Four Locally Based Websites that are Changing the Way we Shop

The technology talent and Internet savvy in this town has spilled over into independent retail
FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

Craft & Culture
The only constant at Jason Parker and Hana Ryan Wilson’s excellent online marketplace, Craft & Culture (craftandculture.com), is the ever-evolving catalog of designers—local, national and international—who pass their elevated, edgy muster. Parker, who worked on a creative team at Nordstrom, and Wilson, an e-commerce expert, stock the shop with edgy and modern clothing. Graphic dresses from Icelandic label Helicopter are standouts, as are the innovative and interesting earthy quartz and crystal pieces from Elaine Ho.
Fall favorite: Mailbag clutch in black with gold hardware, from Ampersand as Apostrophe, $794

Runway2Street
Six years at Microsoft as the director of product management for Big Ads marketplace and years working with international supply chain management at UPS prepared passionate fashion devotee and world traveler Rathna Sharad to launch Runway2street (runway2street.com) in April, along with chief technology officer Sherwyn Soff. The South Lake Union–based Sharad draws on the small, niche and hard-to-find design houses from around the globe that she visits during her travels as inspiration for the inventory in her luxe retail startup. With more than 50 brands from 23 countries, including Gaffer and Fluf of Athens, Le Tolentino of São Paulo, and Maison About of Milan, Sharad works with lines that fit with her refined, fashion-forward and boundary-busting aesthetic. The designers benefit from her competent and capable navigation through the confusing world of international shipping, and customers benefit from the access to such amazing and unique style.
Fall favorite: Obtuse angle heel, $741, from Taipai, Taiwan’s Abcense

Seneca & Spruce
Former Nordstrom user-experience designer Lauren Curtis launched Seneca & Spruce (senecaandspruce.com) in June as a new concept in retail for emerging design talent. Curtis provides an online space to help these small designers gain exposure and expand their audience while remaining sensitive to the realities of their production needs. At press time, Seattle designers Kate S. Mensah, Tom Ordonio and Masha Osoianu are featured on the site, which pre-sells its inventories to give the designers time to produce and the capital up front to make it happen. Caveats: Shoppers can expect to wait from one week to two months for order fulfillment, and if the presale  doesn’t garner enough orders, the garment is not produced and customers are refunded in full.
Fall favorite: Upstream necklace from Neon Zinn by Seth Damm, $240

Moorea Seal
Social media savant and Seattle magazine Designer to Watch in 2012, Moorea Seal launched her eponymous online shop in 2013 to give the almost 1 million Pinterest followers she’s attracted a place to shop for what the Green Lake–based tastemaker thinks is cool. After finding success online, Seal opened a bright and airy brick-and-mortar store in May (Belltown, 2523 Third Ave.; mooreaseal.com) that looks just like her Pinterest board come to life, with macramé wall hangings, lots of brass chevron and triangle jewelry, delicate ceramics, leather bags and many other items that appeal to her loyal millennial audience. Seven percent of every purchase from Moorea Seal is donated to local nonprofits, designated into five cause categories—animals, health and wellness, children’s needs, women’s causes and protecting the planet, an element of the shop that Seal calls “essential.”
Fall favorite: Trenza cut-out boot from Uxibal, $225


 

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