Portland, hello! We’re so excited to have made our way to this vibrant and bike-friendly city. On Friday, June 12 we’ll open the doors to our first ever PUBLIC Showroom in Portland at 828 NW 23rd Street (adjacent to awesome Marine Layer). Read more about our Portland Showroom here.
We had a chance to catch up with our PUBLIC Portland Showroom manager, Elly Swope. She’s a fun loving individual who works at PUBLIC by day and fronts a band at night! Read on to learn more about Elly and her band, Focus! Focus! and make sure to swing by our PUBLIC Showroom and say hi to Elly and the team.
PUBLIC: Tell us a little about yourself.
ELLY: I’m originally from Missouri, and I moved to Portland in 2010. I’m a musician and I had heard great things about the PDX music scene. After a few years here, my partner Vikki and I moved to LA to learn more about the music industry there. But it wasn’t long before we missed beautiful Portland, and we moved back in Fall of 2014.
PUBLIC: Where did you work before?
ELLY: I’ve been in music retail for about 9 years. Most recently, I worked for Guitar Center in sales and management.
PUBLIC: What do you like best about Portland?
ELLY: I love how inclusive this city is; about passions, about identity, about career dreams. In Portland, you are given the space to be whoever you are or want to be, and you can usually find other people like you. Also, the beer and coffee are great.
PUBLIC: Tell us some fact or background about yourself that might surprise people.
ELLY: I’ve been playing music for almost 20 years. I started playing drums first, when I was a kid, and I learned guitar later on. I started writing songs when I was in college, and quickly realized I wanted to make a career out of it. So I spend most of my time writing, recording, and performing with my band, Focus! Focus!
PUBLIC: What’s your experience riding bikes in Portland?
ELLY: I love biking here! I biked in LA, and it was terrible. The drivers didn’t want you there; the air was hard to breathe. In Portland, I feel safe and I feel like I’m part of a community.
PUBLIC: What are your favorite routes or places to visit by bicycle in Portland?
ELLY: I like biking on the Eastside, where I live, scoping out the houses, and daydreaming about owning one someday. One of my favorite rides is from my neighborhood in outter NE, down to a coffee shop called Crema in inner SE, down Ankeny to 28th. The big craftsman houses on the route are gorgeous!
PUBLIC: What are you looking forward to in leading the new PUBLIC Portland showroom?
ELLY: I’m excited to help connect PUBLIC to the Portland biking community, and to help new riders connect to the community as well!