Shopping the Indies on 1st took Amy from Sassafras and I to six independent shops in the historic neighborhood of Belltown in Seattle. I wrote previously about the Federal Army & Navy Surplus, Sell Your Sole Consignment, Endless Knot, KUHLMAN, and Reclaim Decor. Last but never least, today’s post is about Sassafras, a boutique close to my heart in spirit, philosophy, and style.
Maggie from Blue Hour Photography hung out with us that day and captured all the fun. All the photos in my posts about the Indies on 1st are her work.
What Makes Sassafras Special
I write about Sassafras so often on my blog because it really is a special place. It’s a place where creativity and talent meet. It’s a place where artists are cherished and celebrated. It’s a place that offers community and support to those artists, a place where they can be stronger as a group than if they were riding the seas all on their own. And, as it turns out, almost all of the artists supported at Sassafras are women, so it’s women-owned and women-driven. I’m going to support that every chance I get.
Sassafras is the brainchild of Amy Tipton, my hostess and the organizer of our Belltown Shopping Spree. She is an artist herself–she designs and creates clothes for Sassafras too, when she has time. But in my mind I see Amy as first and foremost a community builder. It was her idea for us to go check out all the Belltown shops we visited. It was also her idea for their shops to be highlighted as much as her own. How can I not support (and adore) someone who works so hard to bring success to everyone around her? (Including me!)
In the photo above, Amy and I are both sporting sweaters by Erdaine Knitwear, one of Amy’s current obsessions since the weather has gotten cold. They’re made from sustainably sourced, 100% Italian Merino wool in Vancouver, Canada.
Amy’s vest is is paired with the green sweater she bought at KUHLMAN. My sweater dress is paired with another Sassafras designer, Seattle’s own Bartle B. My chapeau is by Loops and Lines out of Portland.
But Wait! There’s More!
The photo above is a good example of how easy it would be for me to supply my wardrobe with all Sassafras designers. But I haven’t even gotten started!
Katy Flynn’s designs are “born and raised” right in the Sassafras studios below the shop. Katy’s dresses are crafted to make every body look and feel great. The dress below is made of drapey, luscious chiffon. It can be worn two ways–the way I have it where the cowl is on the back, or turned around with the cowl on the front.
We added a belt handmade by another Sassafras designer, Shari of La Maison Macon. The dress has figure-flattering lines built in, but even Katy felt the belt was a nice touch.
The dress feels so luxurious to wear. I felt like an elegant 1930s starlet wearing it.
Continuing the theme of Modern Elegance, check out this simply gorgeous LBD by CiCi Clothing out of Vancouver. It has the comfort and flattering fit of a wrap dress without the worries about wind a wrap dress brings.
The fabric and the construction make it perfect for a variety of body types. For example, the top part of the dress can be tugged a little this way or that and the neckline will change to fit different bust sizes.
Perhaps it goes without saying that when you have a group of fashion designers who come up with their own patterns and piece them together into wearable art, you’re going to have a good selection of innovative design as well.
Katy Flynn’s designs are all a lesson in fashion innovation. Besides the reversible chiffon dress pictured above, she has a dress made of bamboo that can be worn four different ways. Visit the Sassafras shop online or in person to check it out!
Another example of an incredibly innovative design is the dress pictured below by we3 in Vancouver. It’s a dress AND a top. Check it out. Below, the dress is a streamlined column dress with dolman sleeves.
Flipped upside down, it’s a cowl neck shirt that I can wear hoodie-style. And, yes, I was shocked that it actually worked.
Just remember to put on pants when you flip it from dress to top. Ha ha.
Life can be incredibly serious. Too much so sometimes. I think that’s one of the reasons why I am drawn to designers like Lizz Bassinger of Portland. I have two of her dresses in my closet. The first is one I featured on my blog here and here. The second dress I purchased on the day of our Belltown Shopping Spree.
Lizz Bassinger uses comfy fabrics and fun lines to create her delightful designs. This dress has seams which create whimsical pleats around the dress. Amy styled it with one of the knit caps she carries, a necklace by Belltown artist Epicine, and a purse by Maison La Macon.
When I wear the dress around town, I keep the knit cap and add a long-sleeve layer to stay warm. A scarf adds texture and warmth. It’s likely I’ll write about this dress again before winter is over.
Hats and Scarves and Purses and Jewelry, Oh My!
As seen from the styles in the photos above, Sassafras carries handmade accessories and jewelry in addition to the lovely clothes. These smaller items make great holiday and birthday gifts.
Handmade purses by Shari of Maison La Macon add a dramatic spark to any outfit. She is currently running a sale on her website–25% off her online inventory through December 9th! She takes commissions as well!
Visual art is important to all the work featured at Sassafras, which is why artists who work in paint, photography, and sculpture are included in the community created at the boutique.
This type of art lines the walls and shelves in a rotating art show at the boutique. Each month during the Belltown Art Walk, a new artist is celebrated with an opening reception. The next reception will be December 8th to celebrate the photography of David Barnes. For more about his art and the opening reception, visit the Sassafras Event Page on Facebook.
Amy hosts a number of events celebrating all the artists and designers that fill the racks and shelves at Sassafras. To keep up with what’s going on, visit the Sassafras Events Page on Facebook. She’s got something fun happening every week!
By now it should come as no surprise that Amy has a giving soul. She works hard to build community around her and she seeks ways to give back to that community everyday.
This holiday season, Sassafras is partnering with two different organizations to achieve two different missions.
Northwest Hope and Healing for women with cancer
The first is a partnership with Northwest Hope and Healing, an organization that helps with immediate assistance (groceries, gas, transportation, rent, utilities, and childcare) to women dealing with breast and gynecological cancer. Portland’s Palate Polish is a vegan, chemical-free nail polish available at Sassafras. For every polish purchased at Sassafras, they will donate one to Northwest Hope and Healing to add to the healing baskets they provide to patients.
As mentioned in my previous posts about the Indies on 1st, all six of the shops featured, including Sassafras, have formed a partnership called Belltown Unites. They joined together to provide hats and scarves to the 6000 people living in Seattle without a home. Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission will make sure the people who need these hats and scarves receive them.
From November 25 through January 25, customers can visit Sassafras and participate in this campaign. For more information about how you can contribute, contact the team via email or phone. Information listed below.
Sassafras is located at 2307 First Avenue in Seattle. You can also purchase some of the curated treasures at their online store. To reach Amy or one of the other designers by phone, call 206-420-7057 or email email@example.com.
Monday through Saturday: 11am to 7pm
Second Fridays Artwalk: 12pm to 9pm
Affiliate Link Disclaimer: Although I did receive a discount for the items I purchased at Sassafras, I was not paid to write this article. Nor will I receive compensation from Sassafras if you shop there. There are, however, advertising links embedded in my blog that could garner me commission if you purchase something from those advertisers. The money I make from these commissions helps me do what I do here at Petite Over 40. If you make such a purchase, thank you for your support!