Karlea’s favorite piece the Lion Head Ring on the middle finger, designed by King Baby an LA designer

By Yanling Joslin

Portland is known for its small businesses, and during the pandemic, supporting them is especially important. 

One of the many amazing small businesses to support is VENT, a one-of-a-kind jewelry store located on Division close to Cleveland (3320 SE Division St). 

I became familiar with VENT after being intrigued by the storefront. The shop’s cement walls and minimalist design make the focal point all the amazing pieces. It’s a jewelry lovers dream. 

Karlea Cole, a Portland native, jumped in with two feet and opened up the shop in 2017 after being inspired to create a store where she could sell jewelry that she liked to the Portland masses.

This journey all began after answering a Craigslist ad to work at a jewelry store downtown where she could dress and have as much attitude as she wanted. From that job, Cole learned that she was really good at selling $900 skull rings. 

With her background in retail and graphic design with a new media concentration, it just made sense to her to start her own business where she could sell a variety of jewelry that she personally curated. And with that VENT was born. 

Curated to be unapologetic, VENT is essentially Cole in the sense that it fully represents her style and with the mindset of “You can wear whatever you want and don’t say sorry for it, ” she said.

During the pandemic, Cole added custom handmade masks to her inventory. In addition to selling masks, she’s taken precautions within the store by limiting the number of customers in at one time, making shopping appointments, and offering curbside pickup. 

Something that really makes VENT different from other Portland jewelry stores is that none of the designers are local. Local products are no stranger in Portland culture, but while 100% loving and supporting local businesses Cole wanted to take a different approach and bring pieces that people don’t necessarily see all the time here. 

Out of the many products that VENT offers, her favorite piece is the $725 lion ring. Purchased in 2011, it remains her favorite piece because of the feeling it brings with it. Customers who’ve purchased this ring say it can totally change how they feel by just wearing this ring. It’s so in-your-face and unmistakable, said Cole. 

VENT offers an array of designs that range in price from $10-$1600. The high quality of the pieces and the great customer service from Karlea and the shop dogs Khloee and Cannoli keep people coming back. 

“I want to be known in Portland as the go-to place for silver jewelry,” said Cole. With the amazing work she’s done so far I have no doubts this rings true. 

Check out the VENT website at