Most people fall in love at some point in college, and Bill Edmund was no exception. He can still recall how his heartstrings tightened when, in 1983, he was introduced to the classical guitar. As his burgeoning career in geology led him to Louisiana and California, Edmund carved out time to pursue classical and flamenco guitar. While studying new fingerpicking techniques and improving his musicianship, he managed to accumulate a sizable collection of fine and rare guitars. In 2010, this collection helped him to open Vintage Guitars International, where he now devotes his full attention to the love he first discovered back in college. As one of the top guitar retailers in the Northwest, Edmund’s guitar emporium stocks a selection of classical and flamenco guitars and ukuleles crafted by luthiers from across North America and Europe. Alongside its most sought-after instruments, the store also sells intro-level guitars, sheet music, books, and cases—each of which includes a complimentary air guitar.
With floors, tables, and trim made of rugged wooden planks, Alpine Outfitters feels like a far-flung mountaintop ski lodge. In fact, like the selection of outdoor gear inside, the decor was designed with an eye toward the local landscape: the Lake Oswego Review reported that the woodworking at the front of the store was shaped entirely from boards reclaimed from a century-old barn near Albany. The specialty shop helps adventurous clients thrive away from civilization with a wide selection of outdoor apparel and equipment for backpacking, skiing, camping, and subzero yodeling. Campers can stock up on everything from hiking boots to sunglasses to sleeping bags, all from trusted trekking brands such as Merrell and Patagonia.
A ponytailed toddler grips her sunglasses determinedly as her parents crouch, smiling, in the background. Walking atop either side of a railroad track, a young couple bridges the distance with their hands. In the midst of wedding preparations, a bride pauses to read a love letter from her soon-to-be spouse. These are a few of the fleeting moments placed in a beautiful image-jail by This Is Life Photography’s founder Marisa. Fascinated by the power of freezing time since she was a child, she composes portraits and wedding scenes with an eye toward creating mementos that can be handed down for generations.
It's not every day that online shopping includes as much personal attention as you get from Stoneside Blinds. In most areas, their online-shopping process starts off with a free house call from a designer, who helps clients pick out materials and styles for their window dressing. Once the client has made their choices, the company will send out teams to measure the window frames and, later, install the final product for a flat fee. Their handiwork, and the blinds themselves, are backed by a rigorous guarantee that lets customers change their minds within 30 days and safeguards against defects up to a year later, so customers never have to cover up faulty blinds with a poster of their backyard. The only online part of their signature process, really, is placing the order. Minutes after the order is placed, the team at the production warehouse gets to work making it a reality, whether it's roller shades in a custom fabric, sleek solar shades, or classic wooden blinds.