Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thinking Local...

Seattleites are for the most part very conscientious about wanting to purchase local, whether its their produce, their dairy, their airplanes or software. To add to that list, I have met (either through email or in person) 4 very creative people with ties to Seattle that I would like to introduce you to.

The first introduction is to John and Neil. I have known these two creative business men for 4+ years and they are practically Fremont royalty. Neil and John are owners of 3 stores that you must know about. On 3 out of 4 corners of Fremont Avenue (and 35th), there is some prime shopping opportunity that you must take advantage of. First we have Bliss. Bliss is John's baby and upon entering you will feel like you've entered the dance segment of the Ellen show with great tunes playing and displays of fun clothing to explore. Bliss carries denim and the urban, contemporary lines that will have you looking hip and modern the minute you exit the change room. I played for a good 90 minutes in this store alone and had it not been so close to the holidays, I would have left the store with quite the stash. Lots of fun tops, tunics and leggings for everyday wear and plenty of items that carry over into evening without effort.

Next, we head across the street to Dream and you will enter the world of Neil. The concept of Dream is one of timeless classics and therefore caters to a wider age range. In Dream, I found dress coats with beautiful lines and sweaters that were absolutely gorgeous. One of the features of both Bliss and Dream is that John and Neil have created their own labels for their stores and this equates to up to the minute fashion with fabulous pricing. With a few exceptions (purses and coats) almost everything I saw was priced under $150. Great products, very reasonable pricing.

Finally, cross over the street one more time and you will find the handsomely designed, latest addition to their empire, Finch and Sparrow. Finch and Sparrow was created as an extension to both Bliss and Dream and is focused on accessories. There is a large selection of boots, bags, hats, and scarves as well as candles, cosmetics and fun gifts. F + S also supports local artists in the community with art, jewelry, cards and the latest exercise wear by NaLa.

A handful of my favorite items were the stylish Vegan Handbags, the home fragrance diffusers (in an array of scents) by Modern Notes, Lavish Design Studio cards, and the most amazing "cashmere-feel" scarves for $28. Another item that truly caught my eye, was the laser cut line of jewelry by Bijou Daily.

To see the latest of what is happening with John and Neils' retail ventures, check out their blog at: www.finchnsparrow.blogspot.com

My next introduction is to Amanda Pearl. Actually Amanda Brotman. Making a long story short, my introduction to Amanda took place because of a flight from NYC, a close friend of mine, and some magazine trading. Thank goodness for all of this happenstance because I then learned of her beautiful work. Amanda B is a local who grew up in the Seattle area and had performed with our fabulous PNB before heading East to attend college in NY for a degree in Art History and Visual Arts. After graduation she spent 4 years working for Marc Jacobs and then went on to launch her own purse line in February '08. This fall, Amanda then launched her line of jewels that have been quite the hit. On the recent flight from New York that landed our introduction, Amanda was headed back to the PNW for a trunk show hosted by our latest Bellevue addition, Neiman Marcus. Amanda's evening accessories are inspired by the fashion and culture of the 50's and 60's and made with vintage fabrics and beads from her travels. Beautiful. Some of my favorites from her lines are the "Roll Clutch" in many vivid colors and patterns, the black "Maasai Necklace", the "Gold Leaf Headpiece" and the "Olive" handbag as seen below.

To see more about Amanda and her collection, visit her various sites at:

And last but certainly not least, I would like to introduce you to Divine Design Seattle. Divine Design is actually Lauren G, who is a Seattle native and I came across her work in the best possible way, a friend of mine was wearing her gorgeous work. Once seeing this natural stone and silk ribbon creation looking stunning on my friends neck, I knew I had to make contact with Lauren. Upon learning more about her, I found out that Lauren's creative juices started flowing while living on the beautiful Hawaiian Island of Kauai. I've made one trip there and having only spent a few hours at the magical glass beach, I came home totally inspired so I can only imagine what was blossoming for Lauren. In the Spring of 2005, Divine Designs was launched. Some of my favorites are the simplistic "Scoop" bracelet and the gorgeous Desire Rings. I love the lightness of the one made with Pineapple Quartz.

The fabulous necklace that I saw on my friend is part of Lauren's upcoming Spring Collection and she promises me that we will see that line up on her site very soon. In the meantime, she allowed us a sneak peek at another style from her Spring Collection which is very natural and quite beautiful.

To see more about Lauren and her collections, have a peek at her site:

I hope that you enjoy these introductions and that it gives you all a little extra inspiration in "shopping local". If you do check any of these businesses out, be sure to mention that Pink Pagoda Style sent you. ;)

Be back with more soon!



  1. Thank you Kim for the very flattering and gracious write up. xoxo John & Neil!

  2. Thanks for sharing your fabulous "finds" with us, and for launching what I'm sure will be a huge success! You have such a great fashion sense!! So happy too that you and Amanda connected. I still have that "Lucky" magazine...thanks Amanda.

    Looking forward to keeping up with this great blog!!

  3. Thanks to Ana and Kim and of course to Lucky magazine! ;-)