Several years ago, Trina Carlson fell in love with a near century-old building in historic downtown Mount Vernon. She and her husband, Christian, set to work converting the empty shell into a space that could house their shared love for art. In 2016, the space officially opened as Perry and Carlson, a retail store with a connected art gallery.
Trina and Christian have built their life around the business — they even live inside the same building. The store has also become a “mother-daughter” endeavor for Trina and her daughter, Evan, who has helped expand the store, creating partnerships with more than 50 independent makers.
Trina is a textile artist who has always loved collecting beautiful objects. This love is apparent in the store’s eclectic and aesthetically curated inventory. Inside the shop, you’ll find everything you need to bring beauty into your home and life. Browse various home items, accessories, apparel, and jewelry, as well as bath and apothecary goods, a baby section, an outdoor collection, and more. With so many categories, Trina considers the store an all-around lifestyle shop.
“We try to work with small makers to really support and represent people that are doing the work,” Trina says. “We’re really concerned about how things are manufactured or made, and if they’re sustainable.”
The shop also carries a collection of vintage items, such as wool rugs from Turkey. Though most items in the store are available online, vintage goods can only be purchased in-store.
“We also have a love of things that have had a former life and have a history,” Trina says. “And so there’s always a smattering of vintage things in the shop.”
While Trina oversees store inventory, Christian curates the gallery side, displaying his own art alongside contemporary works from local and international artists. Each month, the gallery features new artists.
“It’s been a very positive part of what the experience is to come into the space,” Trina says. “Some people come in to look at the art, but then they’ll wander through the shop and vice versa.”
Despite COVID-19 restrictions putting a cap on occupancy, Trina says the 16 foot-tall ceilings, air filters, and small-town location have helped the shop and gallery thrive while adhering to safety guidelines.
Perry and Carlson is a great place to build community connections, but it also attracts visitors travelling through Mount Vernon. One thing to keep in mind when visiting is that the store’s collections, inventory, and art are ever-evolving, so no two visits are ever the same.
Whether you’re looking for a new throw blanket, to browse local art, or just enjoy a friendly conversation, Perry and Carlson has something for everyone. 504 S. 1st St., Mount Vernon, 360.899.5032, perryandcarlson.com