed under
Show Comments