Portland is perhaps best known for it’s distinctively creative community.
Delia Tethong, former marketer and new business owner of the concept shop HOUSE OF COMMONS is a part of this special group. After noticing a need to help local creatives and makers uniquely showcase their work, she devised a plan to create a space where change is the constant – and is perpetually welcomed. “I’m a true believer of giving talented people the room to work their magic, whether it is in-store displays, merchandising, or art of the walls.” She shared with us. “I am continuously impressed by people’s skills and expansive creativity.” HOUSE OF COMMONS is a hub that not only celebrates quality product and a commitment to community, but dually acts as a nurturing resource by providing a unique environment for featured makers to be showcased in a specially curated space. Speaking more to this, we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to tour the beautifully edited storefront and chat with the new shop-boss on what it means to maintain a boutique and build a community. Read on to see more of HOUSE OF COMMONS and get to know more about Delia’s story and style.
STORY BY RACHEL SCHWARTZMANN – PHOTOS BY Nicholas Wilson
I’m [Delia] and I am one of the many midwestern transplants here in Portland.
Originally from Bloomington, IN, I landed in Portland after living in London, Thailand, and Los Angeles. Something about this city stuck and I’ve now been here for 3 years. I have serious wanderlust so when I am not in the shop I am usually out at my aunt and uncle’s farm in eastern Oregon, or trying to plot my next trip wherever it may be. When I am not trying to make a getaway, I am busy indulging in the ridiculously good food and drink scene in this crazy city.
With most of my family being so spread out (and far away), having a solid group of amazing people around me is something I truly value. I can’t say enough good things about the friends I have made here. I feel extremely lucky that I get to see all of these weirdos on regular basis and will never take that for granted. It makes life more enjoyable!
Talk to us about the communal aspect of House of Commons, what conversation do you hope to facilitate with this concept?
When deciding to take the leap of faith and really focus on opening my own store, I knew it would need to be a space that could inspire makers, artists and creatives that were looking for an outlet to showcase their work in a different way. I’m a true believer of giving talented people the room to work their magic, whether it is in-store displays, merchandising, or art of the walls, and I am continuously impressed by people’s skills and expansive creativity. I want HOUSE OF COMMONS to always promote collaboration and act as a very open space for people to build or sell amazing things.
How would you describe the HOUSE OF COMMONS community?
HOUSE OF COMMONS definitely draws people of all ages, all walks of life and all different tastes. I’ve worked really hard to carry some vendors and product that either you can’t find anywhere else in Portland or that the community may not have known before. It’s also been really fun to see people who have followed certain brands on instagram for a long time and come in because they saw that we carry them now. It lets us actually connect with customers in a more personal way and geek out over some of these amazing designers we all love.
HOUSE OF COMMONS seems to be built on the premise of change – What role has change played in your own life and how has it inspired your point of view?
My background is in digital marketing and branding, which I have really enjoyed working in these last few years, but ultimately I always dreamt of owning a boutique, so when the opportunity arose I knew that it needed to have another element other than just retail. I like that I can use my past job experience in agencies, galleries, and small start-ups to help influence the store. I loved the idea of rotating themes, not only because it keeps me from getting bored, but it also acts somewhat like a gallery and let’s me constantly curate brands and inventory in a unique way. If you couldn’t tell already I get antsy, easily, so this seems to be the perfect balance for me at this point in my life.
What is one question you wish people asked you more often?
“Do you need a carpenter?” If there was one thing I learned when opening the shop, it is the fact I am not a carpenter and there are people out there who are professionals for a reason.
The Style Line was built on the premise of discovery, exploration and transit. With this in mind, if what is your “style line”?
If I were to narrow it down and say my “style line” in one word, it would be “jumpers”. Portland is a pretty laid back city, so when it comes to a daily outfit, I try to go with effortless pieces that are easy to throw on but also show that they were on purpose. If I could just wear beautifully cut jumpers all day everyday I would. I came to this somewhat embarrassing realization recently when looking at our spring lines and seeing just how many jumpers I had ordered.