Port of Raleigh – Modern Home & Design Store in Raleigh

I first met Ana Maria Munoz at my Gather shop in downtown Cary three or four years ago. I was behind the counter slinging coffee and she was a customer, it was Small Business Saturday and she carried one of the totes that we were handing out free in honor of the event. And while Ana Maria was warm and engaging, the thing I noticed most about her was her sense of personal style. She had an “otherness” about her wardrobe that didn’t feel like it was native to the area. It felt more European and urban than things I was used to seeing around here – in a good way.

Flash forward to now and Ana Maria is just about to celebrate the second anniversary of her own store, Port of Raleigh in downtown Raleigh. This Saturday too is Small Business Saturday so it seems fitting to post about her shop now, though I’ve been wanting to do so for a long time. The thing that sets her shop apart is the same thing that I noticed with her wardrobe, it is impeccably curated with a modern, European/traveled flair that is literally unlike anything in the Triangle area.

Located in a new construction building in downtown Raleigh with big glass windows, pops of her signature industrial yellow on the walls, and polished concrete floors, Port of Raleigh is steps away from Poole’s (the best mac and cheese you’ll ever try) and the convention center. Inside you’ll find modern home goods, most of which are imported, think Japanese paper products and Danish metal accessories, but also goods from right here. She fosters and sells the work of a local furniture design company Flitch Furniture, and regularly features the work of local makers and NC State design school students in her First Friday events, all within the lens of modern home goods.

Recently her shop was featured on the very popular design blog, designmilk, and rightfully so. I have been fortunate to travel abroad to many countries as well as cities around the U.S. and my favorite pastime is exploring the shops. I am fascinated by how others merchandise their goods, the products they feature, the trends and patterns, the colors and layout of the shop. It is an absolute passion, nay obsession, and I have the pictures to prove it.

Ana Maria’s point of view is dictated by having lived in multiple countries herself and also having been well traveled and that perspective comes through in her merchandise mix and is her brand’s “north star”. In my opinion, Port of Raleigh is just as good as the best that I have seen, that it is here in the Triangle, NC area portends good things for this region. Lucky as that makes us, if we are even luckier she will find a way to share her perspective on apparel and fashion as well in the future – but understanding shop ownership the way I do, that is a big ask and a lot of pressure for an already overworked shop owner. 😉

You can shop in person at Port of Raleigh Wed-Sat from 11am-7pm& Sun 12pm-5pm, at her online shop, and you can follow her on instagram. Expect to see her adorable daughter Hazel sweeping the front entry, her husband, towering above them both, adjusting window displays and of course Ana Maria and her merchandise picks.

Port of Raleigh is located at 416 S McDowell Street, Raleigh, NC 27601.

Photography by Michelle Smith for Gather Goods Co.

Recent Exploring Around Town, Raleigh, NC

Croissant at Boulted Bread in Raleigh, NC | Gather Goods Co

One of my favorite indulgences comes from Boulted Bread here in Raleigh, NC. Their ham & cheese croissant is heaven in a flaky, buttery crust that crumbles into a messy but delicious heap. They recently got named one of the best bakeries in the U.S. by Bon Appetit and for good reason.

Oak City Cycling at Boulted Bread, Raleigh, NC | Gather Goods Co

I spotted Gather’s neighbors, Oak City Cycling there on a recent weekday morning before we all began our work shifts about a mile away on Franklin Street.

Preserved Creatures at Holder Goods, Raleigh, NC | Gather Goods Co

Next door to Boulted Bread is Holder Goods, a wonderfully eclectic shop filled with vintage ephemera and beautifully curated vignettes.

Preserved Creatures at Holder Goods, Raleigh, NC | Gather Goods Co

I especially love these preserved creatures cast in resin blocks that I spotted there.

Summer Porch | Gather Goods Co

Summer is on its way out, though the weather has yet to turn and my porch is still holding on to the season …

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC | Gather Goods Co

On the days when the weather dips down into the eighties you have to leave the house and get outside because it is a rarity. Somehow despite living here fifteen years, I always forget that the weather stays in the nineties from June through the end of September. On the last nice day, my family and I explored the North Carolina Art Museum and walked their grounds.

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC | Gather Goods Co

The museum already has an impressive outdoor area with walking trails that are dotted with sculptures and interactive buildings but is in the process of adding on even more with an unveiling in early November.

Market Imports, Raleigh, NC | Gather Goods Co Another fun place to explore is Market Imports near the Farmers Market. The shop is filled with garden pots, and imported home decor mostly made of iron, metals and wood.

What have you explored recently in the Triangle?

Shop Spotting, Sukah Amsterdam

Last year at this time my husband, daughter and I were in Europe for about a month. My husband had the opportunity to work at his company’s German headquarters so my daughter and I tagged along and explored. Every weekend we traveled to another country and explored there too because of the close proximity of countries to Dusseldorf, our home base. I took a lot of photos, mostly of shops and flowers because I knew this was a once in a lifetime thing and I may not get the chance again. The trip was so inspiring to me as a designer and shop owner.

One of our weekend trips was to Amsterdam. Every store here was beautiful, plant-filled, white and bright. I really loved how all the shops we went to in Europe really cared about their shop exterior and interior.

Sukah Amsterdam | Gather Goods Co

Despite the chilly weather in Amsterdam, there were gorgeous, exotic, fresh cut flowers in vases in every shop, candles lit, and attention paid to the smallest details. The shop Sukah Amsterdam was just stunning. I loved the climbing vine framing the storefront window and the script type decal on the window in white. The potted planters with dainty purple flowers in them were the perfect accent.

Sukah Amsterdam | Gather Goods Co

Inside Sukah, everything was very neutral. The display pieces were all white which really allowed the merchandise to pop. Despite the lack of color in the shop, the space still felt warm because of the materials and textures they used for their displays: rope, wool fabrics, wood and yarn.

Sukah Amsterdam | Gather Goods Co

Every area of the shop was creatively merchandised and designed for your imagination to be sparked but also left plenty of eye-pleasing blank space for you to take in what you just saw. Here you see jewelry displayed in open wood frames arranged gallery wall style with a script quote. The font and quote keeps the continuity of the branding from the front of the store consistent throughout the space and still feels whimsical and not heavy handed.

Sukah Amsterdam | Gather Goods Co

When other colors were used in the merchandising of the space they stuck to light grays, and very pale pastels.

Sukah Amsterdam | Gather Goods Co

I especially enjoyed this table topped with beautiful ceramic pieces. Those white ceramic tea pots with wooden handles and copper details are right up my alley.

Sukah Amsterdam | Gather Goods Co

The attention to detail extended to their employee kitchenette, which fully visible from the shop, was tidy and perfectly lovely. Sigh, if only my kitchen stayed that way.

Sukah Amsterdam | Gather Goods Co

These wooden cabinets on the wall create movement and allow the space to not feel static and all “on display”. The clothing racks in the shop were made from birch wood and rope hung from the ceiling.

Sukah Amsterdam | Gather Goods Co

Sukah Amsterdam | Gather Goods Co

And as you leave a sweet little sign framed in wood. So nice.

Photos by Michelle Smith. Hire me for your next project.