Life in Portland Blog

Community Business Spotlight: Paxton Gate

Talking PDX with our Neighbors at Paxton Gate on N. Mississippi Ave

In this series, Urban Nest sits down with local PDX business owners to talk shop about what makes their store or business fit so well with Portland. Learn about new neighborhoods, new businesses, PDX community and more!

Half Retail Boutique, Half Natural History Museum, 100% Portland

If you're looking to go on an adventure (without leaving city limits) Paxton Gate on 4204 N Mississippi Ave will transport you to an immersive world of treasures, curiosities, oddities, and more, all inspired by natural science. A perfect spot to spend an afternoon with a child (or a child at heart), browsing this exotic shop is an experience that won't soon be forgotten. We talk with shop owners Andy and Susan about their experience in our city bringing their vision into reality.

UN: How long have you been in business?

We turn six on December 1st!  It’s been a phenomenal experience to date and we are indebted to our amazing customers and staff for enabling us to reach this milestone.

UN: What is unique about your business?

Well, to start off, what isn’t unique about the store? Since we are very much like a Natural History Museum where everything is for sale, you would be hard pressed to find an experience to match anywhere in town.  

On top of that, having the very best jewelry designers and artists selling and displaying their wares simply elevates the experience to a higher level.

UN: For you, what is most important about the customer experience?

It is super important that every customer has a unique experience when they come to Paxton Gate. Our staff is extremely knowledgeable across all the various unique items in the store and we pride ourselves on the educational and inspirational aspects of the store. That said, we go out of our way to show people new and interesting things when they come into our store.

UN: How would you describe the community that surrounds your business?

We love the Historic Mississippi Avenue district. It’s a wonderful, vibrant mix of shops, restaurants and services with a community oriented mind frame.

We as businesses via the HMBA (Historic Mississippi Business Association) also make a point of giving back to the community across a number of fronts: Mississippi Ave Street Fair, Giving Tuesdays and a host of individual business donations across the board.

UN: What do you think makes your shop a great fit for Portland?

As cliché as it may be, “Keep Portland Weird” is smack dab in the sweet spot for our store and customers. This in turn lends itself to the creative forces at work in Portland. Paxton Gate’s curious assortment naturally entices people to come in and find treasures to create unique spaces and/or experiences for themselves.

UN: What is your favorite thing about Portland?

The list could go on and on but, the amazing food scene, close proximity to Mt. Hood, and the ocean is pretty unbeatable.

We love OMSI after dark. We took the whole Paxton Gate Crew out as big thank you for being awesome and had a blast.  

UN: What part of town do you live in, and what do you love about it most?

We live in South East Portland by the Hawthorne district. We love the walkability of the area and taking Hugo (our Boston Terrier) out exploring the neighborhood. He loves it too!  



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Learn more about Paxton Gate on their website.