Big cities mean tons of options, which unfortunately can also mean too many options when you’re pressed to find the best. So to share the best local makers in Seattle, we’ve assembled the A-team of insiders: some of our favorite Krrb members and resident influencers with knowledge on where to go and what to pick up. Let’s meet the team!
Jess Estrada of FreshJess is a digital-marketing strategist, lifestyle blogger, author and public-speaker hailing from the Emerald City. You can stay up-to-date on the coolest Seattle events by following Jess on her Instagram & Twitter. (JE)
Kim OReilly is a Seattle-based interior designer with principles founded on balance, creativity, organization, efficiency and results. She has been beautifully crafting spaces for over 20 years, many of them can be seen on her Instagram. (KO)
Trevor Dykstra and Jeremy Reding, co-founders of the Seattle Design Nerds, an all volunteer driven non-profit organization that creates public installations celebrating art, science, technology, engineering and design. To keep up to date on their latest public interest projects, follow them on Instagram & Twitter. (TD) (JR)
Kirsti Mittag-Degala of Mid-Century Rehab, designs sustainable mid-century-influenced interiors and represents the vintage work of two professional artists: Audrey Mabee and Tom Hamilton. See what Kirsti is up to on her Twitter. (KM)
1. What locally-made Seattle products do you use?
JE: Kari Gran Skincare, Herbivore Botanicals, Healeo juice, and Ellenos yogurt.
KO: Glassybaby, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Fran’s Chocolates, Little Raye’s Bakery, Mighty-O Doughnuts, Terra Bella Flowers, and Charles Loomis Lighting.
TD: If we expand Seattle to the Pacific NorthWest, I’m still very in love with my iPhone cover made from skateboard wood by Grovemade x MapleXO. I don’t know if food counts, but I couldn’t live in a world without Ellenos Yogurt. I have quite a few pieces of clothing from Kavu and of course we can’t forget Graypants’ scraplights.
JR: I have had the same Alchemy Goods wallet for over 5 years and I appear to be a silent spokesperson for Brenthaven’s stylish laptop/tablet backpacks as more and more people show up with them on my bus route.
KM: Known for its proximity to the incredible rugged outdoors, Seattle is also about next-level food and drink. My chef husband, Kelly Degala, loves to cook simple meals at home or pull out all the stops for family and long-time friends (who are also local chefs/ epicures). That said, we take pleasure in sourcing out interesting locally-made products. Some of our favorites include the walnut bread from Columbia Bakery (thanks P&K for the introduction), Chef Ethan Stowell’s line of fresh bronze-cut pasta, Uli’s Sausage, and D’Ambrosio Gelato. To beat the winter chill, try this rainy day Seattle-centric Old-Fashioned mixed with Woodinville’s Whiskey Company’s artisanal Rye, Scrappy’s orange bitters, and a couple of Stopksy’s brandied cherries as a garnish… so good!
2. If you want to give someone a gift that truly says Seattle what do you get them?
JE: If I can give them something perishable, it’s probably going to be Ellenos yogurt! If not, probably a print or a piece of art by a Northwest artist.
TD: My family routinely gets a smattering of items from Theo, Hot Cakes, Ames Bros, Jonboy and Schmancy on their birthdays.
JR: Tickets to a show at the Tractor, a gift card to any Tom Douglas restaurant, and a ride home on the Monorail.
KM: If I just need a small gift, I would likely pick up some of our incredible Seattle chocolate from Fremont’s Theo Chocolate (organic and fair-trade), or the decadent Gold Bar or Grey Salt Caramels from Fran’s Chocolates. I also love Glassybaby which originated in Seattle. They have hand-blown signature votives in gorgeous colors and donate 10% of their sales to featured charities helping people, animals, and the environment.
3. Where do you go to discover local Seattle makers?
JE: Seattle’s neighborhood farmers’ markets, BadWill Market, and Georgetown Vintage Trailer Park Mall.
KO: Capitol Hill Market, Pike’s Place Market, Ballard Market.
TD: I’d add Urban Craft Uprising, Seattle Made, and the various farmer’s markets (Ballard and Fremont are my favs). There are plenty of magazines and blogs but the hands-on experience is always best.
JR: We have been part of Design in Public and the Seattle Design Festival since it’s inception putting us in touch with 100’s of local makers.
KM: Seattle has long been passionate about food whether you choose to cook creatively at home, or visit any of our great PNW restaurants. As well-known and popular as Pike Place Market is, I would rather go hang with the locals at Ballard Market. This charming farmer’s market is brimming with locally grown or foraged produce and organic grass-fed meats like the American Wagyu beef (Kobe-style) coming from Skagit River Ranch near Sedro Woolley, WA. The market also has specialty product vendors that are uniquely Seattle, like the fermented Kraut or Kimchee from Firefly Kitchens or Britt’s Pickles… both amazing! If you decide to try your hand at it, Firefly provides fermentation classes, and Britt’s sells an at-home fermentation kit.
4. I always tend to find out about new local makers via social media, Instagram specifically, are there any feeds you follow that showcase local Seattle makers?
JE: BadWill Market has a great Instagram and a monthly pop-up at the Rhino Room that showcases local creatives doing it well.
TD & JR: @grain_design, @urbanartworks, @surfacetheory, @schoolhouse, @meyer_wells, @totokaelo, @dunndiy, @fruitsuper, @digsshowroom, @perhacs_studio and @turncowood.
KM: I find that when you live in a creative community like Seattle you learn about anything new, different, or exciting very quickly through word of mouth. Everyone wants to share their latest find! My Twitter stream also keeps me up-to-date on what is happening in our city and region and is a great resource for local Makers in food, art, design, architecture, and music… all of my passions!
5. Living in a major city, like Seattle, can leave you ambushed with shopping options. Are there any mom and pop stores you’ve become loyal to rather than sticking to “the big guys”?
JE: I love the mom & pop shops. Moksha, Alive & Well, Whiskey & Honey, Moorea Seal, Fremont Vintage Mall, Lucky Vintage, Pipe & Row, The Finerie, Show Pony, Driftwood, Juniper and Coastal on Alki, just to name a few of my favorite boutiques.
KO: Baby and Co., PCC Natural Markets, Area 5, Charles Loomis lighting, Bedrock Industries, Watson Kennedy, Curtis Steiner, Hey Fancy, and Nube.
TD & JR: Rachel’s Ginger Beer!
KM: I can’t think of a better place to explore than Annie’s Art and Frame on popular Market Street, in Ballard. Yes, their staff is super knowledgeable about your framing options and they offer top quality products along with reasonable prices. But, they are also a neighborhood gem for small locally-sourced art, gifts, and handmade cards. Annie’s has recently expanded into making their own unique greeting cards in-house. Staffer/ musician/ artist Demian Johnston heads up ‘Annie’s Art and Press’ by navigating a 1908 Chandler & Price and is reviving this lost art with his quirky modern/ vintage designs. More proof that Annie’s, a beloved Ballard destination for 17 years, is staying on the pulse of everything current in Seattle.
6. Every city tends to have a different style in terms of fashion. What local designer would you say embodies the overall fashion sense of Seattle?
JE: I love what Suk Chai of Schai is doing right now.
KO: Kavu, although perhaps not too fashionable :)
KM: Designer and merchandising guru, Sean Sifagaloa of Krftwrk, applies his unique vision to shape the look of Seattle retail and keep stores feeling fresh and current. He is now making waves with his recent design work for local brewpubs and restaurants, including Stoup Brewing, Super Six, and Brimmer & Heeltap. Sean’s fashion sense reflects his keen eye for detail and his quintessential classic-cool Seattle vibe.
7. One thing that I am always trying to find is locally made beauty products (lotions, soaps, perfumes etc). Any suggestions of where to snag some locally in Seattle?
JE: Kari Gran Skincare and Herbivore Botanicals are great.
KO: Watson Kennedy and Antica Farmacista.
TD: It’s not my forte, but I’d recommend The Ballard Farmer’s Market for a surprisingly wide range of soaps and lotions from local craftspeople.
KM: I have to say that I really love the products from The Fay Farm (online or at Ballard Market), made in Greenbank, WA. They create handcrafted goat’s milk soaps, lotions, and body butters all made from natural ingredients. I use their Healing Hemp Salve to keep dry skin at bay, and am intrigued by their therapeutic Warming CBD Muscle Rub made with Cannabidiol oil (no obstacle here, it’s legal in all 50 states).