Owner Ashley Sexton stands in front of her store, Atlas Decor.
McMinnville’s Third Street offers a range of shopping opportunities, with a multitude of small stores and boutiques lining the street. But the mere four-month-old boutique, Atlas Decor, tucked between Third Street Books and The Christian Science Reading Room, has created a unique shopping experience.
Atlas Decor may be new to McMinnville, but owner Ashley Sexton is not. Sexton grew up in the area and attended Perrydale High School in Amity.
“Just out of high school, I worked for Found Objects,” Sexton said. “Ever since then, it’s been my goal to be in the retail business.”
Now, Sexton’s boutique is just a block down Third Street from Found Objects.
Sexton studied anthropology at Western Oregon University and moved to Portland after graduating, where she lived for six months until she was ready to return home.
“I was living in Portland, I was turning 30, I was ready to be home and near my family, so I felt it was time,” Sexton said.
Her whimsical boutique carries a diverse selection of home décor and gifts, as well as a growing clothing collection—all from small companies and artists from “all over,” including L.A., Tacoma and San Diego.
Sexton carries items from companies nearly as new as her own, such as Fleet, an original clothing company created by two L.A. locals in 2011.
“We strive for elegance and refined construction in our designs, which are sewn locally by our private sewers in Downtown L.A. and then hand-finished by us in our studio,” wrote the company on its website.
Nearly every piece in the store has a story, many of which the company provides: Matt Ellison, creator of GurglePot, explains how a trip to Southern France inspired his creation in a small card that Sexton displays alongside his items.
Even the furniture has a story.
“We built most of the furniture in here and refurbished others,” Sexton said. “I used to sell furniture a long time ago, so I wanted to do that again. But I love clothes, so I wanted to do a mixture of both.”
Sexton also carries handmade cards, including her own. Her cards feature an array of colorful pictures from her travels in Mexico, where she studied through Western Oregon, as well as images from her mother’s adventures in France. A store favorite is the “Oregon Only” series, cards that feature unique pictures from around Oregon that Sexton has taken herself.
Uniqueness is a quality that Atlas Decor revels in, making it a true, one-of-a-kind spot in McMinnville. Not only is Atlas Decor distinctive, it is personal.
“I just want you to come in, feel comfortable and feel at home,” Sexton said. In addition to the beautifully refurnished and welcoming couches, Sexton offers hot cider to make customers feel at home.
Sexton has a lot more in store for Atlas Decor. She is currently working with the McMinnville Public Market and hopes to open up the back area of her store to local vendors.
“I don’t know if it’s quite there yet, I feel like there’s so much left to do,” Sexton said. “But, I love doing it.”
Atlas Decor is located at 334 NE Third Street. For more information, visit Atlas Decor on Facebook.
Chrissy Shane/Features editor
Chrissy Shane can be reached at email@example.com