Before I take Wednesday to fill you in on the amazing sponsors, giveaways and projects coming up to celebrate my 5 year anniversary writing this blog, I’d like to tell you a bit about an event I attended recently at Orchard Supply Hardware. While they did give me lots of stuff because I attended, I was not required to write this post in exchange and all opinions here are my own. The stuff was pretty awesome though.
I’ve spent lots of time in hardware stores. I live in a house that was built in the 70’s that we’re constantly working on bringing into the 21st century. We spent a year working on a DIY wedding. To top it all off, my son is now a happy employee of a local store. I think he had the job when he told the interviewer he had practically been raised in their store and could tell them where anything is. So, I am no stranger to both the big and little box stores to be found in our area. However, Orchard Supply Hardware is new to me, so when they invited me to a preview day at their newest store, I was happy to go.
The store is located in what’s known as the Hollywood District in Portland. It was previously the site of a bowling alley. The first thing I noticed walking in the door was the amazing wood beam ceilings, which apparently were found when they started tearing out the old drop ceilings. That’s like pulling up your vinyl flooring and finding hardwood.
I think hardware stores big and small have something to offer, but I really liked the smaller feel to this place. They didn’t have shelves of lumber and roofing for contractors, but seemed to be focused more on the individual homeowner. I could spend all day just in the knobs and pulls aisle.
They did a great job of adding some personality, like this fun lid display over the paint department.
The store wasn’t open yet for my visit, so there were still finishing touches being added, like this amazing hand painted wall by the front entrance. The artists were painting it freehand, just referring to the pictures you see taped up. Amazing.
Any store that names a section What-cha-ma-call-its has my attention.
I think most crafters will find themselves in a hardware store at some point. It’s often for an item that might not ordinarily be considered a craft tool. I’ve purchased paint, glues, chain, pipe, wire, wood and things I don’t remember the name of or their actual purpose, all in the name of crafts. But it was nice to see things here that were a little off the beaten hardware path, like this wall of tape, an aisle of decorative bottles and mason jars galore.
Toward the end of our tour, we were introduced to this gentleman. Sorry for the blur, but I really wanted you to see his amazing mustache and bicycle tattoo.
He’s a bicycle repair expert and showed us everything we’d need to make this quirky beer bottle lamp. Those two things are not related, but I got the impression he’s one of those guys that probably knows his way around lots of projects. He even drilled holes in the bottles and inserted the rubber grommet, letting us choose the bottle we liked to take home and make with all the supplies included! I love the old fashioned bulb.
In addition to the lamp kits, we were sent away with a bag filled with an apron, level, cookies and this herb garden kit, which I’m anxious to try not to kill.
It was really fun to get a tour of a store that hadn’t even opened to the public yet, especially one that hits as many of my gardening, crafting, outdoor living, home improvement and cooking interests as Orchard did. The store is open now, so if you find yourself in the area, check them out. I’m already planning my next visit!