Andes Roots

Picchu + Bold Pillows

A Portlander with Peruvian and Quechua family ties has opened a fair-trade, handcrafted-goods shop that aims to make a positive social impact.

Some years ago, Cheryl Pape browsed the colorful aisles of a bustling Peruvian market. She ran her fingers over the grainy surface of a spoon made of mango wood—it was just like the one her Peruvian grandmother used to dole out samples when she cooked. Pape bought the spoon.

“Señorita, buy more,” the vendor cried after her.

As she walked from the market, she thought, “Maybe he’s right. Maybe I should buy more.”

That interaction provided the spark for what would eventually become Picchu + Bold (1310 NW Naito Pkwy, #111, 503-477-5425), a boutique that sells ethically sourced, gorgeously designed home goods.

Picchu + Bold Backpacks

Growing up, Pape’s family lived all over the world—including Portland—and became immersed in many different cultures. Her father’s job had required constant moving. As an adult, she became an accountant and, after a career change, a United Nations humanitarian lawyer in the Hague.

“I had the perfect skill set to start something like Picchu + Bold—both business knowledge and a foundational awareness of justice,” says Pape, who has Peruvian and Quechuan roots. “When we moved back to Portland, I took a leap of faith and became the founder and curator.”

Pape wanted to provide rural Peruvian artisans with a global marketplace that would help them to empower themselves through their own small businesses.

“When we moved back to Portland, I took a leap of faith and became the founder and curator.”

It seems to be working. For instance, a travel case designer she partnered with was able to add an extra story to his house. And a backpack maker can now send her kids to school.

There’s plenty of good behind the store’s concept. But customers can also count on high-quality materials, such as earth dyes and natural fibers. The Andean highland sheep wool is very dense yet extremely soft, and the shop’s plush alpaca pillows are durable and naturally resist staining. And check out the dazzling array of vibrant colors in the sumptuous frazada rugs and handmade textiles.

“We’re excited to be based in the Pearl, where there are lots of places to shop for home furnishings,” says Pape. “We give people new choices—and some pops of color.” Ellee Thalheimer // Photos courtesy Picchu + Bold