The One-Stop Shopping Destination That’s All About Local
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At Seattle Met, we’re all about supporting local and sharing the most compelling stories of our city, from restaurants and regional travel to arts and culture. We know our readers feel the exact same way.
Now shopping the best products and merchants in town is as easy as perusing your favorite city publication. The Shops at Seattle Met is a first-of-its-kind online marketplace, bringing together dozens of the best Seattle-area businesses—the ones listed here—all in one place.
The wine purveyor importing affordable bottles (Princess and Bear), the local gift shop designing sports gear for die-hard fans (Simply Seattle), the hair accessories brand bringing 2000s fashion to the masses (Chunks)—these are the retailers that make our region special. You’re the shoppers who want to keep them that way.
The Shops at Seattle Met is here to help you find each other.
Akala’s small collection of classic womenswear pieces, sustainable down to the button at the waist of a wide-leg pant, represents a step in the direction of fashion’s more conscious future.
Like other companies that emphasize their climate commitments, Akala avoids the carbon footprint of traditional shipping, opting for recyclable packaging and standard travel times. The line emphasizes biodegradable fabrics that use minimal water to produce. Even the zippers, elastic waistbands, and interior labels are sourced from recycled materials.
But founder and designer Ashley Klein lingers mostly on the “versatility” that helps her line counter fast fashion and transcend the style calendar: “It’s not necessarily going to be a puff sleeve neon dress that goes out of style next year.” She designed Akala’s earliest pieces for fall, and like so many other businesses, bumped up against Covid-related delays. Those items didn’t arrive until it was almost winter. The perk of that versatility is that you’d never know. Each product defies trends and seasonality in favor of timeless wearability: Think a Tencel lyocell knit top with ruffle sleeves and a reversible neckline that wears more like a blouse than a sweater.
Klein also believes in making clothing that can carry customers through the seasons of life—pregnancies, weight fluctuations. Each piece has some flexibility built in, from the inherently adjustable wrap on a rust-colored jumpsuit to the secretly elastic back on those wide-leg pants. Whether you’re a size XXS or XXL, Akala’s clothes are built to change with you. In an era of flux, that’s a comfort everyone could use.
Building a sustainable wardrobe can be overwhelming: Even the average pair of socks takes 50-plus gallons of water to produce, from growing the cotton to dyeing it. That’s why Dustin Winegardner, founder of Seattle-based Arvin Goods, aims to take textiles back to the climate-friendly basics.
Each pair of Arvin Goods socks is made using discarded fabric scraps that might otherwise wind up in the landfill, giving its fashion-forward products a foot up against materials-guzzling counterparts, both in price and aesthetics.
And all this is just step one for a company that ultimately wants to clean up your entire wardrobe—even as it recognizes that anyone claiming to have solved the complex apparel industry is “full of shit.” Today, socks. Tomorrow, the world.
Doll Parts Collective
Doll Parts duo Alyssa Kaliszewski and Becky Bacsik-Booker carry a fun selection of clothing that caters to a variety of gender expressions and sizes frequently lacking on vintage racks. Bacsik-Booker also reworks vintage materials into designer-inspired creations that are quirky, cute, and truly one-of-a-kind.
This Seattle-based brand seamlessly marries sustainability and style. As evidenced in its high-quality rain jackets, ethically produced cashmere, and inventive cork accessories, each item is made to stand the test of time. And with earth-friendly materials, timeless patterns, and flattering fits, what’s not to love?
Not every Seattleite feels the need to prove their True Local status by letting themselves get drenched in the city’s frequent rainstorms—but not every Seattleite feels great about conspicuous Gore-Tex, either. Locals themselves, Scott and Brittany Freeman turned their kitchen into a design studio to solve this very problem.
Stocked with their brand’s signature made-in-the-rain coats, as well as quilted puffers from fellow Seattle company Crescent Down Works, cold-weather accessories, and more, Freeman has something for every PNW forecast, from drizzles to downpours. The Capitol Hill company has even got cozy days at home covered, with self-care products and hand-stitched crewnecks.
Oh, and every step of production takes place right here in town. Hard to get more Seattle than that.
Before founding Luly Yang Couture in 2000, Luly Yang worked as a graphic designer and a fitness instructor. Perhaps an unexpected background for the leader of an award-winning fashion house—but both come through Yang’s emphasis on the human body and its movements. Her signature combination of form, function, and unique textiles shines especially bright through her ready-to-wear line of accessories and apparel: skirts and tops adorned with butterfly graphics; jackets that are sculptural, figure-accentuating works of art.
Once familiar with Yang’s style, you’ll start to see her influence all around the city. The Luly Yang Design Group is responsible for the uniforms worn by Alaska Airlines flight crews, Climate Pledge Arena employees, and even the staff at the Space Needle—a fitting collaboration between two Seattle icons.
Designer Paychi Karen Guh launched her namesake line of luxury knitwear in 2013 with one thing in mind: making cashmere an everyday thing. The result is universally complementary cuts and lightweight layering pieces that are as fitting for the office as they are for the sidelines at soccer practice.
This Pacific Place store carries comfy closet essentials built to end our reliance on fast fashion: T-shirts, joggers, sweatshirts, and more are made from sustainably sourced fabrics in a color selection—and at a price point—that rivals the biggest athleisure brands.
Former Amazonians Sydney Badger and Zakhar Ivanisov take the concept of “waste not” to heart with their Public Habit clothing brand. The company will only make one of its effortlessly cool crewnecks or classic coats when an order is placed, a form of slow fashion meant to eliminate surplus inventory and avoid landfill waste.
There aren’t enough minutes in the day, so why waste another second deciding what to wear? Rollick’s elevated, on-trend basics are comfortable and versatile, with the perfect touch of Pacific Northwest flair. Think transitional shackets, smart skirts, and just-plain-cool sweaters and tees.
Shadia K’David carries on the legacy of her mother’s beloved Santa Marta, Colombia, sleepwear brand, offering Salua’s original 100-percent cotton pajamas and loungewear alongside high-quality lingerie from brands like Else and Cosabella that’s sexy in its subtlety.
In 1989, designer Renee Bassetti set out to perfect the classic button-down, custom-tailoring each piece sold in her downtown Seattle storefront. Sarah Alexandra McKinney has turned her mother’s vision into a luxury, ready-to-wear experience for the modern woman obsessed with quality, fit, and style that transcends generations.
One Saturday during the playoffs, a Mariners fan placed a Birkenstock on his head and started a trend that’s said to have staged the team’s improbable comeback against the Toronto Blue Jays. Simply Seattle had a design on deck so fast that fans were rocking their rally shoe tees by Monday.
What started more than 30 years ago as the sort of gift shop stocked with tourist-friendly Space Needle coffee mugs (though you can still get those, too) has evolved into the city’s preeminent source for Seattle sports gear, from Mariners tees inspired by viral moments to custom Sonics hats you can’t find anywhere else. “We’re not just a company that sells Mariners gear and Sonics gear,” says marketing manager Joe Munson. “We’re actually Mariners fans and Sonics fans.”
And Seahawks fans. And Kraken fans. And Storm fans. And UW fans. And Ballard FC fans, too: Simply Seattle aims to carry merchandise for as many local teams as possible, including those “that have smaller followings than the big teams, but very passionate followings at the same time,” Munson says.
While Simply Seattle certainly carries the classics—Kraken jerseys, hats adorned with the Seahawks logo—what really sets them apart is their dedication to providing true-blue fan gear for locals looking for something special. “Oftentimes things can feel a little stale” on other sports gear sites, Munson says. “We don’t want to be like that.” And the results show it: There’s always something new in stock, from throwbacks to mashups that combine one team’s logo with another team’s colors, inside jokes to special designs catered toward Seattle die-hards.
That kind of loyalty pays off: The Seattle Supersonics outsell every other team on Simply Seattle’s roster, 15 years after they played their last game.
Elisa Yip has been designing knitwear for years: She first tried it at a hand-knitting Brother machine in Italy during a ’90s study abroad stint. Then as an assistant knitwear designer for Liz Claiborne, a student learning under master knitters in Hong Kong, and a senior winter accessories designer for Nordstrom. All before launching her own line of luxury knitwear, Sskein.
So when she tells you that alpaca wool is the next big thing in sustainable luxury fabric—the new cashmere, if you will—you listen.
“I fell in love with alpaca when I learned about it,” Yip says. That love led to something of an obsession. She can tell you that the miniscule, hollow fibers in the ruminant’s coat trap heat and shed water. That alpacas’ padded hooves make them gentler on grasslands than cashmere-producing goats. That Sskein’s Peruvian wool source allows the animals to graze freely until it’s time for their summer haircut. “They’re not in a confined space,” Yip says. “They live happily ever after.”
The pastoral material, though, is just the beginning: Yip has designed a truly beautiful line of special, but casual, clothing that expands the idea of what knitwear can be. “I make sure I design for myself, because [if] I don’t love it, there’s no reason to produce it,” Yip says. “And I need to be obsessed with it.”
Each garment is sourced and made entirely in one country to minimize shipping emissions, and most are made to order, so surplus fabric doesn’t go to waste. But Yip’s not on her high…er, alpaca?...about it. “I’m guilty of shopping fast fashion in the past,” she says, encouraging consumers who have the means to do so to see clothing as investment pieces that will last a lifetime. Luxury knitwear that retains its quality, defies trend cycles, and feels “like getting a hug from an alpaca”? Hard to argue with that.
The Cura Co.
The Cura Co. makes ethical consumption as simple as browsing its curated selection (pun intended) of carefully sourced, upcycled, and found clothing, home goods, and accessories. A steadfast emphasis on supporting artists and building community proves that truly thoughtful shopping doesn’t just look to minimize harm but rather to maximize good.
For serious sports fans and those who simply appreciate quality vintage, Throwbacks Northwest is the city’s go-to stop for wearable nostalgia hand-picked by folks with decades in the game. Located in the heart of Pike/Pine, Throwbacks helps maintain Capitol Hill’s thriving old-school local spirit with Seattle sports gear from decades past—while also keeping things fresh with athletic threads from out of town and pre-loved streetwear from brands beloved by enthusiasts of the genre. Think Carhartt to Polo Ralph Lauren.
Those whose loyalties lie firmly in the Emerald City—regardless of what team they root for come game day—head to Throwbacks Northwest for deadstock jerseys, pristine snapbacks, and comfy crewnecks in the fonts, colorways, and teams (we miss you, Sonics) of an era that’s bygone, but not forgotten.
Inspired by the Indian bazaars of her childhood, founder Nazia Siddiqui brings vivid prints, brilliant colors, and intricate embroidery to her brand of enduring dresses and separates. A sustainable ethos—plastic-free fabrics, a preorder business model—and pragmatic sensibility (Transcend dresses and skirts have pockets!) truly make this a clothing line fit for the women of today.
This is where intrepid adventurers shop, even when their next trip won’t happen for months: Wayward stocks hiking gear and camping necessities in spades, but the online store’s chic, outdoorsy lineup of apparel, home goods, and more drives home a deeper focus on exploring a life well lived.
Jewelry, Shoes, and More
A name that translates to “by hand” in both Italian and Spanish is the first clue that this Seattle-based shoe and accessory boutique is concerned with the finer details in an age of low-quality dupes. Founder Nealy Blau travels the world for exceptional materials, including a biannual visit to Paris, before adding any product to her shop: “I don’t buy anything without touching it first. A lot of things these days are just made to photograph well, but I focus on how they feel and fit,” says Blau.
She custom orders almost everything in the shop, from “badass” leather footwear collections called in months in advance from Italy to one-of-a-kind jewelry made by independent artists just for the store. It’s not fashion gatekeeping. It’s just good taste.
Launched by Sway and Cake owner Tamara Kilburn, sustainability-focused jewelry brand Au79 takes inspiration from nature, 1970s glam, and architectural design for each of its Seattle-designed pieces, handmade in Bali from recycled sterling silver and 14-karat gold plating.
Bezel and Kiln
Combine an art installation with retail therapy and you’ll get Bezel and Kiln, where displays full of jewelry, housewares, and wearable art from international and local artists look museum-worthy—but each product can come home with you.
Chooka’s line of waterproof women’s footwear will keep your feet dry, but these shoes are anything but dull: Each subtle colorway and street style–inspired product is handmade from naturally sourced rubber and comes in compostable packaging. (And Chooka donates pairs to shelters, to boot.)
Named after the Spanish word for “run,” this boutique shoe store has us rushing straight to the checkout: Co-founders Shadia K’David (of Salua) and Luis Vélez (of Guillermo Bravo) curate a beautiful collection of footwear with a hint of whimsy and color, perfect for the person who wants to look put together wherever they go.
Some vintage trend revivals make us wonder why they were ever a thing in the first place (low-rise jeans, we’re looking at you). Others, though, beg the question: Why did they ever stop? Claw clips, another early-2000s staple, fall into the latter category. We’ll thank the sands of time and the power of Instagram influencers for bringing them back into our lives. But for fully transplanting the look into our modern wardrobes, send your acetate flowers directly to Tiffany Ju at Chunks.
Proudly designed in Seattle and manufactured in China from a plant-based plastic (it’s time we rethink any recoil to products made abroad, Ju is quick to remind us), each piece in Chunks’ collection of claw clips, barrettes, and headbands feels sturdy and does a way-better-than-drug-store job of staying in place, even for thick or super-fine hair.
You don’t have to style yourself like Lizzie McGuire, or be a card-carrying member of Gen Z, to pull off these aughts-inspired accessories. Chunks provides a playful throwback aesthetic while also aligning perfectly with modern trends, thanks to always-fresh patterns like checkerboard and marble. New pieces are introduced frequently, often in limited-edition collaborations with local artists and big-name brands alike.
Chunks’ appeal may have grown way beyond its Seattle headquarters—everyone from The New York Times to actress Miranda Cosgrove counts themselves a part of the company’s fandom. But we’re pretty proud this trend started here.
Founded more than 20 years ago, Fancy lives up to its name by elevating the modern jewelry game. The Madison Valley shop partners with other local artists and produces 100-percent ethically made, whimsical jewelry. Each piece is handcrafted using recycled metals and repurposed or Kimberley Process–approved gemstones.
French Girl Organics
Kristeen Griffin-Grimes credits early scent memories of honey-tinged pea blossoms with launching her lifelong interest in botanicals. Her brand combines the practical uses and inherent sensory appeal of natural oils to make luxurious, effective beauty products befitting of the French Girl name.
Born of the age-old quest to find a perfectly personal jewelry gift, GLDN has grown from an Etsy shop based in Chrissy Lavdovsky’s kitchen to an 85-person jewelry-
It’s GLDN’s broad array of personalization options that sets it apart from other brands. The choices are just about endless, ranging from stamped necklaces to engraved rings, bracelets, earrings, and more. All available in a wide array of recycled and locally sourced materials. Customers can come to GLDN with a unique message or meaning to impart, or they can choose among the brand’s premade pieces, created to commemorate birthdays and other special occasions, or devoted to concepts like self-love, inner strength, and body positivity.
GLDN’s most important offering, though, is this: the rare opportunity for special, one-of-a-kind gifting without the luxury price tag.
Luis Vélez has always loved fashion. The founder of gender-neutral apparel brand Guillermo Bravo (and co-founder of Madrona shoe store, Corre, also on the Shops at Seattle Met) admires people who dress cool, regardless of whether it costs $10 or $10,000.
But he’d never thought about pursuing fashion as a career—until one of his diatribes on trends led an entrepreneur friend to encourage him to start his own brand.
So launched Guillermo Bravo, an apparel line growing into a full-fledged sneaker brand; footwear is an especially difficult product to create, especially with Vélez’s experimental style. He frequently plays with shapes, pleats, and subtle tech to make customizable pieces, envisioned through a different, more inventive lens than we’re used to seeing in ready-to-wear clothing lines.
“It is always nice when we are surprising people because it means we are designing well,” Vélez says. A trench coat foregoes traditional buttons and zippers in favor of flat magnets originally crafted for accessibility. A pleated skirt features cording in the seams so it can be scrunched up to sit in a variety of ways (even to resemble pants). A pair of shoes includes interchangeable shrouds to create multiple, completely different looks. Shorts and coats even have detachable pockets that can be used as a clutch—because Vélez digs pockets.
“I love the idea of engineering, that’s really key,” he says. “How can we be playful? How can we still be interesting?”
Guillermo Bravo just showed its biggest collection to date—and, as if to illustrate the answer to his own question, Vélez is already onto the next.
From the deepest of totes to the petite toiletry bag you’ll toss inside it, these colorful, Capitol Hill–produced canvas bags carry everything you need—with sustainable material sourcing and manufacturing processes that can take a weight off your shoulders.
Sometimes the adventure involves rain shoes and hiking trails. Sometimes it involves flannel-lined slippers and your driveway. Staheekum has a shoe for that. Plus, for every pair sold, the Seattle company plants a tree through Trees for the Future—which means a future with more forests to traverse.
When a power couple comprised of a gem aficionado and a gemologist opens a family jewelry store, things get glitzy, and not just in the engagement ring department. Turgeon Raine’s vast collection of ultra-luxury adornments includes original designs, as well as work from international jewelers. There’s a perfect piece for every taste, so long as it’s an epicurean one.
Rush, don’t walk, to stock up on Western Chief boots. Originally created to withstand tough weather conditions during the Alaska Gold Rush, the family-owned company now carries a wide selection of work, rain, and cozy boots for prospectors of all ages.
Art and Home
After 20 years in business, Seattle-based home fragrance brand Antica Farmacista counts names synonymous with luxury among its clients, from the Four Seasons to the Beverly Hills Hotel. But the brand’s central focus is on the scents, bath products, and perfumes that bring its everyday customers vacation-level indulgence at home.
Big Whale Consignment
Stacks of “things that make me do a double take” line every inch of Diem-My Tran’s vintage furniture shop in a mix curated less by era or style and more by a sixth sense for stunning pieces: “What’s good is good.”
To be a Seattleite is to know both sides of the plan-canceling coin: Sometimes, it’s just too dark and rainy to do anything but watch Grey’s Anatomy reruns. Sometimes, your friends think so, too.
Candle company Cancelled Plans, its studio wafting the scent of sandalwood and oak moss around the Industrial District, has been there. And owners Mackenzie and Spencer Findlay are here to encourage us to slow down and stay in by turning all our social quirks into highly relatable product names, packaged in bright but minimal glass tumblers that let craft and cheekiness shine.
“French Exit” leaves the party with notes of spice and teakwood. “It’s Fine, I’m Fine” reassures with almond, jasmine, and light musk. The eponymous “Cancelled Plans” bows out with grace (and chrysanthemum and patchouli). All in a clean-burning, toxin-free wax blend that makes staying in feel oh so good.
Fern Street Pottery
Washington-born ceramic artist Meredith Chernick is one of the lucky ones: She runs her one-woman show from her forested Indianola backyard, designing, throwing, forming, glazing, firing, and photographing each of her unique pieces. Among them: Fern Street’s totally aesthetic dipped mugs, glossy coffee pour-over apparatuses, and flask-and-shot-glass duos.
Flora and Henri
Owner Jane Hedreen launched her children’s clothing line in the late ’90s. Now her boutique houses exclusive designs, high-end home goods, gorgeous gifts, and fashions for the whole family (the one whose house always seems to have the sleekest decor and tome-stocked bookshelves).
Insatiable art aficionados and newfound collectors alike can find something surprising and inspiring among the offerings at Foster/White Gallery. Founded in 1968, the gallery has long been a cultural pillar of Pioneer Square, and a frequent attraction for art lovers.
Foster/White specializes in modern and contemporary styles with works hailing from both American and international artists. The ever-evolving array of fine art encompasses painting, photography, sculpture, glass art, textile, ceramic, wood, and stone—generally abstracted and always technically masterful.
Its roster includes stalwarts like Seattle wildlife artist Tony Angell, who has shown his work with the gallery for more than 50 years, as well as the likes of innovative sculptors Stephanie Robison, Kyle Johns, Henry Jock Walker, Gabriel Poucher, and Sara Coffin, all new additions last year.
Frederick Holmes and Company Gallery
The boutique fine art gallery may be located in the heart of Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square, but little is antiquated about its collections. Midcentury-modern and contemporary art specialties means Frederick Holmes has something for new and seasoned collectors alike: abstracts, whimsical portraits, and everything in-between.
An invitation to a dinner party hosted by Fruitsuper founders Sallyann Corn and Joe Kent sometimes lands guests in an impromptu focus group. When the art school sweethearts think up new designs, “we usually know when we’re onto something,” Corn says. “Most of the products that we come up with are something we want for ourselves and we can’t find, and we realize that we can’t be the only people that are looking.” Sometimes, though, they need a little extra feedback. So they invite a bunch of friends over, surreptitiously place prototypes on the dinner table, and wait.
What results from those gatherings are products that elevate everyday life—surprising and delightful versions of items most people would never think to improve upon, like their Lift Trivet, which in the absence of a hot dish, passes easily for décor.
In addition to Fruitsuper’s original designs, the studio’s Pioneer Square boutique stocks products from brands with a similar ethos. “We really try to focus on finding objects and art that you can’t find everywhere else,” made by artists who also prioritize small-batch, U.S.-based manufacturing, sustainable materials, and high-quality, long-lasting design, Corn says. But what truly unites Fruitsuper’s range of products is their ability to “make daily life a little easier, a little sweeter, a little more fun.”
Designed by Seattle architects, inspired by Pacific Northwest nature, and possibly hanging in your neighborhood Starbucks, Graypants combines clever shapes and unique, often repurposed materials for innovative lighting that stands out in any space—while also suiting it perfectly.
HotSpot Fire Pits
Out in Central Washington, Twisp metalworkers craft HotSpot heavy-duty fire pits to last. Hand-welded from thick metal, each black powder-coated or raw-steel fire pit blends utilitarian quality with uncompromising durability to help fuel backyard gatherings for generations. Marshmallows not included.
Jennifer Fujimoto Art and Design
After two decades in design roles at companies like Google, Starbucks, and Microsoft, Jennifer Fujimoto took a Pottery Northwest class that ultimately launched her career as a full-time artist. Inspired by Japanese folk art traditions, Fujimoto’s eye for graphic design still feels present in each of her vivid, expressive prints and ceramics: planters giving cheeky side-eye or simple, cat-shaped wind chimes struck into song by dangling tails. Each piece comes imbued with its own attitude, each hand-painted face sweeter, sleepier, or sassier than the next.
“My aesthetic is purposefully unsophisticated, childlike, and lighthearted,” Fujimoto writes. She’s encouraged by the happy accidents—a stray mark, an unexpected shape—that give one-of-a-kind art its character. “It’s a subtle reminder that by abandoning unrealistic expectations, we open ourselves up to finding joy in the little things.”
Sacrificing your hard-won patio setup for a bright-blue plastic pool—possibly adorned with cartoon fish—is a difficult prospect for anyone. Doubly so for a fashion industry veteran with over 15 years of experience styling campaigns for the likes of Nordstrom and Nike. Lucky for us, Kris Myllenbeck turned the struggle to find a pool for her Seattle townhouse into a one-of-a-kind business located at the intersection of form, function, and fun.
Mylle launched in 2017 with a white-and-black grid patterned inflatable pool, known as the Original, made from heavyweight vinyl and fit for splish-splashing little ones and lounging grown-ups alike. Now, the brand that Myllenbeck built from the ground up offers a full line of chic colorways (keep an eye out for lavender-
and-terra-cotta checkerboard) beloved by tastemakers at MoMA, Goop, West Elm, and more.
With a landlord like the National Nordic Museum, expect this vintage shop to stock midcentury modern Scandinavian treasures aplenty. Owner and longtime Ballard local Shane Bastian, who opened the shop right down the street from his house in early 2020, can recognize an Eero Saarinen table or a Kaare Klint chair anywhere. Local old-timers come into the shop and their “eyes light up a little bit,” Bastian says, to see designs they recognize from their own childhood homes.
He estimates that 80 percent of Sparklebarn’s catalog hails from the Nordic countries. But you don’t need a deep-seated interest in Danish modern style to find something special among the shop’s sleek shapes and solid teak. Influenced by salvaged furniture his father (a Ballard High grad, by the way) brought home during his childhood, Bastian prefers any piece with a story worth telling. As a result, wiggly postmodern chairs, ornate Italian cabinets, and shining ’80s brass-and-glass side tables also occasionally wind up in Sparklebarn’s diverse repertoire.
And tell their stories, he will: An open workshop in the back of the building invites conversation about works-in-progress waiting to be restored and added to the main showroom, or to the vaunted Market Street display window, where a rotating array of furniture reflects Ballard back to itself. Scandinavian, of course. But also, so much more.
Shop the world—luxe Italian linens, for example—and a world of kitchen essentials, all while supporting a Mercer Island business. Terra Bella’s extensive catalog features curated home goods alongside chef favorites like Le Creuset and Wusthof; it’s sure to yield a gift for that one person who already has everything.
Sustainability is the name of the game at this all-family emporium. Everything in its carefully curated inventory—stainless steel nesting lunch box kits, organic wool diaper covers, wooden mixing boards for the tiniest DJs—passes the environmentally conscious criteria set by the hip moms at the helm of this ship.
In the treasure hunt for unique playthings, Ballard’s Clover Toys forever marks the spot. The shop is owned by a parent—who holds degrees in elementary and special education—and it shows. Items are geared toward real families, with just the right combination of precious and practical.
A book nook in Clover’s new location within the Ballard Blocks offers cozy seating for impromptu story times. Fan-favorite Ostheimer toys are also in stock; these German, hand-crafted wooden figurines come in the whimsical shapes of crocodiles, bears, even a hen house with a functioning door, and simply beg for a session of make-believe.
Toddler tees emblazoned with a sasquatch riding an orca, retro juggling balls in bright primary colors, a Space Needle plush, charmingly just-so wooden toys built for pretend play—clearly, Clover is the right spot.
Food and Drink
The folks at Mercer Island’s sweet shop maintain that candy has the power to change a bad day into a good one. One glance at their chocolate-dipped toffee bites, oatmeal scotchie cookies, and caramel marshmallow combos, and we sure think they’re on to something.
Locus sources grapes from cool climate vineyards in Washington’s Yakima Valley and Naches Heights AVAs. The focused selection of varietals with higher acidity and less oak—syrah, cinsault, sémillon, and sauvignon blanc—makes for excellent food-and-wine pairings, flawless gifts, or just a relaxing evening in a bubble bath.
These bright, small-batch glass bottles of fruit-infused lemonade and tea are equally at home in a garden party spread or lucky school lunchbox. This family-owned biz bottles creative takes like lavender earl grey tea, red raspberry lemonade, and green apple lemonade alongside traditional, tried-and-true flavors.
Pike and Western Wine Shop
PIKE PLACE MARKET
A Pike Place Market institution for nearly 50 years, this wine shop’s excellent selection is the result of careful curation and extensive wine knowledge. Bottles from nearby Oregon, Washington, and California share space with those hailing from Armenia, Italy, Spain, and France. One thing ties the wide array together: They’re all downright delicious.
Princess and Bear Wines
Princess and Bear could be fairytale characters breathed into life by founders Carol Bailey and Steve Medwell, a Seattle duo that traded high-powered, big-city jobs and daily Cascade views for a magical escape to southern France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region, where Medwell continues his 24-year tradition of bringing Bailey a princess-worthy cappuccino in bed each morning.
Little did they know that they’d witness the land of castles, olive trees, and lavender fields blossoming into its wine renaissance.
Perfect fairytale fuel, especially for someone who’d been developing her palate for decades. Bailey’s mother imported French wines to the States in the 1970s; but those were typical imports, then and now. Expensive, special-occasion-only wine. Bailey wanted to do something different. She longed to bring the inexpensive, good wine found so easily across Spain, Italy, and France to the United States.
Working with small vintners that would usually be priced out of import deals, Bailey starts with local recommendations to pinpoint affordable yet exquisite pours, crisscrossing Languedoc-Roussillon in a search for “the wines you drank on vacation and knew, ‘I’ll never be able to find this at home.’” The Princess and Bear golden rule: One of the pair has to love the wine, or it doesn’t make the cut.
Busy taste-testing, hosting wine club members at her French home, and waiting on that morning cappuccino from Medwell, life “does feel kind of like a fairytale adventure,” Bailey says. Her daily work is a labor of love, sent in bottles across the ocean.
When Bob Blade left his software engineering gig and founded Salt Blade a decade ago, he ended up chasing a more meaningful calling: charcuterie. Long a culinary and sustainable farming enthusiast, Blade opted for a new career making artisan salamis that eschew chemicals and antibiotics without sacrificing flavor. Ten years later, the brand still uses only locally and sustainably raised animals from Colville’s Olsen Farms.
When it comes to taste, the salami doesn’t fall far from the farm here. Take the Seattle Stick, a pork salami roll that incorporates coffee and cacao nibs with Olsen Farms’ ethically produced meat. For the more traditional carnivores, Salt Blade’s bestsellers are the Tuscan and truffle salamis, which hold down the menu among unique finds like the Urutan, a spicy Balinese pork stick with turmeric, galangal, and chilis—and the original impetus for the creation of the entire Salt Blade line.
The brothers behind this lauded confectionery have chocolate down to a bean-to-bar science. Case in point: Their bars were named Academy of Chocolate gold winners. But it’s not just meticulously roasted cacao nibs; their flavors will surprise even the most jaded sweet tooths with infusions of ghost chili salt, bourbon, and bee pollen.
This Moroccan and Levantine pantry has evolved way beyond the harissa that started it all. While that harissa is still a staple—not to mention a 2021 Good Food Awards winner—it now shares the spotlight with chermoula spread, shawarma spice mix, moruno rub, and a multitude of other flavorful spices and condiments, from preserved lemons to small-batch roasted tahini.
Founder Mehdi Boujrada considers every ingredient featured in Villa Jerada’s elegant glass jars and tins of tea a love letter to the Levantine region. Something to make any Moroccan grandmother proud.
But don’t take our word for it: Famed Seattle chef Renee Erickson of James Beard–nominated the Walrus and the Carpenter uses a hefty pinch of Villa Jerada saffron in her roasted halibut with steamed clams. There’s no need for a culinary degree, however—Villa Jerada offers free recipes for each product it sells to help spice up any home kitchen.