Meet the Shopkeeper: Sway and Cake

Tamara Donaghy’s shop dogs are reality TV stars

By Kelly Robinson August 5, 2010

Tamara Donaghy kicks it at Sway and Cake

Swing your shopping bag from any of downtown’s biggest destinations (Pacific Place, Nordstrom, Westlake Center), and you’ll hit Sway and Cake. Since its 2002 debut, the boutique has been a destination for young women who devour celebrity style magazines and live in the latest trends. Now, meet Tamara Donaghy — just don’t give her any monosyllabic replies.

WWW: What’s your personal spin on the ubiquitous “How can I help you?” question?
Donaghy: I really try not to use that phrase, ever. Most often I can get the feel for what people are looking for simply by items they are focusing their attention on. Usually there are quite a few pieces in the store that have gotten press, and that is always a good conversation starter. I avoid ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response questions to make things more personable.

What’s your favorite thing in the store right now?
Either the Jim Barnier soft-as-butter western holster boots, or any of the Brazilian jewelry pieces from Nuggard.

Where do you shop when you’re not at Sway and Cake?
Great Jones home, because I’m really going through a interior design phase, and I frequent Sixth Avenue Wine Seller right around the corner for last minute gifts items and fantastic wines.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened in your store?
I wouldn’t say it was weird, but one of the coolest things we did in was tape an episode of the Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan, starring my own two shop dogs, Marcel and Lexi.

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