Jay & Peter, JP GEneral
We are so grateful for the community we have found in Multnomah Village. Not just our customers and consignors, but the businesses that surround us and the people behind them. In this series on the blog, we will be introducing you to some of the people responsible for building, maintaining, and celebrating this special community.
Nestled among the shops on SW Capitol Highway, directly opposite Consign Couture, is a gem of a shop that is so wonderfully curated with housewares, gardening tools, jewelry, cards, and objects that beautifully blend function, practicality, and thoughtful design with style and beauty that you just might want to move in. Yes, we’re talking about JP General, and this week we are thrilled to feature founders/owners Jay Quiggle & Peter Tolin-Baker on the blog!
What are your names, and what do you do in life? Tell us about yourselves!
We’re Jay Quiggle & Peter-Tolin Baker – the current owners and founders of JP General in Multnomah Village.
Where are you from, and how did you end up in Portland?
After twenty-two years in New York City working in the luxury retail, beauty and fashion industries, it was time for a change and we wanted to come back to the west coast. With family and history in the Portland area it was an obvious choice to resettle to and we haven’t looked back.
The pieces in your shop are so beautifully curated. What do you look for when choosing new vendors/products?
When determining what products to carry we look for locally made items when possible and focus on usefulness, design quality and sustainability.
What is the most challenging part of buying, and what is the most fun?
Buying is both an art and a science with a dose of luck; the challenge of interpreting and balancing what customers want with what you want can be tricky. The fun comes with discovering new vendors, seeing customer’s enjoyment with the product and creating a memorable store experience.
What inspires you? Where do you look for inspiration?
Inspiration comes from a range of resources and experiences including music, food, art, fashion, travel, design and people.
What is something you are proud to bring to our community?
We are proud to be a locally owned and operated LGBTQ+ business in Multnomah Village. We have appreciated being able to partner with local non-profit organizations including Meals on Wheels People, Neighborhood House and New Avenues for Youth and actively participate with the Multnomah Village Business Association.
What does “thoughtful consumption” mean to you?
Being aware of who you are buying from, where the product is from, who made it, how it was made and how it got to you; an emphasis on quality versus quantity.
Can you share a couple of tips for summer entertaining?
Keep water flowing – water pitchers filled, handy water glasses for hydrating during summer heat. Add a simple garnish for refreshing flavor – cucumber strip, or lemon and limes.
If you are entertaining outside, check the setting in advance at the same time that your event will be – adapt set-up plan as needed to work during event time – consider lighting, arrivals and departures, temperature changes during event.
What are your favorite summer recipes?
Fresh Garden Greens & Peas with Cilantro Yogurt dressing (secret recipe from our sales associate, Debbe Hamada)
You’re making a Portland “must see” list: what’s on it?
Nature – Washington Park, including The Japanese Garden and The Rose Garden
Food – Food Carts, a quintessential Portland experience. A favorite pod is The French Quarter in Multnomah Village
Architecture – pick a historic neighborhood and go for a walk – e.g. Goose Hollow, Irvington, Multnomah Village of course!
Three small businesses you love?
ComeUnityPDX in Multnomah Village – unique hybrid of gallery, retail and community center.
Mad Sass Soap Co. – our neighbors, beautifully handmade on-site plus retail store and available at local marker faires.
Folly Portland – hats off to our friend and business owner, the talented Sarah Bibb and her amazing fresh style and energy inherent to her clothing brand
The best thing you’ve watched/read/listened to lately?
Reading – Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
A simple luxury that you enjoy?
Sitting in our backyard, enjoying the view while reading a book or having time with friends and family.