“It was something we had to have,” said Andrea Nichols, holding two pottery pieces, a planter and a cup, each with a glazed charcoal surface and a hand-carved engraving of Haystack Rock under a Crescent moon. “They’re slip-cast, so it’s kind of fun because they’re all a little wonky, they’re not always perfectly round,” she added, carefully placing the pieces, made in Vancouver, Washington, Ruby Farms pottery studio. , under a set of cascading leaves.
Andrea and her husband Daniel Nichols, who together own Staghorn Mercantile in Cannon Beach, have followed their love for handmade local produce to the coast. First opening a boutique in Beaverton nearly four years ago, the couple sought out North West artisans to stock their shelves. It’s a practice they hope to continue at their second location, which opened in February.
Walking through the shop, Andrea recounted the regional items decorating every corner. “Apolis tea, they’re out of Washington, Wingstitutions, out of Washington, they do the butterfly earrings,” Andrea said, standing next to a display case full of earrings made of resin set wings. . “Ethically sourced butterflies,” added Daniel. With a lifespan of just three weeks, the butterflies are repurposed into farms primarily focused on restocking.
In addition to vendors from the Portland area, the shop offers candles from Prineville, toffee from Bend and even handmade baskets from South Africa, Rwanda and Uganda. The couple also began adding coastal dwellers to their collection, including wooden plant stands made by Sam Block of Block Furniture, located in Cannon Beach.
“We have Portland as our home base,” Andrea said, “but Cannon Beach has always been very special to us.” The location marked the couple’s first trip together, where Andrea recalls finding a sand dollar for the first time. For Daniel, memories of the coast date back to childhood. “My parents used to come here in the 70s. Back then my dad always told me it was like this playground on the beach. You would go from one bonfire to another,” Daniel said.
The couple now split their time between Portland and Cannon Beach, bringing along their excitable pup, “Adelaide.” “She’s very sweet when she’s at the store,” Andrea said. “But as soon as she puts on her beach vest, she knows she can go to the beach…you let her off the leash and she just goes in the water.”
Cannon Beach is also a favorite of Daniel’s 13-year-old daughter, who has become acquainted with local traders. “It’s nice that she also feels part of the community when she’s here,” Andrea said. When the new store opened, the couple also packed some large cacti, the centerpiece of the store’s plant collection. Daniel was reluctant at first, but the first desert plant sold out within weeks.
Today, the shop hopes to return to its roots. Andrea, who makes macrame plant holders and does hand lettering, first envisioned the space as a creative outlet, offering classes and selecting tropical plants. Now the two plan to expand their Beaverton offerings to the coast, with classy materials ranging from macrame with mimosas to Kokedama, a technique originating in Japan. “You take a plant and wrap it in moss, it’s like a living pot,” Daniel said.
The couple are grateful for the community support, which allowed them to quickly establish a sense of belonging in Cannon Beach, and plan to encourage more local makers by offering pop-up summer sessions. “We like to promote local people as much as possible,” Daniel said. “It’s exciting to be able to make those connections.”