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Who remembers Yo Vintage? And what's in the name.

Why the name Yo Vintage and why The Yo Store?

Let me take you deep into my old Facebook pages (lol), where I came across these photos from my store in downtown Portland called Yo Vintage!

I opened up as a vintage store in 2012 (and closed in 2015) - carrying finds from all over - but specifically Switzerland where my sister used to thrift for me then send the goods over. I would also find pieces from England and sold some of my own personal pieces that i'd be hoarding for years. The vintage I sold wasn't your traditional vintage pieces but pieces I was drawn too and loved (anything that is 20 years is considered vintage btw, so 2004 here we go!) I was (and still am) drawn to gems from the 80s and 90s - lots of bright colors and prints.

I was on the phone with my sister and we were trying to think of a name for my new business venture. As she spoke to me from Switzerland she was trying to link anything and everything and then started yodelling (as a joke) and was like how about YODEL VINTAGE - no wait YO VINTAGE! It was like a HEY vintage - or YO! It was a way to saying HEY with your clothing - an expression of the fun pieces I carried and we sourced. I went with that name and hence Yo was born in 2010. 

I opened up my store, Yo Vintage, in the BlackBox building (off Burnside - where Vans and Aesop is now) with $500 budget for build out and a LOT of favors from friends -  hanging, painting and supporting to get open. I took the business course at Mercy Corps for all the legal advice (something I would 100% recommend to do if you are opening up a new business). There was a lot in between that I didn't mention but you get the jist - that can be another blog post. 

Fast forward to 2016 (and one year after closing Yo Vintage as the landlord needed the space back).  With my 1 year old son, Finn, in tow, I knew I wanted to reopen a store but when I called the Blackbox Building to enquire about any other spaces in that spot, the price had jumped from $1500 a month to $4500, DAMNNNN!

So I found a magical spot in NW for $2000 a month (it's gone up since as that was 8 years ago but our current landlord is very reasonable if you are looking for a space).

I opened up with a kids venture in mind - I needed to keep the name Yo as I had paid for a neon sign in my window and wanted to bring that with me and I needed to shove the word STORE in. The new spot was / is on a corner and there wasn't much there at the time so I wanted people to know we were a store when they walked or drove by -  so there we go - The Yo Store!

If you remember the old days at The Yo Store in 2016, I had my neon Yo sign up in the window and people remembered me from downtown so would stop in when they were driving or riding by, the neon has since smashed (RIP) but the yo name lives on (and that neon sign was worth every penny!)

Here is a sweet article written by Eden Dawn when we opened our doors in 2016 from Portland Monthly. 




Above 2012: Peep that Baggu Backpack! An early adopter of Baggu since 2012.

Below 2016: The first thing I did when opening The Yo Store was get a custom made giant hanger for the juxtaposition of the tiny kids clothes on a big hanger. These days it's pink and blends in with the rest of the store (truly). 

sarah radcliffe
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