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what a ride

Illustration by Emily Brooks Designs


The time has come to say thank you and goodbye.

After nearly five years of business, Port of Raleigh will be closing our storefront and online operations on August 23. Your support, enthusiasm, and patronage made this dream-store possible and we are eternally grateful. We would not have stayed in business this long without you!

I made the decision last year to prioritize family; with our lease ending this fall and Covid-19 upon us, the time is now. I became mom to our first daughter at the same time Port of Raleigh was born. The first few years felt like a never ending roller coaster ride as I learned to simultaneously navigate and nurture two new worlds. We now have a second daughter and with my feet firmly on the ground, I’m excited to pursue new opportunities with family and career.

I’ve learned so much about the ins-and-outs of building, owning, and operating every detail of a retail store and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished. I speak on behalf of our team in saying that we will miss our in-store moments, connections, and conversations. We are so lucky to have witnessed your own evolutions from graduations to new jobs, from engagements to growing families.

Our online friends: thank you for choosing to shop with us in a sea of endless options. I hope that we got a chance to see you in our brick and mortar at least once during a visit to Raleigh. 

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to create, play, and grow in this bright space with you.

Please join us on Instagram over the next several weeks as we look back at all of the fun we’ve had at 416 S. McDowell St. plus information on our  in-store clearance sale.

It has been an honor and a pleasure. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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Store update 3/18/2020

UPDATE: 3/21/20

Our downtown Raleigh storefront is temporarily closed but open on an appointment basis⁠. Online orders are being processed per usual.


📲 If you want to order online and pick up curbside, just give us a call when you’re on your way.⁠⠀
🚙 Live within 3 miles of the store? We’re happy to offer free front door/porch delivery for orders of $50 or more.⁠⠀
🇺🇸 Friends from elsewhere in the USA: please consider shopping our website while shopping online. Your orders mean the world.⁠⠀





Just like all of our small business peers and their employees who make up the collective fabric of our communities - and depend on the opposite of self-isolation - we’re doing everything we can to keep the lights on within our abilities and limitations.⁠⠀
We may not sell essentials like groceries or food, but we do offer things that can help make your everyday at home a little better. I started Port of Raleigh because I believe that the objects we choose to bring into our lives and home can have transformative powers. From a simple mug that helps you enjoy your coffee or tea that much more to a throw blanket that becomes a part of your nightly Netflix ritual; *things* are a part of our lives and we just so happen to have some of those things for you.⁠⠀
🕚 Starting today - and until further notice - our hours will be 11-4 Wednesday through Saturday; 12-4 Sunday. ⁠⠀
📍If you’re healthy and intentionally visiting (i.e. purchasing and not just dilly dallying), we’d love to see you. We rarely have more than 1-3 people in the store at the same time anyway so social distancing practices are already something we can offer.⁠⠀
📲 If you want to order online and pick up curbside, just give us a call when you’re on your way.⁠⠀
🚙 Live within 2 miles of the store? We’re happy to offer free front door/porch delivery for orders of $50 or more.⁠⠀
🇺🇸 Friends from elsewhere in the USA: please consider shopping our website while shopping online. Your orders mean the world.⁠⠀
If you’re able, please keep shopping with small businesses for any want and need (if a store doesn’t have a website, call or DM them!), keep placing those take-out orders with local restaurants and cafes, and please buy gift cards from service providers you normally use but may not be visiting any time soon (i.e. hair or nail salons). With your support, we all may stand a chance to come out of this ok.⁠⠀
Thank you!

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event // New Carolina


New Carolina, a curated showcase of contemporary furniture and textile design in North Carolina


A note from Port of Raleigh owner, Ana Maria: 


Through Port of Raleigh I’ve had the opportunity to connect with local designers who are creating fresh, beautiful, and exciting things. All right here in the Triangle.

It’s been a goal to share local work like theirs since Port of Raleigh opened but it’s also been a challenge to create the proper presentations for them within the store’s four walls. 

It was time to think beyond our own box. Since these designers are emerging, they do not currently have permanent customer-facing opportunities like showrooms or full brick & mortar retail representation. It was time to create a dedicated space where these designers could showcase their work and our community could engage with them, even if just for a day or two. The vision for the event was an intimate trade show feel but be free and open to the public so that anyone interested in discovering and supporting local designers would be welcome. 

And it’s happening. This weekend we’ll transform the beautiful event space at Junction West in Downtown Raleigh into a curated, fun, and engaging celebration of contemporary design from our own backyard. 

It brings me so much joy to say that New Carolina has a range of incredible options for those seeking locally made modern home furnishings. 

When my husband and I moved to Raleigh over five years ago - knowing a bit about North Carolina’s rich history in furniture making - we set out to find locally made modern furniture. It wasn’t easy. New Carolina aims to ease the hunt, create an opportunity to personally engage with the designs and the designers themselves, and help you find that perfect-something for your home. 

But the goals don’t stop there. A very high-level, long-term goal of the event is to put our area’s emerging contemporary design community on the map. There is great talent in our region. Genuine, passionate, and worthy-of-so-much-attention talent and this first and very small event is just the beginning. 

To learn more about the event and the designers, please visit

I hope you’ll join us if you’re near, and thank you for your support from afar! 

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fall reflections


Fall has a way of feeling reflective and today I found myself reading a blog post from my (now very outdated) personal website. 

It's the last entry: my big personal announcement of opening Port of Raleigh. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it four years ago and re-reading it today. 

Thank you for being a part of this story!



Even though I’ve completely abandoned blogging, I feel like this is still the best place for me to share big news (or at least elaborate on big news shared via Instagram).

It excites and scares me beyond belief to share that I’m opening a brick and mortar store here in Raleigh!!! Excites because it’s always been the goal through past jobs and endeavors (one, two, three) and now it’s actually happening. And scares because I’m taking on a lot as a new business owner and new mama. Emotions aside, the time is now and the time feels right. 

The store is called Port of Raleigh and will focus on modern and timeless designs from far and near, for home and lifestyle. For a long time I thought that my first store would be for clothing and accessories but that all changed after experiences from furnishing my first apartment to living overseas. I realized that home is a special place, no matter how permanent or temporary, and it should have special things in it. Take the following quote from William Morris in 1880:

“Believe me, if we want art to begin at home, as it must, we must clear our houses of troublesome superfluities that are forever in our way, conventional comforts that are no real comforts, and do but make work for servants and doctors. If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”

I came across this quote when I moved into my first apartment in downtown Los Angeles. I was trying to match my hard earned pennies with Craigslist and flea market finds in order to furnish my space just right. Morris’s Golden Rule resonated with me and I made sure to apply it to every item I brought home. 

One year later Joe asked me to move to London with him. His was making a career move and he wanted me to go with. I was too in love to stay behind and I knew that it would be the beginning of something incredible. It was there when I had my first introduction to design stores and modern/industrial design in general. In L.A., the plentiful (and affordable) mid century modern furnishings made it easy for me to stick to that style almost exclusively but living in London and traveling through Europe blew my mind. For the first time I felt like I was truly discovering and experiencing modern design as function, be it through furniture or simple housewares. I would walk into design and home stores and think “I’ve never seen anything like that before” or “that’s clever/practical/artful/useful/beautiful and I want it in my home/life!”. From modern British to Scandinavian design, I understood Mr. Morris’s quote even more. 

After living in London for over one year, we moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for Joe’s work. Again, my mind was blown. This time it was with the more traditional techniques used in Asian designs. From Indonesia to Japan - I loved it all. Prior to this, my points of reference for traditionally handcrafted goods were from family visits to Colombia and work trips to Africa - both places rich in basket weaving and textiles. 

Because we were living in temporary apartments, the Golden Rule was ever more important to follow. We didn't want to keep moving stuff around the world while our old stuff sat in storage in Los Angeles. Everything and anything we did allow ourselves to buy and keep throughout moves had to have a function and be aesthetically pleasing to us. Be useful AND beautiful. 

Fast forward to moving back to L.A. and then choosing to make Raleigh our permanent home, we were finally in a space that we could furnish and decorate for the long haul. I started thinking about all the great design brands, styles, and products that I’d become familiar with and just as quickly realized that it was going to be tricky to find them in our new city.  In speaking with new neighbors and new friends who had also moved to Raleigh from elsewhere, I learned that they shared similar shopping experiences. 

I was two months pregnant with Hazel when I passed a storefront in downtown Raleigh, where we live, and spotted a blanket in the window. “That looks nice” I thought, it was Fall and a throw blanket would be perfect for warming up our new living room. I walked inside to ask about it and the shopgirl informed me that it was only for the window display and that it was from Target. I was totally disappointed. Target has some great stuff but if I wanted to buy a blanket from Target, I’d go to Target. Instead, I wanted to support a neighborhood shop with my purchase and have that purchase be a little bit more special. In that moment I knew that I was finally in the right place at the right time to open my store, with even more assurance that it needed to focus on home and lifestyle goods.

I was six months pregnant when I really decided to go for it. I met with a local business development rep and visited what would be my future shop. I received the email with the final lease agreement the day that Hazel was born. Two new babies on May 13, 2015: a Hazel and a Port of Raleigh.

This city is growing. People are moving in, apartments and condos are building up. I want current and new residents to know that they have a place where they can shop local and find that special something for their home, however permanent or temporary it may be. Using the Golden Rule, and through Port of Raleigh, I will share finds from around the world that are design-driven, functional, beautiful, and have an artful and clever approach. Objects of use that elevate your everyday and make a home that much more fun to live, play, and grow in. 

It’s been surreal writing this all out, recognizing how everything in my past has brought me to now. I cannot wait to open the doors and officially welcome the next chapter as a new mama, proud wife, and shop owner. 

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3rd Thursday with Erica Gimson

Design store Raleigh North Carolina. Shop small independent home and gift store in downtow Raleigh


Join us this Thursday!
April 18

Meet our Spring Window artist and designer, Erica Gimson and shop her selection of Cyanotype print artwork and decorative pillows.  Hand-dyed one-of-a-kind shibori decorative pillows will also be available during this one-night POP UP event.

Pop in before or after dinner downtown, we'll have wine to share!

About the artist:

Erica Gimson Design is a collection of original artwork, home linens, wall coverings, and accessories.  All designs are created by Erica in her Raleigh studio.
As a professional textiles designer and consultant for major retailers, Gimson stays engaged with her local art and design community when not working on her own art/design collections.   


About 3rd Thursday

Every 3rd Thursday we host a special multi-shop event with DTR Independent Shops to highlight the independent retail community in Downtown Raleigh.

Discover new locally and independently owned shops or revisit old favorites while enjoying extended hours, sips & snacks, and special in-store events and promotions.

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time for care

by Ana Maria Muñoz


We all know that we need to take care of ourselves but what about caring for our things and personal spaces? My answer is yes, it’s absolutely a must. Making time to take care of your things and spaces by cleaning, organizing, arranging, sorting, and fixing them is self-care.




Making time to take care of your things and spaces by cleaning, organizing, arranging, sorting, and fixing them is self-care.



I experienced this type of self-care during my family’s winter break when we stayed home and organized things at our leisure. It felt more luxurious and soul cleansing than anything else I could have done in those moments. I spend so little time at home November-December due to the holiday season that I was truly craving my creature comforts. Spring forward, I’m now experiencing it again as we nest and wait for our second daughter to be born in April.

Self care via the care and love you show to your home, offers the opportunity to recognize and give gratitude for the enjoyment you’ve received from all the things inside of it. A well worn and loved throw cushion from your movie nights on the sofa, the catch tray in the entryway that signals your arrival home every time the keys hit its surface, and the wall sconce on the wall that you use nightly for bedtime stories with your little one.

Look around your home, there are likely countless examples of how you experience your home every day and in turn, create lasting memories every day.


Look around your home, there are likely countless examples of how you experience your home every day and in turn, create lasting memories every day.


As things go, they will not remain in perfect order at all time. Nor will they remain in the pristine condition as they were when you first introduced them into your life. That’s ok, they don’t need to be. But in this self-care/things-care time, you may discover new enjoyment in refreshed spaces and find a new function for pieces when they’ve outlived their first. All while tidying up and making room for more living and memory making at home.

Definitely self-care.





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Spring Cleaning Donation Drive 2019



Spring is almost here and that means one thing: Spring cleaning!

We all do it in a small or big way and sometimes that results in finding things that we no longer want, need, or use in our homes. 

That's why from March 9 to March 31, we're hosting a donation drive for The Green Chair Project, a local non-profit that works with people recovering from homelessness, crisis or disaster.

Help others experience the comforts of home by donating new or gently used housewares at Port of Raleigh and receive 20% OFF* your purchase during your in-store visit. 

Alternatively, receive 20% OFF* your in-store purchase with proof of donation to The Green Chair Project Capital Campaign OR proof of a pickup/drop off donation to TGCP for larger items we cannot accept in-store

Click HERE for a full list of the items The Green Chair Project needs most as well as DOES NOT accept. All large furnishings please donate directly to The Green Chair Project.

Thank you!

*Discount excludes items on Clearance.

* In-Store Only.

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a festive evening of shopping and community in Durham


We're thrilled to participate in Night Market 2018 - co-produced by The Durham Hotel and Vert & Vogue!

A holiday cocktail & shopping party with 20+ local merchants where friends and neighbors gather to celebrate the season with festive drinks and gift shopping. Discover thoughtful gifts from local retailers and makers, enjoy music from Merge Records, and champagne and eggnog from the bar.

This year's Night Market will raise awareness and money for non-profit, NC Field, which supports farmworkers and their families in Eastern North Carolina, hardest hit by Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Proceeds from ticket sales and generous donations from our merchants will go directly to NC Field's "Baby It’s Cold Outside" project, a collaboration with the Migrant Education Program. This money will purchase warm clothing and holiday toys for farmworker families in need.

All you have to do to support this vital project is buy your $5 ticket today! Please join us at Night Market and lift the spirits of some of our fellow North Carolinians this holiday season. We can't wait to hang with you in Durham.


2018 Vendor Partners:

Big Spoon Roasters - Bungalow - Counter Culture Coffee - Durham Catering - Emily Triplett Jewelry - Escazú Artisan Chocolates - Everyday Magic - Exotique: Boutique and Art Gallery - Haand - Hamilton Hill Jewelry - Horse & Buggy Press - INDIO - Letters Bookshop - LIGHT Art + Design - Lil’ Farm - Merge Records - NC MADE - Other End of the Leash - Peppertrain - Port of Raleigh - Raleigh Denim Workshop - Runaway - The ZEN Succulent - Vert & Vogue - Wine Authorities Continue reading

Small Business Saturday 2018

Small Business Saturday, independent design store for homewares, lifestyle, and gifts in downtown raleigh


We're already thinking about the weekend ... NEXT weekend that is; the Saturday after Thanksgiving is #smallbizsat! We love American Express for championing small independent retailers and encouraging us all to #ShopSmall during the holiday season and year-round.

We'll be open from 8am-8pm for your convenience with hot coffee and homemade cookies for you early birds and wine for you evening owls. Online friends: we’ll have something special for you too!

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Recent posts
what a ride
Store update 3/18/2020
event // New Carolina
fall reflections
3rd Thursday with Erica Gimson