Alyssa Kaliszewski and Becky Bacsik met near the end of 2019 while vending vintage goods from neighboring booths at the Chop Suey Flea Market: “We were each other's bathroom breaks,” Kaliszewski says. Most such friendships fizzled into Zoom calls come March, when markets went virtual or disappeared altogether.
Alyssa and Becky went into business.
It’s worked out: Less than a year after they first opened their little shop on California Avenue in the middle of the pandemic, Doll Parts Collective is expanding into a larger space just a mile north, still on West Seattle’s main drag.
And what better way to say farewell to a beloved midcentury building—slated to be demolished for a townhome development (“you can tell we’re so stoked,” Bacsik quipped)—than by outfitting it the way it might’ve looked in its heyday? From 11am to 4pm on April 24, Doll Parts’ last day in its first brick-and-mortar, Instagram-based Massive Crush will pop up with vintage and handmade homewares. Selection TBD—though expect some glam mirrors, tile tables, and perhaps a high-demand postmodern squiggle lamp or two.
“Why settle for Doll Parts when you can have the whole damn Doll House,” the duo teased on Instagram; a sign of things to come when the new shop opens at noon on May 1. Though the fashion-centered business has always carried its share of vintage decor and prints by local artists, a larger space means they can expand into homewares at a time when pandemic demand remains high. (Staring at the walls all the time kind of makes you want to decorate them.)
It can be tough to describe a business that is, by nature, a mish-mash: Becky's designer-inspired creations; Alyssa’s gender- and size-inclusive vintage clothing (both tough to find at traditional shops); guest installations by stained glass artists; a growing supply of old school furnishings.
But what aligns all of Doll Parts' disparate limbs is an ethos of sustainability—one that feels more DIY and genuine than the typical greenwashed new brand. Giving vintage clothing and furniture new life goes hand-in-hand with buying handmade, often upcycled items from primarily local vendors and guest artists, because it keeps the supply chain short. “It's cooler than anything you could find nowadays on Amazon,” Bacsik says, “and it probably was better made, anyway.”