our story

At Cargo, we travel the world to find artisans who create in the timeless manner of their culture. From antique altar pieces to Japanese kokeshi, handloomed garments to tribal jewelry, and Indian architectural pieces to Balinese offering baskets, each item in our ever-changing inventory tells a story and shows the maker’s hand.

Looking for a way to foster makers and artists and sustain endangered traditions, ceramic artist and folk art collector Patty Merrill founded Cargo in 1996. Bridgid Blackburn, interior designer, joined her as a partner in 2008. In 2014, we moved to our current Central Eastside historic warehouse with its old-growth timber beams and soaring ceilings. Last year, Cargo evolved once again to become the Cargo Emporium, welcoming in-store shops from vendors sharing our ethic, including Giraffe, Hello! Good Morning!, Loaded Hips Press, Rx Press, The Salt Empire, and Tasi.

Over the years, Cargo has engaged artisans and merchants from Guatemala, Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, India, Mali, and beyond. We also support local artists and traders. Many vendors have become great friends along the way. This spirit of community continues through our talented staff, many of whom are artists themselves.

Cargo is a journey of spirit, time, and place. We invite you to come along.