The Fire

[Shop Adorn: We will be featuring a guest blogger for the next few weeks, covering the details of the fire and the rebuilding efforts.]

Hi, my name is Cindy Park.

I’ve been friends with Nicole Whitesell, the owner of Shop Adorn, for the past 4 years. I’ve watched her business grow from a tiny little store crammed into a 200 square foot space to a successful boutique in the heart of Beaumont Village.

I was there when she first walked into her new store location, bursting with ideas and excitement. And I was there to help roll the paint on the walls, to painstakingly lay each penny onto that darn countertop, and to shop for every table, mannequin and light that went into her store. And I was there for the grand opening, which blew away all of our expectations.

It’s still difficult for her to talk about her store without feeling the loss. So, when Nicole asked to me to take over blogging for the next few weeks, covering the details of the fire and the rebuilding process, I couldn’t say no.

A lot of people have asked about the extent of the damage. “Can you salvage anything?” is the most often asked question. I’ve asked it as well too. I saw the photos of the damage and thought I was prepared. I remember what her store used to look like:

And instead, I walked into this…

The first thing you notice is the smell of smoke – it’s overwhelming. We had the door wide open but I was surprised at how dark it was; the walls and ceilings were black, covered in soot and ash. See those droopy looking things near the ceiling? Those were ceiling fans – the blades melted in the heat. So did the hangers.

The office in the upper loft was fairly far away from the source of the fire but the heat warped all the equipment, including the printers.

This was the cash wrap, the custom counter that we built out of reclaimed lumber and hundreds and hundreds of pennies. It’s hard to make sense of what it used to be.

It would be easy to get bogged down in discouragement and self-pity but Nicole has shown tremendous strength and resilience. I debated on whether or not to post these photos on her blog but she had pictures of the building process when she first moved in. So it makes sense to show where she’ll be starting from – again. And people are curious.

I’ll be posting periodically during the rebuilding. A lot of people have shown kindness and support over the last week, asking how they can help. Please keep checking back here – we’ll have an email address available soon, a list of items needed for the rebuild and hopefully some dates on when we’ll be painting and building again.

Thank you again, from myself, Nicole and everyone else at Shop Adorn.


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  • Cindy,
    I’m so glad you are doing this, I’ll be sure to check back!

  • Keep us in the loop. We love Adorn.

  • Wow. Just, wow. I commend the courage and tenacity of all involved with Adorn, and know that with the community that is Portland, you will come back from this stronger than ever.

  • Nicole: I just heard of the tragic news! Please, know you are in my thoughts & I wish for a quick rebuild for you and much continued success. Breathe, you have a community of people behind you! If there is anything that I can do, please, let me know.