Designer, blogger, and (thus far at least) online retailer Moorea Seal likes to give things away, hence the Ellen-slash-Oprah thing. But she would like to sell you some things also, just as soon as her new storefront on Third Avenue in the north part of Belltown is officially up and running.
The grand opening is slated for Friday, May 9. (Time your visit for the celebratory part of the day—from 6 to 9—and if you're among the first 100 visitors, you'll leave with an exclusive tote.)
Seal dropped the famous TV host-slash-more famous TV host analogy when I chatted with her recently as her staff tagged and numbered just-so displays of tiny geometric earrings, geode-strung necklaces, Wild West-vibed cowhide clutches, letterpress paper goods, silk scarves, and want-worthy ceramics.
Since launching her online shop in July of 2013, she's been donating seven percent of sales from her selection of handmade, mostly American lifestyle goods to non-profits and she isn't going to stop once the door's open at 2523 Third Avenue.
The jump from famous web host (she rattled off her Pinterest following figure and, well, it was pretty impressive) to Belltown pioneer (her end of the neighborhood is in transition) wasn't really a tough one. Online sales of curated goods from some 40-something artisans were cracking well enough to warrant a growing team, and that growing team needed somewhere to work. In searching for work space, she found retail space to boot.
Most everything in the joint is on wheels and reconfigurable; the SPU grad has plans to host events and workshops—the first is on May 31 and is a tie-in with Botany 101 Floral. The whole store-that's-not-just-a-store model ought to help the real world transition, too.
But the bottom line is that Seal is a gal with a feel for both quietly fever-pitched trends (wide brim hats, Pendleton blanket everything) and the independent spirit, a fact I dialed in when she told me that she ditched her very popular given name, Ashley, for the name of her parent's favorite island, Moorea, when she was an adolescent.
In other words: she didn't want to be too much like everyone else, and she was willing to take a risk.