In The Mix

Shop Hop

Ever wonder about the inspiration for Portlandia’s quirky shops?

Paula Hendrickson
  • Portlandia stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein with guest Jeff Goldblum

    Danielle Mathias/IFC

Ever wonder about the inspiration for Portlandia’s quirky shops? Many are based on Portland’s own array of offbeat retailers.

The IFC show’s feminist bookstore, Women & Women First, is loosely based on Portland’s In Other Words, a feminist bookshop that’s been in business for twenty years. At one time it was one of 200 feminist bookstores in the U.S.; now it’s one of fewer than thirty.

Guest star Jeff Goldblum has played the proprietor of two Portlandia stores: Artisan Knots (season two) and the Doily Shoppe (season three). Vendors at Portland’s Crafty Wonderland, a twice-yearly event showcasing handmade goods from local artists, inspired the pretend shops.

Sometimes actual businesses appear on the show, like when a scavenger hunt led teams to Voodoo Doughnut, known for flavors such as bacon-maple, Tang and bubblegum.