This story is featured in the January issue of Seattle magazine. Subscribe here to access the print edition.
Move over Fido
Pet names in Seattle reflect the year that was
If you adopted a dog or cat last year, there’s a good chance you named it Milo.
Milo is among the top five 2020 pet names in Seattle for both dogs and cats, according to Seattle-based dog walking and pet sitting company Rover’s annual list of most popular names.
“While the trends change, one thing remains the same: The names dog owners choose to give their pets are often a direct reflection of who they are, what they like and what’s going on in the world at the time,” the report says.
“We know how important a pet’s name is and how much thought goes into finding just the right one — which makes sense, considering it’s likely to be hollered across the house about a million times.”
The No. 1 male dog name in Seattle last year was Charlie, followed by Max and Cooper. Luna, Bella and Lucy topped the list of female dog names. Top female cat names were Luna and Lucy, while Oliver, Charlie and Milo were most popular among male cat names.
Local mountains Baker and Rainier were popular pet names, too. Pet parents also borrowed from science and historical fiction, including Okoye from “Black Panther,” Lando, Rey and Hondo from “Star Wars,” and Tyrion from “Game of Thrones.”
Rover says it “has heard just about every pet name there is.”
Nationally, several new names became very popular: Corona, Roni, Covi and even Fauci. Neither Trump nor Biden made the list.
— Rob Smith
Hairdos are back, in a most unusual way
Women’s hairstyles of the 1960s “are just fun,” says Edie Everette, co-owner of Monroe-based home décor store Milkwood Custom Furniture. She’s not proposing that you go out and get one.
She is thinking, however, that you’d like a couch cushion with an iconic hairstyle of the era as a piece of art.
Everette paints the heads of people with 1960s hairstyles and converts them to prints, which she then emblazons onto couch cushions. Everette, a child during the ’60s, says the decade formed her aesthetic.
“They are almost like sculptures. They’re just so visually exciting,” says Everette, who co-owns the shop in an historic downtown Monroe storefront with her husband, furniture maker Allan Peterson. “They’re pretty distinct, even for that era. I just think a lot of different ages can appreciate that time.”
And yes, she’s a big fan of the TV series “Mad Men.”
Though Everette only recently created the cushions, they’re already proving popular. One customer — a therapist — bought two of them for her clients to hit and throw during sessions. “She told me they resemble a mother-in-law,” Everette says with a laugh.
Gen Z Entrepreneur
Freddy Bunkers started a business at age 14. He has more planned.
Freddy Bunkers launched his own business at the tender age of 14 because he and his friends dreaded long, sweaty, smelly car rides home after participating in basketball, volleyball or tennis tournaments. His company, called HyperGo, creates natural, full-body wipes for quick cleaning on the go.
“It was a bit of shock to have my hypothesis validated when the product started resonating with strangers who bought on Amazon,” says Bunkers, who is now a 19-year-old sophomore pursuing a business degree at the University of Washington. “The reality was most of the people I was talking to at the time were in high school and had no concept of what I might be doing. They just saw that I had these cool wipes that I was pretty willing to give out, especially to my volleyball teammates so they didn’t stink.”
Bunkers’ mother, Jennifer Adams, who runs children’s skincare company TruKid, helped him finance the business, which he plans to grow into a “personal wellness empire.”
Bunkers is now preparing to publish a book, “No Desk, No Stress,” which pre-launched on Kindle in December, where
it became a bestseller in four categories. It details how he built the company starting at such a young age, focusing on his experiences in product development, business formation, branding and business development. Bunkers says his goal is to inspire others to pursue what they love. The book will be released this month and is available on Amazon.
Bunkers is just getting started. He and his mother are launching four new businesses this year aimed at wellness and pet cleaning, and he’s also planning several other books, including one on “young people making things happen,” and a primer about how to invest in Gen Z companies.
After graduation, Bunkers says he wants to “continue learning to be a badass CEO and Gen Z VC.”
— Rob Smith
A Sense of Place
Sisters build on ‘City Adventures’ book series
Julia Glen got the idea for a children’s book series after volunteering at a school and working with children struggling to read.
She and her sister, Nancy, have just released the seventh book in their City Adventures series, “Seattle Adventures,” a romp that takes readers to various sites across the city, including Pike Place Market and the Fremont Troll, as well as lesser-known destinations such as the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center, which celebrates Native American culture.
Previous books explored three cities in Southern California, where Julia lives, and Tacoma, Puyallup and Olympia. The books, which also contain a curriculum section, are sold through small businesses rather than on Amazon because the sisters wanted to support local economies. Seattle Adventures, for example, is sold at nine Seattle locations, including all four Metropolitan Market stores within city limits.
Nancy, a school librarian in Puyallup, writes the text and Julia provides water-color artwork. “Our research is extensive,” Nancy says. “We talk with kids in schools and contact businesses and residents. People we stopped on the streets are passionate talking about their home. We go to the library and talk with the local historical society. Of course, we had to force ourselves to eat at all the restaurants.”
Next up is “Spokane Adventures,” followed by perhaps a children’s book on climate change or health. “The options are endless,” Nancy says.
More information is at glencreations.com.
— Rob Smith
New rules lead to an uptick in backyard dwellings
Seattle’s Johnston Architects and iconic Pacific Northwest remodeler Neil Kelly Co. are the latest entities to get into what’s anticipated to become a boom in backyard dwellings.
Property owners who want to add detached dwelling units in Seattle’s single-family housing zones can use Johnston’s technology — which it has dubbed “Parametric Casita” — to input their address and discover the developable area on a single-family lot. Clients can then choose from predesigned modules to design their own detached accessory dwelling unit. The site is still in beta mode, but will undergo a significant upgrade this month.
Mayor Jenny Durkan last year signed one of the nation’s least-restrictive ordinances to reduce permitting times and costs for homeowners seeking to build accessory dwelling units. The city also launched a website, ADUniverse, featuring pre-approved city permits for cottage designs.
Johnston Architects offers a simplified structural model and provides rough construction costs.
Johnston Architects Partner Jack Chaffin says the Parametric Casita site has the ability to give clients customized plans and documents rather than a “one-size-fits-all” method. He says a coworker recently built a dwelling in her backyard and the city’s permitting process took just two weeks.
“One of the reasons we started exploring this, in general, is that clients have been asking us to build these small houses,” he says. “In the past, we’ve done small houses, but they’ve been in more rural and resort areas, not in an urban environment, too.”
Neil Kelly doesn’t offer pre-approved designs, but also helps expedite the permitting process. The company says interest
in backyard cottages has catapulted 380% and that its handyman division has been particularly busy. One project even required an elevator for an aging parent.
Another Seattle company, MyKabin (profiled in the November-December issue of Seattle magazine), offers similar services.
Playing a Big Roll
Cloud Paper partners with Food Lifeline
The pandemic has caused waves of toilet paper shortages. One green startup is doing its best to help.
Cloud Paper, a Seattle-based brand that makes “tree-free” toilet paper, has donated 100,000 rolls to Food Lifeline, a Seattle-based nonprofit that provides food to 300 food banks, shelters and meal programs in Western Washington.
To increase social awareness of the effects of the pandemic on low-income households, Cloud Paper has launched an Instagram campaign in which it will donate an additional roll of toilet paper for every like, tag and share.
The donation is enough to provide one month’s worth of toilet paper to 5,000 families.
“We already donate our product to Food Lifeline on a regular basis. However, the new TP shortage has hit food banks particularly hard, so we wanted to see how big we could go,” says Cloud Paper cofounder Ryan Fritsch.
Cloud Paper’s tissue is made of soft bamboo. With its green mission of ending deforestation and leaving no carbon footprint, Cloud Paper has attracted high-profile investors, including Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Cuban and Ashton Kutcher.
When the pandemic began in March, Cloud Paper donated 10,000 rolls of tissue to Food Lifeline and committed to a total of 100,000 by year’s end. Linda Nageotte, president and CEO of Food Lifeline, says toilet paper is in high demand and “very seldom donated.”
“Our clients often have to choose between buying groceries and an essential daily item, such as this,” Nageotte says.
“While all of us might be experiencing a TP shortage right now, it can be a day-to-day reality for many in our community without a pandemic.”