Categorized | Community Spotlight

Curiosities – A Vintage Mall opened in Beaverton

Posted on 01 August 2013 by Jason

Curiosities, A Vintage Mall, opened in Beaverton in April, 2013. It has been a strong start, in part because the store likes to emphasize the local, green, sustainable values in their business.
Responsible consumers everywhere are finding that vintage resale makes a lot of sense. Ethically, and in terms of quality, variety, value, meaning and character, the best merchandise may be items that sold for the first time 50 or 100 years ago. Stores are rising to the occasion, with pleasant environments, attractive displays and well-curated inventories.
Curiosities occupies a large mid-50s building with a roof that looks like an origami project. It’s on Beaverdam Road, at the edge of the old Beaverton city center. The space is bright and clean; the merchandise is a visual feast; the people in the store are pleasant and knowledgeable; there’s plenty of parking; and everything in the store was fully assembled years before most of us were born. What’s not to like?
Forty-five local vendors maintain spaces under the big timbered roof. That’s the equivalent of 45 personal shoppers, scouring the state for quality merchandise; 45 paychecks that support families paying their taxes and sending their kids to school—it’s community development, from the ground up.
Curiosities is the brainchild of Travis Diskin, who has managed to turn a beloved hobby into a paying business. Diskin is a specialist in initiative ballot measures in Oregon, which is a tight niche indeed. Several years ago, he ventured into the vintage resale market to see if he could bolster his income, independent of the election cycle. It’s a good business for a man who is curious about everything. Diskin loves the stories that came with the items he sells, he likes the research involved in identifying new finds, and he is intrigued by the occasional items that he cannot explain at all.
At first, vintage resale was a hobby for Diskin, but it quickly morphed into a profitable dealership in a local mall. When that mall shut down, he found enough interest among dealers to open a mall of his own; at Curiosities, he maintains the space and provides the structure for other vendors.
Curiosities tends not to focus on super-valuable antiques, although they are certainly available and Diskin and his vendors know where to find them. Instead, the mall attracts beginners to resale shopping. They need useful things with more meaning and character than they’ll find elsewhere. They understand that materials and workmanship were indeed different before the invention of plastic and particleboard, and things made in great-grandma’s day may have another lifetime of utility left in them—not to mention charm. They may be shopping out of nostalgia, or they may see some ethical value in putting old china and flatware on their table, rather than buying new. They may be furnishing a small apartment, looking for older pieces that suit the space. Or perhaps they are stepping up from the “easy-assemble” items from a multinational corporation, and looking for something that expresses taste and individuality.
The key to shopping at Curiosities is to ask for what you want, and to keep coming back. Los of people are doing exactly that. Diskin is gratified at the number of repeat visitors since the mall opened in April, and the interest from dealers who shop his space. His first parking-lot Flea Market filled up quickly, and he will be holding them at least quarterly, and more often if the interest is there.
Curiosities is planning a storewide sale July 12-13-14, and good values will only get better.

 

Curiosities, A Vintage Mall is in the heart of Beaverton, at 12705 Beaverdam Road. They are online at CusiositiesVintage.com, available by phone at 503-646-8653, and Diskin may be contacted at travis@curiositiesvintage.com.PDX July 13 Comm Spot image 2

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Join Us on Your Favorite Social Network!

Friend Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter