Retail Spotlight

Meet the Shopkeepers: Kaleidoscope Vision

Childhood friends share vintage finds in their Capitol Hill storefront.

By Amanda Austin May 29, 2012

The Kaleidoscope Vision gals on Capitol Hill.

Native anthropology, art movements, and the "infinitely mysterious beauty of the cosmos" inspire the three native Californians—Ria Rabüt, Mackenzie Garfield, and Sophia Phillips—inside Kaleidoscope Vision, the lifestyle boutique and vintage shop on Capitol Hill.

Launched this past February, the shop sells vintage clothing for men, women, and children; books; and handmade artisan goods within month-long cycles that reflect different moods or themes. The proprietors promise that every item they offer reflects their "shared belief in living richly by choosing to consume only that which is known to be made of quality materials and produced in a conscious and sustainable way."

WWW: What song or album is playing on your store’s sound system right now?
Rabüt, Garfield, Phillips: We’ve usually got Grimes, Carousel, Usher and Kate Bush on heavy rotation at the shop.

What was you first job in retail? What did you love or hate about it, and how does it compare to what you do now?
We’ve all done our time in the retail world, from tiny boutiques in Mill Valley, California to cosmetic counters to Betsey Johnson in downtown San Francisco. Nothing compares to running your own business with two of your best friends. The stars aligned for us, and we’re very grateful to be working and laughing (most importantly) together each day.

What’s your favorite thing in the store right now?
We hold this early ‘90s pre-Target Mossimo body con dress near and dear to our hearts. There’s also a love affair happening with these insane ‘90s printed Moschino jeans.

Where do you shop when you’re not at your store?
When we all head home to California, we make sure to stop by our local favorites: Gravel & Gold in San Francisco and Weltenbuerger in Los Angeles. Around these parts, we love TwinSistr Vintage and Rad Summer in Portland.

What do you love about your store’s neighborhood? What nearby restaurants, coffee shops, and other spots do you recommend?
Our little two block radius is really the place to be on Capitol Hill. So many great things to buy, do, and eat. We probably keep Poquitos in business with our rate of taco consumption, and we also probably keep Quinn’s in business with our rate of after-work dirty martini consumption.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened in your store?
Well, we have a whistling concert put on weekly by a sweet handsome man who also bakes fresh homemade bread for the occasion, but weird isn’t the word we would use…maybe pleasantly surreal?

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