It just makes so much sense. Why wouldn't Seattle have an web-only bleeding-edge independent fashion and accessories shop? With our outsider angles and insider tech skills, it might have just been a matter of time. But as it turns out, Craft and Culture is a matter of the right eyes. Namely, those of Hana Ryan Wilson and Jason Parker, the duo who launched the online retail spot that stocks tough/sexy jewelry, handmade bags, and ready-to-wear that hangs in that sexy-but-slouchy balance. And now, because you can't walk in to Craft & Culture's Capitol Hill workspace and actually see them photographing their in-house look books or carefully packaging their chic to-go orders, we're pleased to introduce you to Hana Ryan Wilson virtually. Apropos, no?
Shop Talk: What song or album is playing on your store’s sound system right now?
Ryan Wilson: My Dad gave me his box of old records last Christmas and they've been on pretty heavy rotation since. There's a lot of Talking Heads, Patti Smith, Black Sabbath, and Miles Davis.
What was your first job in retail? What did you love or hate about it and how does it compare to what you do now?
Isadoras in Seattle was my first retail job. I was 18 and I took the ferry over to meet with the owner Laura Dalesandro. She later told me she hired me because I looked her in the eye during our interview. That was my first life lesson at that store! I worked for one summer as the Sunday shop girl and bridal specialist. I loved it. I still remember my favorite pieces of jewelry from that time. They let me wear them while I was working. It's very different from what I do now but there are similarities. I learned that the things you buy and invest in shouldn't be disposable. They should inspire you and feel essential on your person or in your home. I carried that with me to Craft & Culture.
What’s your favorite thing in the store right now?
I'm pretty in love with the "NY? Sweater" (or Glacier Sweater) by an Icelandic brand called Helicopter. It's unlike anything I've seen before and it reminds me of Iceland which is where I'd most like to travel right now. I'm also into the big jewelry on the site. I've started paying attention to the ways different women wear jewelry and I totally appreciate when a woman makes a statement with her jewelry rather than her clothes.
Where do you shop when you’re not at your store?
I made a commitment to shop locally and from independent designers this fall and winter and it's been a lot easier than I anticipated. We have so many great options right underfoot! On Capitol Hill, I frequent Edie's shoes, Le Frock for vintage gems, No Parking on Pike for oddities, and the local pop-ups like Artache for gifts and specialty pieces.
What do you love about your store’s neighborhood?
Capitol Hill is a lot of different things and I think that's what I love most. It's dirty and very urban. It's also beautiful with unexpected gardens, quiet cafes and hidden spots. It's completely alive. I like that you can be right in the middle of it all and also hide away when you need to.
What restaurants and coffee shops do you recommend?
My all-time favorite cafe, Pettirosso, just re-opened. We've been going there for years and love the new bistro vibe. Volunteer Park Cafe is perfect for morning dates before or after a walk through the park. Machiavelli has the best pasta. It's romantic in a not trying too hard sort of way. And the churros and chocolate dessert at the Saint is just... yum.
What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened in your store?
We keep it pretty weird with the mix of personalities. We've had so much fun collaborating with other artists especially for Ledger Magazine. For our next issue coming out in January, we're featuring a female drag queen, a 5'2 bombshell who is both a modeling and marketing sensation and an international cast of dark, bizarre, fascinating characters. Weird is good.