Meet the Shopkeeper: Cairo

Visit Capitol Hill’s coziest, coolest vintage shop on Tuesdays if you like to see people defy gravity

By Kelly Robinson June 25, 2010

The owners of Cairo on Capitol Hill can read your mind

It’s an underground art-punk venue … it’s a rogue art gallery … it’s a vintage shop! Cairo is as Cairo does, and they do do a mean vintage trade. Meet owners Aimee Butterworth and Joel Leshefka.

WWW: What’s your personal spin on the ubiquitous “How can I help you?” question?
Butterworth/Leshefka: We’re actually both psychic, so we don’t really have to worry too much about that. j/k! Our shop is really small and intentional, it’s designed for people to get in and out, having tried on/bought items in 15 minutes or less. Because it’s small, we are always around, and able to help folks out, but like to allow a little space for personal exploration. We do have a secret treasure chest of women’s shoes and boots though, so interested parties should inquire (wink wink).

What is your favorite thing in the store right now?
Oh geez, there is a lot to love, but if we had to pick one thing we are super psyched on, I think we’ve both been loving local designer Meghann Sommer’s incredible jewelry line &c. Her line is gorgeous, and it compliment the vintage dresses and silk tank tops we’re currently selling.

What are your favorite Seattle stores?
Well between Cairo and 20twenty, we are both really stocked on clothing….so, some non-clothing stores we absolutely love are: Wall of Sound Records, The Anne Bonny, Sonic Boom always has a great selection, and to eat we are currently obsessed with the Pike Street Fish Fry, Senor Moose (sooooo good), and the amazing array of farmer’s markets that happen daily all over this city.

What specific store or type of store do you think is missing in Seattle?
We both really enjoy the way Portland is set up, retail wise. Tons of little shops in tucked-away neighborhoods, carrying a wide variety of items, catering to the specific neighborhood they are located in. Not that this doesn’t exist already in some ways in Seattle, but the more small businesses the better is basically our sentiment. It keeps it fresh.

What is the weirdest thing that has ever happened in your store?
On Tuesdays, Aimee actually levitates between 3:45 and 4 pm. I mean, I guess that’s ongoing, so not sure if that works as a “weirdest thing.”

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