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NEWTW!ST

296 E. Fifth, Eugene, Ore.

Store We Adore
By Kristin Bartus
This story appears in the August 2010 issue of JCK magazine
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NEWTW!ST
Photographs by Charlie Borland

At first glance, NEWTW!ST might appear too sleek and modern to fit into its hippie-fied home base of Eugene, Ore. But upon closer examination, the airy shop’s precisely arranged dis­­plays of jewelry and housewares (priced from $50 to $5,000) offer much more than meets the eye. Owner Colleen Stangeland’s selections possess the perfect blend of boho, polish, and heart for her customers. She achieves this winning combination by seeking out classic pieces with a trendy edge by artists who don’t mass-produce. Then she gets to know her customers so she can help them find exactly the right treasure in her uncluttered trove.

 

PEACE, LOVE, AND UNDERSTANDING

While Stangeland’s taste tends toward classic and timeless, she still manages to appeal to her more free-spirited clients. Case in point: NEWTW!ST features peace symbol necklaces by multiple artists. “Always gotta love peace, and we’re doing it in a more refined way. It’s really, really important,” she says. “The message thing is what we’re all about.” She and her clients especially adore Jeanine Payer’s silver and gold ­jewelry works, which are delicately adorned with heartfelt sayings like Live for love and literary quotes from Shakespeare, Emerson, and Rilke.

 

LOOKING THE PART

Stangeland is NEWTW!ST personified. Much like she keeps the store’s sizable jewelry collections looking nice and tidy by setting them against neutral backdrops (within wood and glass cases), Stangeland ­herself gives off a chic, cohesive vibe by wearing her jewelry against an unobtrusive black shirt and slacks. She begins counting how many artists she’s wearing currently and makes it to eight. “Do I look overdone?” she asks rhetorically. Stangeland can’t even remember how many artists and designers she stocks in the shop. So when the staff assembles each artist’s latest case, it’s all about simplicity, definition, and clarity. “You’re looking at so much that’s beautiful here that your mind can be in overstimulation, so that’s what you have to do. You have to really strive for clarity.”

VISION QUEST

“I obviously train [my staff] with a certain method of doing things. I’ll see something and I’ll want it tweaked immediately. I know the way I want to see it. I want it clean; I want it simple. I want it to be readable and not cluttered. So when we train our staff, that’s what we do. We train them to have my eye.”

THE ART OF THE MATTER

“It’s a great business. You’re supporting artists; you’re supporting people who make things,” she enthuses. “And the relationship with customers is just amazing. I have championed so many of my friendships just through being here.”

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