Why does Andrea (Dre) Allen co-own not one but two EcoVibe boutiques on NE Alberta Street? “Because this is where we live, this is our community, this is where we wanted to be,” says Allen. “We’ve been so well received by the community. Here, people really live and shop in their neighborhood, [and there are] tourists for a good mix. So we kind of have the best of both worlds.”
It’s a world that took years to come together: Dre and her husband, Leonard (Len), have been hustling as boutique owners for a decade, having opened EcoVibe Apparel—a spot dedicated to sustainable and ethically made clothing lines—10 years ago in the Pearl District after their initial dreams of opening in Northeast fell through. They finally snagged a spot for the clothing store near Tin Shed three years ago. Then, in June, they went all in, opening EcoVibe Home five blocks away. Judging by the seemingly never-ending stream of customers coming and going from the combo plant/home décor store, it’s been an instant hit.
Huge corner windows cast sun on the shoppers combing through piles of pretty things at EcoVibe Home—achromatic marble cocktail shakers with matching tumblers, metallic gold-rimmed plant pots, and giant woven jute baskets cover the room. And then there are the plants: wily Pilea in shiny pots stretch toward the western light, a charming living wall of ferns is Pinterest-perfect, and tiny watermelon peperomias proudly unfurl the striped leaves that justify their namesake. Prices run a wide gamut—find little starter plants for $3, while a massive room-statement ceramic planter with a towering fiddle leaf fig inside can run you hundreds. And all those pieces stick to the same principles Dre and Len have had for all things EcoVibe. Brands must have ethical guidelines in place, and the store is a member of 1% for the Planet, which commits sales to environmental causes in addition to holding special fundraisers.
“The timing was just perfect for the community to come around. This type of thing had been missed from here for a long time,” says Len, as he motions to the street he happily inhabits every day. “I’ve lived in Northeast Portland all my life. My relatives go back three generations here. This was coming home.”
1408 (Apparel) & 1906 (Home) NE Alberta St