By Marsha Sandman | CNA Media Team
You will never be bored again after a visit to collage on Alberta Street.
A sea of color greets customers at the door. Enter to find myriad supplies for the painter, print maker, rubber stamper, journaler, textile artist, book maker, etc. There is a wide array of how-to-books, children’s arts and craft supplies, stationery, greeting cards, rubber stamps, decorative paper and so much more.
It is an inspirational, fun, exciting, vibrant, and a totally happy place – much like its owner, Maria Raleigh, a warm and delightful curator of everything creative.
Fifteen years ago collage opened on Alberta Street with one store. That store has doubled in size and collage now has two additional locations in southeast Portland. A gift store a few doors west on Alberta Street, known as the collage annex, has curated collectibles, handcrafted items, games and unique treasures.
Maria had a long history in retail sales and management experience when the idea for collage started brewing while she was home raising her two young sons.
She recognized a need, found a space and started filling it with everything for the crafter, artist and young crafter. She now employs 35 people in her four stores, and they are warm, friendly, accommodating and knowledgeable.
collage stocks more than 60,000 items from 400 vendors. The inventory is customer driven and the staff tries to fulfill customers’ special requests. Maria’s goal is to supply as much as possible to her diverse clientele while still being organized.
Maria explained the store’s name. “A collage is taking a little bit of everything and making it work.”
Her stores host free crafts nights at nearby Atlas Pizza locations in their neighborhoods. In addition, Maria uses crafting for team building. Among the clientele she has worked with are Nike and Intel, and collage has provided craft tables at Concordia Neighborhood Association events.
“With three supply store locations and one gift shop, collage is so much more than just a local art and craft supply store,” Maria pointed out. She is a joyful presence in the neighborhood, and she is committed to building community.
Her website at collagepdx.com is jam-packed with stimulating crafting details on varied subjects. It includes a calendar of events, store locations and hours.
Maria is currently in the process of creating an online store. But she still welcomes your visits to collage at 1639 N.E. Alberta St. and your calls to 503.249.2190.
After living east, south, north and west, Marsha Sandman is home at last. And she wants to hear your story. Contact her at MarshaJSandman@gmail.com.