For those of you who know Mapel Boutique – you are familiar with our interest in keeping a balance of product options. A huge part of Mapel’s mission is to partner with local designers in the Pacific Northwest, whether right next door or a stone’s throw away. Like all independent designers, they have a story to tell that has inspired their creativity.
Simple and classy. Portland artist Kathy Welsh knows how to bring an outfit to life with her Enchantments jewelry line! From the time she was a child she has been a painter, a knitter, a quilter, a photographer and a graphic designer. For the past three years, jewelry design has been her serious focus and has only recently branched out into retail shops like Mapel! We asked Kathy how she chooses her materials: When I’m sourcing materials, I purchase what speaks to me. I see how I could use a particular stone or color and have an idea for a project or series of projects. I use many different kinds of semi-precious stones, like quartz, agate, pyrite, and turquoise. Kathy’s pieces are each unique – it’s no surprise Mapel fans snatch them up quickly!
Just down the road in Wilsonville lives another jewelry designer – Elizabeth Perry. As the creator of Elizabeth Perry Collections, she channels her unique style and creativity into handcrafted pieces that bridge the gap between vintage glamour and modern flair. You will often find necklaces showcasing Swaorvski crystals, vintage brass findings, gold plated metal, silk organza and lace. You may be most familiar with her signature bumble bee bobby pin. Unless the vintage qualities are unknown, all her creations are lead and nickel free. Elizabeth’s mission is to encourage others to believe in their inner beauty while expressing their own outward style.
At Mapel Boutique, we understand today’s modern woman wears many hats (or shoes) on a day to day basis. It should come as no surprise that Portland designer Diane Young balances being a single mother, a real estate broker and being the co-creator of the Jessica Mae Skirt.
These skirts came about from a brainstorming session on how to afford her daughter Jessica’s tuition at the University of Oregon. The mother-daughter-duo cut the perfect pattern on the first try and the skirt has sold itself ever since. Jessica Mae Skirts come in three lengths, each with a wide waist band that can be worn in a variety of ways. They’re soft, comfortable and the perfect fit that flatters practically all body types! Diane and Jessica enjoy working together. We are so proud Mapel Boutique can represent a design they created that contributes to furthering Jessica’s education.
BRAND NEW to Mapel is Handful – located in Tigard! Simply their trademark of Handful – flatter, not flatten™ had us sold! These tanks are not just any other bra-tank. They’re comfortable, supportive, and versatile in that they have convertible straps and removable pads to help shape and contour. The gathered front feature keeps the top close – no gaping for the whole world to see! Also, the sides are seamless for no rubbing! Best of all – they wick away moisture, dry quickly and come packaged in its own laundering bag!
The women at handful embody their mission – hand-ful (noun) – A strong, confident, determined, active, compassionate, and/or adventurous woman. Sense of humor REQUIRED. Handful was started by fitness enthusiast, Jennifer Ferguson, in Portland, Oregon. Like so many, Jennifer spent years searching in vain for a good sports bra. So she decided to channel her frustration creatively. She designed and manufactured the sports bra to help women look their best, feel their best and perform their best! Mapel only carries the Handful tank – but you don’t have to go far! You can find the sports bra next door in Posh Lingerie!
As many of you know, Mapel Boutique started in Leavenworth, WA. It’s because of the friendship we have with independent designers that that when we moved, our local designers from Washington, like Two Sisters and Orange Box Jewelry, came right along with us!
Jennifer Michelson and Gina Paluch are twin sisters, originally from Walla Walla, Washington. Jennifer began hand-making jewelry in her spare time for friends and family as gifts. Requests kept piling in from friends and family to sell her hand made Jewelry. She knew if she pursued this as a business, she couldn’t do it alone. So she called upon her sister Gina for the expertise of her business degree and her natural creativity. The two decided to allow the rest of the world in on their creative designs. Thus Two Sisters Jewelry Boutique came about. Mapel carries several pieces on our website and currently has their wooden necklaces in the store!
Our other top seller from Washington is Orange Box Jewelry! Krissy Maier of Seattle creates stunning one of a kind pieces using vintage repurposed parts and other found objects. Like several little girls, she loved to “play jewelry.” She had several pieces given to her by women in her family, each with its own story. As an adult who supports and promotes fair trade and sustainable practices, she was influenced by artisans in developing countries who created pieces from found objects. With the support of both experiences, her signature statement jewelry line was born. Come into Mapel to see what she’s been doing with velvet and rhinestones!!
We take careful consideration in choosing a delicate assortment of brands for our variety of retail store and website customers. We could not succeed without the growing partnerships with local designers! Unfortunately, not all of the products from these designers can be found on our website due to being one of a kind – which makes these designers even more desirable! So stop into Mapel Boutique and discover what we’re raving about first hand!!
Do you own any favorites from one of these amazing designers? Leave your comments below and tell us all about it!