Katie Robinson, who opened Lux Boutique at 4612 N.E. Sandy Blvd. in the Hollywood district a little over a year ago, sold her business in August to neighbors Greg and Mary Kate Bassindale, who own the TigerLily Tattoo shop next door.
“It’s very exciting to me that the store didn’t close,” said Robinson. “Due to illness, I’ve had to move on. But the feedback I’ve received from neighbors is that they are also excited that the store isn’t closing.”
Hollywood Lux Boutique is a new, used and vintage shop, offering home decor, jewelry and men’s and women’s hats, accessories, shoes and clothing.
“I’ve had a love of vintage since I was a kid,” said Mary Kate Bassindale. “I lived at thrift stores, finding beautiful pieces that I could modify. I went to St. Mary’s Academy – the all-girls school – and without boys around I felt free to explore my own style. I spent a lot of time after school at Ray’s Ragtime, when it was downtown, trying on all his amazing clothes and just talking to Ray.”
After high school, Bassindale attended PSU and started bartending to support her hobbies of sewing and collecting vintage.
“When I got married in 2014, my husband Greg was managing TigerLily Tattoo and tattooing full time” said Bassindale. “He developed a close relationship with Matt Reed, the owner, and when Matt was ready to focus on his art and move away from running a business, Greg and I were motivated and hungry enough to take the reins. For the past two years, Greg and I have owned and operated TigerLily, while both working other jobs. I bartended at Kelly’s Olympian and managed the tattoo shop when I wasn’t slinging booze. We learned quickly what owning a small business means. We treat TigerLily like our child, and we devote all of our passion to it. We love this neighborhood and its history and color. We feel like it’s one of the last real Portland neighborhoods. We want to keep that authenticity and contribute to a community that has given us so much.”
The Bassindales are both sixth-generation Portlanders. Greg Bassindale started hanging out at TigerLily when he was 16 and got his first tattoo from Matt Reed on his 18th birthday. While the businesses are separate, the Bassindales run each of them together – along with their Siberian husky Ru – and they plan to do cross-promotions, partnering with local charities.
“We love this city and we’ve seen it grow and change,” said Mary Kate Bassindale. “Our goal is to keep the old Portland alive and show it to all these newcomers. We want to stay local and be active in the neighborhood. That’s the Portland we grew up in. We love Sandy because of all the amazing small businesses that still thrive here. We love that you can have your tarot cards read before you pick up your dry cleaning. I love the smell of Reo’s Ribs wafting up the street, and we love that Ray’s Ragtime can live on in this neighborhood. The Hollywood district is incredibly lucky to have him. I can’t tell you how much it warms my soul to see his legacy live on after being forced out of downtown.”
The Bassindales re-opened Lux on October 11, the day after Mary Kate’s 28th birthday.
“We spent about two months revamping the place, making it our own and gathering a bit more inventory,” said Mary Kate. “When Katie came to me, she said that all she wanted was to see Lux live on and she asked me if I was interested in buying. I had about four days to decide. It felt like fate. My mother-in-law is a shamanic healer – and her business partner actually predicted six months ago that Greg and I would buy a second business within the year. It’s crazy that it actually happened. Greg was my rock and helped with every aspect of the process. We were able to get the store open in exactly one month. I have an incredibly supportive husband and family – and having the businesses next door to each other makes it all possible.”
In addition to vintage offerings, the new items at Lux are produced by featured local artists.
“I have an assortment of specimens preserved by local artist Grand Bones, which are all ethically sourced. I have jewelry coming in from a couple local artists, and I’m always looking to meet people in the area that want to explore selling their creations. I want my store to feel like a warm and cozy break from reality, so people can come in and find a treasure, or just look at all the fun stuff. I hate walking into a cute store and feeling like I can’t afford anything there, so I really try to keep my prices low. I feel like I’m just a young artist and we’re all coming up together. I want my store to reflect that.”
For more information about Lux, call 503-719-1069 or visit www.hollywoodluxboutique.com.