Boys Fort is a stylishly rustic store located in downtown Portland, Oregon, conceived and owned by Jake and Rolfe – two creative guys with really good taste. If you have a tree house worthy of Better Homes and Gardens or Elle Décor – or just like useful, attractive, and rustic things – this is the store for you.
As Jake and Rolfe tell it, Boys Fort is really a “happy accident.” It started out as a temporary Portland Pop Up store in the historic Galleria Building that they did “just for fun.” Much to their surprise, it was wildly successful. The public loved the curated mix of charming-yet-roughhewn items. At the end of their Pop Up run, the public was simply not OK with Boys Fort just going away, and made it known they wanted more.
It’s easy to see why once you enter Boys Fort. Both Jake and Rolfe spent several years in theatre designing sets, which morphed into designing interiors. Their eclectic backgrounds steeped in design come through loud and clear once you walk in. This is not your typical retail store, but more of a retail “experience.”
Handcrafted items made of wood, leather, and other natural materials are artfully interspersed with quality accessories and vintage objects. The store is chock full of a variety of wares from local makers, and makers from other places that share the Boys Fort aesthetic.
The carefully but playfully arranged store encourages wandering and gazing (and probably lots of buying, too.) When asked how they choose things for Boys Fort, Jake and Rolfe say there is “no formula” and they “just know it when they see it, because we know what does and doesn’t work.”
Something else that informs the Boys Fort aesthetic is that Jake’s father was a machinist, so he grew up around lots of old tools and things that had a useful, industrial quality – which is why he appreciates Landport. He finds the lock box attractive, functional, and well made, which is why he has graciously displayed a Red Deluxe Rectangle in the store.
When asked what’s next for Boys Fort, Jake and Rolfe say they try not to project too far into the future, but hint at some creative collaborations and also developing some of their own products. Plus, Christmas is right around the corner, and Jake let us know that Boys Fort intends to “do it up” for the holidays.
Since Landport is a huge fan, we’re eager to see what’s around the fort’s corner.