When pressed on the inspiration for his new line of apparel and bags, 27-year-old Green Lake–based designer Mike Jolley looks straight down—at his tin-cloth Filson coat, passed down to him by his grandfather. A descendant of cotton farmers, Jolley has taken heritage to heart with the recent debut of his Legacy Clothing “Prospector 2011” collection, outdoor gear inspired by the Alaska Gold Rush and the sturdy construction of Americana lines he admires, such as Pendleton, Woolrich and Seattle’s own Filson Company. Using repurposed materials and traditional weatherproofing techniques, Jolley, who also works at Ballard’s Blackbird menswear shop, crafts hardy accessories fit for the camping and hiking lifestyle: waxed indigo denim backpacks, shoulder sling bags with storage pockets and waxed canvas hooded pullovers inspired by a slicker his father used to own. “American heritage has become a buzzword in fashion,” he says. “But, for me, it’s just about going back to our roots, learning to appreciate the techniques and to produce great quality that lives up to a legacy.” Available at legacyclothing.net.
Jessie Oleson has a big obsession with a little sweet. In 2007, the freelance writer and illustrator launched the widely popular CakeSpy blog devoted to bakery culture and to her quirky illustrations that capture cupcakes in action at, say, a tattoo parlor or the library. Her art now lines the walls at CakeSpy (415 E Pine St.; 206.605.3589; cakespy.com), the brick-and-mortar extension of Oleson’s blog that opened in May on Capitol Hill. Housed in the former Bluebottle Art Gallery space, the shop is part gallery and part cake-themed store. “The shop has all the heartwarming goodness of cake, the warm, fuzzy feeling,” Oleson says, “just without the crumbs.” Items for sale maintain Oleson’s trademark humor and sense of whimsy, from her custom cupcake portraits (how would you look as a cupcake?) and bacon-illustrated mugs ($12) to Michelle Miller’s adorable pastel-colored cupcake-sized plates ($12) and flirty Kitsch’n Glam aprons in bright prints and styles ($35). But if it’s a cupcake or a layer cake you’re after, you won’t find it here—though you can get a sugar rush from locally made lollipops from This Charming Candy ($2) in flavors such as vanilla cardamom and salted caramel.
We sure could have used Grain Design during our girlhood rubber-band-ring phase. The cleverly crafted Electric Love rings from Bainbridge Island–based Chelsea Green and James Minola are made of reclaimed electrical wire and come in a rainbow of bright colors. The hand-knotted hot pink ring would have been perfect for the pretend wedding to Mr. Right (alas!), but we’re pretty sure the simply chic circlet will please adult sensibilities just as well. $19 at graindesign.com.
Published November 2010