If you have to pick one business that represents everything that is good and vibrant about Portland’s creative economy, Pinecone + Chickadee would have to be that single shop. Their location at 6 Free Street puts them in the center of the city, and their work has been central to the development of the city’s burgeoning handmade and Buy Local movements as well.
Pinecone + Chickadee is the handiwork of Amy Teh and Noah DeFilippis, who are also part of the braintrust behind the popular Picnic Arts + Music festivals, and the shop somehow manages to combine handmade arts, vintage finds, and some eclectic mass-produced items into an esthetic that is a unique, yet also comfortably familiar.
They first came to my attention when my son got one of their locally-iconic Yeti shirts as a holiday gift, and since then they have become my go-to stop for year-round gift needs. The inclusion of vintage items in their carefully curated inventory ensures that there is always something new and surprising in the store, while their keen business sense ensures that when you need a Yeti t-shirt, you are always able to stop in and find one. When you buy a gift from them, you can always be assured that it will surprise and delight the recipient.
They have an especially fantastic selection of children’s toys — paper rockets, shadow puppets, puzzles, and stuffed creatures — all of which will stimulate the imagination of your favorite child.
They also have a terrific selection of cards, jewelry (handmade and vintage), the t-shirts they’re famous for, as well as some harder to classify gift items and curios. My two current favorites are the “I’m Not A Paper Towel” dishtowel, and the “Best Year Ever” wall calendar. I was also tickled recently to find that they have Maine Balsam Pillows, one of the most iconic Maine souvenirs ever.
Pinecone + Chickadee is located at 6 Free Street in Portland, near One City Center. They are open Monday – Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and on Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. You can read their blog, Like them on Facebook, or visit their Etsy site.
Still having trouble finding them? Here’s a map!