Altitude - a men’s and women’s fashion boutique at 17th and Northrup celebrates its first anniversary September 1. Altitude provides shoppers with a unique experience where they can explore a collection of clothing, art and gift items that they won’t find elsewhere, while enjoying a glass of beer or wine from the bar.
Attaining this milestone is worthy of celebration, and with a year of experience under its belt Altitude Manager Charmaine Guillory says the store has come into its own, reflecting, “Since its inception Altitude has really grown into its skin becoming more defined and refined as a store with a unique story to tell. The shop has become an integral part of the Slabtown neighborhood offering residents a unique place to shop and hang out in an authentic, locally-owned business. Altitude is a shop for fashionable and active men and women looking for high-quality clothing, with unique brands that no one else carries in Oregon.”
The party runs from 5 - 8 PM September 1, with a fashion show featuring the latest fall trends and a blowout sale with discounts up to 90% off.
Video: Fabio gets ready for the 1st Anniversary Fashion Show.
Altitude is representative of the many small, local businesses in historic Slabtown, which was once home to Portland’s proud blue collar logging community. Slabtown is in the midst of a gentrification, as is much of the Portland metro area. There has been an influx of new development, residents, and businesses with much more to come. There are also master plans to make it a more livable, walkable community.
Store Manager Charmaine Guillory is organizing efforts to revitalize the historic Slabtown neighborhood, explaining, “We’ve partnered with a host of businesses in the area to help promote Slabtown as an integral part of Portland culture. Our aim is to re-familiarize people with the Slabtown area and remind them that it is not just a former bar but an entire neighborhood teeming with life. Altitude is proud to be a part of an historic area that is on the rise. We look forward to continuing to contribute to its growth as well as its maintenance of key historic aspects that are core to its essence.
To demonstrate the Slabtown business connection, Altitude is partnering with Savage Models and Management (a Slabtown local business) to put on the fashion show featuring the latest menswear and womenswear trends as part of the anniversary party September 1. The fashion show will be presented at 7 PM.
Guillory insists that a revitalized historic Slabtown is key to growing Altitude’s business. “Community involvement is important as it creates a more deeply rooted connection with our guests and the residents of Slabtown. Many of our guests live and/or work in Slabtown so we are essentially catering to them providing not only great fashion, but a means of entertainment through our events, and a way for them to get to know the area. Slabtown is full of surprises and shopping experiences that are unique to the area.”
Initially the efforts have focused on promoting the monthly First Thursday and Slabtown Art Saturday events, where several businesses in the area feature local artists and special offers for the day. First Thursday occurs on the first Thursday of every month and Slabtown Art Saturday occurs every second Saturday of the month. There is a festival coming up shortly on September 10 and a block party on October 6.
The other key is building long-term relationships with guests, according to Retail Director Bridgette Shipley, who emphasizes, “We take the time to get to know each person that walks into our space and their specific needs and treat them to a unique and personalized experience. We offer personal shopping, a unique loyalty rewards program, and host special events for our guests to ensure they are getting the best service experience possible.”
Video: Store Manager Charmaine Guillory provides some summer fashion tips.
With this emphasis on guest relationships and connection with the community, store traffic and sales have steadily grown each month. With a growing customer list, Altitude is now presenting Fashion Tips through its website (www.AltitudePDX.com) and Facebook Page (AltitudePDX.)
Beyond the September 1 anniversary party, the most exciting event Altitude has in store is the neighborhood block party October 6th when the store partners with parent company, Mt Hood Meadows to close down all of 17th Ave between Northrup and Overton. Slabtown businesses will be there in full force with musical performances, live art, wares for sale, good food and drinks. Guillory expects this year to be much larger than past events, with more people who live or work in the neighborhood joining the celebration.
Shipley is excited about what lies in store for Altitude and its customers the next few months, announcing the arrival of, “New brands that aren’t offered anywhere in Oregon. Our goal is to find unique products that no one else carries so that you have a unique shopping experience. We are expanding our women’s footwear as well as one of a kind jewelry offerings. We’re also bringing in some new gift brands that are uniquely Portland and Mt. Hood.”
Guillory says Altitude will be working with Get out the Vote, a local yoga studio and a few others to put on special events for November and December. To keep in touch with all these upcoming activities, events and fashion tips, subscribe to the Altitude newsletter (select Altitude), or follow us at AltitudePDX on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.