Ever wonder how Paloma came to be, and how our boutique continues to stay relevant after more than 40 years in business?! Read this Q&A with owner Kim Osgood for the scoop on what makes Paloma special!
How did you first become involved with Paloma?
“In February of 1979, I met Mike at the public market in Oaxaca while I was picking up pants and he was purchasing embroidered wedding dresses. I helped him pick them out! The next year I moved to Portland to help Paloma transition from being focused on arts and crafts from Mexico to a true clothing boutique.”
As Paloma’s buyer, how do you decide what lines and products to carry?
“I look for things that catch my attention, but also fill a niche within the store. I’m looking for good value, well made, and particularly made in the USA whenever possible. I try to be very guided by customer desires – to order more of what people are buying and asking for. It’s important for me to have a wide range of price points so that anyone can come into the store and find something within their budget.”
How do you stay updated on current trends?
“My daughter lives in Los Angeles and we like to go to the market there (and we bring her with us when she’s available!). I usually go to about six shows a year, in Seattle, Portland, and L.A. The clothing manufacturers and reps are very up to date on trends and I listen to their advice!”
From where do you draw inspiration?
“I draw inspiration from the trips our customers tell me they are taking. I like to visualize what they can put in their suitcase to make fashionable and practical travel wardrobes. When I’m buying I think of a cohesive visual image for the store. I like to add or subtract color to keep the store’s palette fresh and current with the seasons. I try to buy so that everything goes together and pieces can be mixed and matched into versatile and stylish outfits. My only buying rules are: no studs, no sequins, and no glitter.”
What’s the best part about owning Paloma?
“Working with awesome people! I love our staff – they’re kind, dedicated, and
positive. They’re great people to be around. It’s like hanging out with friends
every day! I also find it really fun to keep an eye on what’s sold, what people are
particularly excited about, and what’s flying off the shelves.”