After more than two years since The Cleanery ran its final spin cycle, Jim Spivak’s Hollywood Mall building at 1925 N.E. 42nd Ave. in the Hollywood district is once again fully tenanted. The three established businesses at the western end of the building – Just 4 Kids, Nectar Cafe and Teal Flamingo – are now joined by Portland Pastimes, The Wiggle Room – and as of November – Ragan’s Boutique in the eastern space, with windows fronting both 42nd Avenue and the parking lot to the south.
Sullivan’s Gulch neighbor Ragan VanSise, who grew up in the Alameda and Parkrose neighborhoods, held a “soft” opening for her women’s clothing store on November 11 and a grand opening on November 18. VanSise offers unique, one-of-a-kind clothing, shoes and accessories, including hand-embroidered boots from Turkey and blown-glass jewelry.
“Funky and unique is my big thing,” said VanSise. “That’s the reputation I want and that’s the reputation I have with my own wardrobe. I’ve always had a knack for finding unique items. I plan to offer a little something for everyone. My target audience will be women in their twenties all the way up to women in their seventies. All sizes. I’m still working on plus sizes and I’ve got a lot of stuff that everybody will like. Most of my prices will be mid-range. I’ll offer a few inexpensive items and I have a few things coming in that will be higher-end. I’m still testing the waters.”
“I got the passion to do this when I was in college at Mt. Hood,” said VanSise. “In the summers, I used to manage a Contempo Casuals in Clackamas. I was in my element there and I knew then that I wanted my own store some day. It’s been my dream for more than thirty years to open a boutique. I moved to the Bay area and worked in biotech for awhile. When Pfizer acquired our company, I got a nice buyout offer and had just enough to get this business up and running.”
VanSise returned to her hometown in May to pursue her dream, and did some traveling until the end of August.
“I was at a trade show with my mother in September and we ran into Dawn from Just 4 Kids in the elevator,” said VanSise. “She told us that this space was available and that Dave from Portland Pastimes could show it to us. It was everything I wanted. We signed the lease in September and started work on October 1.”
Within about five weeks, VanSise did most of the painting and tenant improvement work herself.
“I plan to offer a lot of trunk shows and fun, special events with some of our designers,” said VanSise. “I’m thinking of doing a men’s shopping night right before Christmas and I’d like to start building ‘wish lists’ for my regular customers, so their husbands and significant others can come in and shop for them.”
Ragan’s Boutique is now open daily, except Tuesdays, from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, call 503-206-5071 or visit www.instagram.com/ragansboutique.