5 Independent Boutiques in Seattle for Discovering New Designer Brands
Words by The Folklore Team
From popular neighborhoods such as Fremont and Ballard to museums and the theater, Seattle is a dynamic place with plenty to offer for people of all stripes. The city may be the home of Starbucks, Amazon and instant deliveries, but alongside the culture of innovation and technology is a slew of small businesses and local makers dotted around the city. Seattle’s culturally diverse fabric is part of what makes it a rich place, and this is reflected in its independent boutiques and fashion retail stores, who bring in designers from Kenya, South Africa and more.
For fashion lovers, the thrill that comes from perusing the rails and shelves of a brick-and-mortar shop to discover a new product or brand cannot be understated, while as a fashion designer, having your brand carried in a retail store or boutique is an important milestone. Below, we’ve selected five independent Seattle-based retail boutiques who put the discovery of emerging brands at the heart of their business.
The Cura Co.
With its name inspired by the words “cure” and “curate”, Cura Collective is a one-stop lifestyle shop for conscious living. Stating its brand pillars as artful, ethical and mindful, Cura Co.’s selection of products and brands exist at the intersection of fashion, wellness and social impact. Founder Akiko Waters fills her Central District store with pieces and brands she comes across on her travels to places including South Africa and Cambodia. The choices on offer at Cura Co. include products that embrace a modern point of view while honoring heritage craft and origin stories, such as skincare from Ilera Apothecary, jewelry by Pichulik and Kenyan label KikoRomeo.
The Cura Co. 2407 E. Union St, Suite D Seattle WA, 98122
A sister store to another Seattle establishment Les Amis, Essenza is a beauty, jewelry and home accessories store that has been around since 1998. Inspired by the old-world pharmacies of Europe, owners Becky and Jim Buford envisioned Essenza as a haven for artisans and customers alike to enjoy products made around the world. Offering a carefully curated edit of fragrances, candles and handcrafted goods sourced from small manufacturers and family-owned businesses, Essenza is one of the most popular for gifts and wish lists for birthdays, anniversaries and weddings.
Essenza, 615 N 35th St, Seattle, WA 98103
Situated in a historic building on Seattle’s popular Ballard Avenue, StudioRA gets its name from the initials of its founder, Ramona Abbasian, who discovered her passion for retail and fashion after an internship in college. The boutique stocks unique designers and emerging brands from around the world, bringing its customers a wide breadth of talent from America, Europe and Australia.
StudioRA, 5301 Ballard Ave., Seattle, WA 98107
Founded in 2016 by Magalí Corzo, PETI Boutique showcases collections from the worlds of fashion, beauty and homeware. With a focus on creativity and innovation, PETI houses more than 40 brands that provide a mix of styles, products and price points to appeal to a wide range of discerning customers. The boutique sets itself apart with a dedication to finding the perfect item for each customer, ensuring they leave with the feeling they have bought something unique and special, whether its jewelry from Kenyan brand SOKO or handmade ceramic vases.
PETI Boutique, 1621 N 45th St, Seattle, WA 98103
Pipe & Row
Located in the heart of Seattle’s Fremont district, Pipe & Row is a store that offers a diverse range of staple wardrobe pieces. Curated with wearable and effortless items from a selection of local artists and international designers, Pipe & Row aims to celebrate individual style. Whether you’re shopping online or visiting the brick-and-mortar store, you’ll find pieces from popular Copenhagen brand Ganni to London-based House of Sunny.
Pipe and Row, 611 N 35th St, Seattle, WA 98103