After almost eight years designing and manufacturing her own collection of sustainable baby clothes and accessories, Jennifer Porter took a leap into retail with Satsuma. The Mom-run shop sits next to All That Dance, Wedgwood's popular kid's dance studio, making it the perfect neighborhood location for kiddos and their parents.
Not only is the staff obsessed with making balloon animals, they also hold events like fancy tea parties to teach kids the magic of using manners. The shop features Seattle-made products like dishware by MimiBug, wood toys by Manzanita Kids, and customized pieces by Kelley Reese Jewelry.
What was your first job? What did you love or hate about it and how does it compare to what you do now?
Besides bossing—I mean babysitting—my siblings, my first job was at a summertime snack bar. I microwaved bagels and passed out popsicles all summer. It was a great job since I got to see friends and gorge on Otter Pops. I think my current job is an echo of that first customer service gig. I’m still having fun with my friends. I also regularly use a microwave, but thankfully at Satsuma it’s used exclusively by staff to reheat things like soup for lunch.
What’s your favorite item in the store right now? Why?
My favorite item is our Seattle-made baby and toddler poncho. It's totally waterproof and designed to fit comfortably over baby’s outwear, or even over a front baby carrier. For complete protection from the elements, parents should definitely spring for our cozy velour beanie hat. This pairing is a great way for baby to stay toasty and still get outdoors for fun!
What song or album is playing on your store’s sound system right now?
Billie Holiday, but we like to mix it up and will go where the mood takes us. Pandora stations like Disney, Carla Bruni for great French tunes, and our favorite Happy channel featuring Pharrell, of course.
Where do you shop when you’re not at your store?
Fran’s Chocolates for happiness, Anthropologie for a fancy shirt, Dollar Tree for crafting supplies, and the grocery store for sustenance and paper towels, which I do compost...most of the time.
What nearby restaurants and coffee shops do you recommend for shopping parents?
Families can find everything they need in Wedgwood. From childcare to kids' gear to easy family dining at the Wedgwood Broiler or Cafe Javasti, there is something in the neighborhood to satisfy young and old.
Where are your favorite places to travel when you get the chance?
I love any time spent in the San Juans or on the East Side of Vancouver Island. Even one night away feels rejuvenating. Each year we try to visit family in LA and northern Wisconsin— one for the sun and style and the other for the lake and ice cream!
What do you love about your store’s neighborhood?
Everything. Since we just moved, every encounter feels like a treat. My new friend Bill drops in a few times a week for a chat and to gift me a soft-center hard candy like your grandma had. For Halloween, we celebrated with the neighborhood Trick or Treat event when kids hit all the local businesses for candy and a few tricks. It was such a fun evening to meet neighbors, pass out candy and stickers and enjoy the polite manners of the local goblins. I’m looking forward to warm weather events in Wedgwood too.