Boutique owners say goodbye to Phoenix, plan to reopen in Portland
By Hana Khalyleh – Jan. 29, 2015
Photos by Cinthia Schmidt
Since the greenHAUS opened in the Roosevelt Row arts district, it has grown in reputation and popularity, becoming a crown jewel in the string of businesses and art centers in downtown Phoenix.
Murals and sparkling jewelry stands beckon First Friday sightseers, who, upon arrival, are welcomed into a warm world of steampunk, wood-carved and leather-stitched madness.
It is, without a doubt, an artist’s paradise.
The owners, Cole and Dayna Reed, fit effortlessly into this kaleidoscopic setting, and are as eclectic and colorful as the boutique they’ve poured three years of their lives into. It’s the type of lifestyle any artistic specimen would give a left ear to be a part of.
And it’s a lifestyle that the Reeds are leaving behind, to start again in Portland in the weeks ahead.
Cole and Dayna have been married three times: once in New York’s Central Park, once at MonOrchid, the building next to what would one day become the greenHAUS, and, finally, in a legal ceremony in Europe during a trip in February of 2013. Still, they intend to renew their vows later this year.
“We will always be newlyweds,” Cole said. “I love Dayna. I am in awe of who she is. I will always want to marry her again.”
Even before their relationship became serious, Dayna said she knew she wanted to be a mom.
“I’ve known from the time I was little,” Dayna recalled. “When we first got together, we talked about it, and we wanted kids right away. It’s always been a plan.”
Rather than having children immediately, the Reeds chose to wait, a decision that Dayna said was best for them to grow as a couple. It wasn’t until summer of 2014 that Dayna conceived their first child, a boy due in March 2015.
“To say we’re excited is an understatement,” Dayna said.
The Reeds, overjoyed at the prospect of being moms, said they both understand that there are legal obstacles that will make joint guardianship difficult.
“We knew that there were going to be hurdles in Arizona,” Dayna, now seven months pregnant, said.
Despite the fact that the baby’s biological father – a donor and mutual friend of the couple – signed away his rights in a contract, Cole is not guaranteed custody of the child.
After several legal consultations to explore their parental rights, should Dayna give birth out of state, they learned enough to begin considering other options.
“We began speaking to other couples who went through this to see how they handled it,” Dayna said. “Unfortunately, most of them are not protected legally, and are just crossing their fingers and hoping nothing happens to one parent.”
As a result of their family planning research, the couple made the decision to leave Arizona for Oregon, where the adoption process is more inclusive.
“It’s not automatic, but there’s the simple process of going to the courthouse and showing the donor’s contract,” Dayna said. “It would be much less of a problem than if we were to stay … If anything happens to me, I don’t want anyone in the way of Cole stepping up as a parent.”
The couple said their announcement to relocate was met with hopes that they’d reconsider, especially once Arizona ban on same-sex marriage was lifted.
“There was a lot of shock, a lot of sadness, a lot of ‘No, I just found [greenHAUS], please don’t leave!’ A few weeks after we made the announcement, same-sex marriage laws had changed, and we had to explain that we were still leaving, that we had our reasons.”
Dayna said they have high hopes for legislation in the state to change, sooner rather than later.
“The dominoes are falling, we just don’t know when,” Dayna said. “We do, however, know exactly when the baby is coming, so we’ve chosen to make this move now.”
As members of the community have asked what they can do to help the legal situation, Dayna’s reply has always been the same: vote.
“It isn’t right for everyone to leave Arizona. Some people need to stay and fight,” Dayna said. “We hope they understand that we are leaving for our family; it’s not an abandonment of this community, just the path that is best for us.”
The Heart of the Community
Leaving the downtown community of Roosevelt Row is the hardest blow they will have to endure with this decision, the Reeds agree.
“The loss of what we’re leaving is tremendous,” Dayna said. “We love this community.”
The boutique, which sells postcards, jewelry, furniture (created by Cole), and other vintage treasures, has showcased artists from the local community every month.
“When we set out, we aimed to create something more than a business, a neighborhood hub,” Cole said.
From the day of the boutique’s opening, the Reeds said they have been received with welcoming excitement from the rest of the neighborhood.
“It’s like our own little bubble. We’ve always felt safe here,” Cole said. “This whole community has accepted us. It has never been us versus them. We’re just a part of the bigger picture here, and we’ve always just fit right in.”
And, as Cole put it, greenHAUS isn’t shutting down, it’s just moving.
“We look forward to opening greenHAUS-Portland,” Cole said. “It’s going to be a tough move, but it’s going to be a good move.”
Because greenHAUS does not currently have an online store set up, the Reeds said if they ever receive requests from Arizona customers, they will be happy to point them to the local Phoenix artists that greenHAUS often showcased.
Upon their arrival in Portland, the Reeds will launch the new location of the greenHAUS in half of a duplex in the Alberta Arts District. Unlike their current living situation, they plan on living away from the boutique to better separate their business and family life.
As for their new neighborhood, the Reeds say they see themselves growing to love it.
“We knew right away that this was the community calling us to Portland,” Dayna said. “It’s no Roosevelt Row, but we can make it something special. Once we’re there we can start the process of falling in love with it.”
When asked if they will ever return to Phoenix, Cole and Dayna remain hopeful.
“While we might not move back ourselves, we would love to open an expansion in Phoenix in the future, when we’re more financially ready,” Cole said.
“The year we have in the back of our heads is 2016, for plans to set up a shop in Arizona again,” Dayna said.
Despite the move, the Reeds said Phoenix, and especially the art and excitement of the downtown community, will always hold a cherished place in their hearts.
“We will always be Phoenicians,” Cole said. In fact, the couple shared that they plan to name their baby boy Phoenix.
The Final First Friday
6-10 p.m. Feb. 6
222 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix
602-257-HAUS (4287); greenhausphx.com
Editor’s Note: In the early 1950s, the building 222 E. Roosevelt St. was the 307, one of the most talked about gay clubs in town. Today, this building is facing demolition in favor of a new 111-unit apartment complex.
Because the building still houses a 47-foot mural as well as a smaller painting by Ettore “Ted” DeGrazia, one of Arizona’s most famous artists, various preservation efforts are underway. According to local legend, the mural was painted to pay off a bar tab 65 years ago (long before the days of 307).
Additionally, the building will be open to the public March 7 and 8 as part of the 27th annual Art Detour, during which the protective wall will be down and the murals will be visible.