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canoe portland


d*s reader ara recently passed along a link to a portland (oregon) shop called canoe. they recently launched an e-commerce site that's chock full of fantastic gift and home ideas. i loved these $17 vases by sugahara and the super cute cast-iron pinecone box below ($38). there's plenty to look at and a good portion of it is affordable. click here to shop canoe (be sure to check out the office and personal accessory section for some great GUY gift ideas). [thanks, ara!]





Blogger Lena said...

i usually keep negative comments to myself... but when i went into Canoe this summer, they were very snooty! it left a bad impression on me... i just wanted to say that because i think it's terrible for a store to turn off their customers.

8:24 AM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

ooh! that's awful, lena- thanks for the tip. if anyone else has been to visit in person please feel free to comment below. i always like to know if people are treating customers well...


8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Grace,
What about the Ugly Pillow contest?!

8:45 AM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

psst: coming up at 2 today! stay tuned to vote...

d*s ;)

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

thanks so much! it's the guy thing! i appreciate the suggestions!

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Lina said...


4:01 PM  
Anonymous joe said...

hey grace, just saw the local post on canoe. they have a great selection of modern design objects and i've never thought it was snooty. just my 2 cents

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting about Canoe, one of my favorite Portland shops!

I find it a bit disturbing that a non-local person (Brooklyn, no less) would complain about a fledling retail space in another city. Having lived in Brooklyn I know that there's plenty of homegrown retail nightmares to kvetch about. Lena may be a design professional but her attitude isn't. Its a shame that she didn't have a good experience there but to broadcast it here seems a bit of the ol' sour grapes to me.

Caspar D.

4:32 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...


i don't think it's unprofessional to say you had a bad experience with a store. and being from brooklyn has nothing to do with it.

i got several emails about this shop after the post saying the same thing. canoe may be fine but i don't agree with calling lena unprofessional because she voiced an opinion. by that logic should we call you unprofessional?


4:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very clever. Perhaps I need to clarify…

[Getting on soapbox]

This is not a Constitutional argument. Lena's opinion is hers to do with as she wishes, as is yours or mine. I do not have a problem with Lena voicing an opinion. That would be simply un-American. This is a public debate in a public forum about a public establishment. Accountability on the Web is a quaint notion I know, but folks have really got to be more careful. People's livelihood's are at stake here and in design nobody has such a solid business they are infallible.

That said, I do take exception to the fact that Lena is obviously a fellow retailer (all click, no brick notwithstanding) and while couching her critique in the language of concern ("i usually keep negative comments to myself... but…") she is basically slamming a competitor's joint she went into ONCE in another city. Ok, so what? First impressions, retail's hard, yada yada yada. For me, she goes too far by passing off her Canoe experience THE Canoe experience (… i think it's terrible for a store to turn off their customers"). This is heresay and with a heaping helping of snark. Who's really being snooty here?

And frankly you're no better at this point as you're response was to swiftly condemn Canoe based off of this one post and get all huffy with me because I called her out on it. Of course, now there have been "several emails" so its all true: Canoe IS snooty and "turns off customers"! Care to share your evidence with us here? What about with Canoe? They might like to know that they're in deep doo-doo with the design*sponge crowd and need to turn down the Snoot or else Christmas is bust!

[Getting off soapbox]

Earlier in the day, I saw your post on the finale of Project Runway, so perhaps this will mean something to you: Nobody likes a Laura!

Caspar D.

8:13 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...


i think someone is taking this WAY too seriously. someone didn't like the shop, it's not the end of the world. and i far from condemned the shop. do you work for canoe?


8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok who is this 'Caspar' dude? Um, an employee of Canoe much? I'm sick of soapboxers on this site. It's lame and I think it's lame to let them soapboax, D*S. You should cut them out.


8:47 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...


i stopped reading after "getting on my soapbox".

life is too short to get bent out of shape about every angry commenter. if i cut them out or got too involved with their rants i'd never have time to write for the site. it's the way of the web, people love a forum to rant.


8:49 PM  
Anonymous Katie H said...

Oh my goodness! It sounds as though people have gotten worked up over what I expect is an isolated experience. I live in Portland and have the great fortune of being able to stop in Canoe on a regular basis. Sean the owner is *delightful* and attentive each time I stop by. He is excited about each product that he carries in his thoughtfully laid out store.

It was in his store that I saw this sleek little condom holder. No more fumbling through my dresser drawer.


I just thought I'd share my good experiences at Canoe...and NO I don't work there, yeesh.
By the way, I enjoy your blog immensely. I have often ended up at your site googling random design-related items. Thanks!

6:05 PM  

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