Catching Up With our Friends at Gem Set Love
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!
Vintage-Inspired Treasures on NW 23rd Ave.
With an emphasis on vintage aesthetics, Gem Set Love (formerly known as GILT) boasts what's very likely the finest collection of antique and estate wedding bands you'll find in Portland. Situated in PDX's bustling Alphabet District, Paula Bixel's hand-curated boutique is a terrific place to select a stunning gem for upcoming nuptials and beyond. We talked with Paula about why Portland has been an ideal backdrop for her business.
UN: How long have you been in business?
I opened the shop in 1994.
UN: What is unique about your business?
The emphasis we put on customer service and creating relationships. We pride ourselves on treating people the way we want to be treated. Many of my clients have become good friends over the years.
UN: For you, what is most important about the customer experience?
The one-on-one connection a member of our staff makes with a customer. Jewelry is a special purchase that often commemorates an important moment in life, I love getting to be a part of that and helping make the moment a happy memory.
UN: How would you describe the community that surrounds your business?
Several of the boutiques on 23rd are owned and run by women, it’s empowering to be a part of that. And of course there’s the added bonus of great food and coffee!
UN: What do you think makes your shop a great fit for Portland?
Portland people care about the environment. Vintage Jewelry is not only wonderful for its history, uniqueness, and beauty but for the fact that it already exists and is a lovely way to recycle and reuse. We now also carry a line of house designed and hand crafted jewels using gold from a green certified refinery and gems from our collection. Recycling can be quite beautiful.
UN: What is your favorite thing about Portland?
I love living in a big city that feels like a small town. I love that in an hour or 2 I can be in the mountains or at the coast. And 10 minutes from the shop is a public Forest, where else can you get that?
UN: What part of town do you live in, and what do you love about it most?
I love the farmer's markets and the walkability of the neighborhood.