Catching Up with our Neighbors at Seagrape Bath & Body
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!
North Portland's Handcrafted Self-Care Boutique
You know those shops that are full of so many good smells that, upon walking in, you get a sensory overload in the best possible way? This is one of them. You'll have no trouble spending half an hour or more just smelling everything that this aromatic and tightly-curated shop has to offer. You'll find body oil, soap, aftershave, candles, and more, all handmade by independent makers and craftspeople in PDX and beyond. Read on for local insight from our conversation with the founder of Seagrape, Maria Vashakidze.
UN: How long have you been in business?
Seagrape Bath & Body has been producing apothecary goods for the last eight years. Our brick and mortar shop has been open for two years.
UN: What is unique about your business?
My business is very community driven. I create and stock goods that are ethically made and support independent makers in pursuing their passions. I also share knowledge in the form or workshops and one on one interactions with my customers. I want the medicine I make and stock to be accessible to the community, especially as Portland grows and changes.
UN: For you, what is most important about the customer experience?
I have a lot of regulars that come into the shop. We chat life, share tea, ambitions, and nurture real interactions. I think it’s important to make sure capitalism never gets in the way of the experience of visiting Seagrape.
UN: How would you describe the community that surrounds your business?
The Portland community has been incredibly loyal, welcoming, and radical. The intimacy that has developed through workshops and the shop’s environment has allowed for a powerful dialogue during this critical time in history. Social justice and enhancing self-care are always at the forefront of my business endeavors and I’ve found the community shares my passion for inclusion and the importance of prioritizing the health and wellbeing of marginalized communities.
UN: What do you think makes your business a great fit for Portland?
Seagrape combines love of plants with self-care ritual - it’s a great reflection of Portland’s witchy, health conscious community!
UN: What is your favorite thing about Portland?
I’m a fan of tea and baths so I frequent the Chinese Garden and Common Ground often. I also take a lot of walks and gather wild plants and herbs. Things grow so abundantly here that it’s easy to make medicine from the “weeds” year round or gather fresh fruit.
UN: What part of town do you live in, and what do you love about it most?
I’ve lived in both NW and NE, and love all the hidden gems, mom and pop restaurants, vintage shops and gardens.