Jill Wenger is ready to unveil the new home of her Totokaelo, a Seattle-founded fashion brand and store that has just completed its move from Western Ave to Capitol Hill’s 10th Ave. The store neighboring Elliott Bay Book Co. will open its doors for the first time Thursday at 2p.
Wenger told CHS last month that the new Totokaelo will expand on the fashion and style provider’s years of retail experience on Western and online:
The new store will continue to represent the fashion categories and style it’s become known for, along with introducing: furniture, lighting, linens, ceramics, vintage textiles, rugs, objects and art. The brand off-shoot “Totokaelo Art & Object” launches with the opening, and will encapsulate these new non-apparel related products.
Expect the 10th Ave space to also feature a new line of furniture.
In March, Everyday Music completed a move across the street from the space now inhabited by Totokaelo. The retailer joins Elliott Bay and will neighbor Oddfellows Cafe and fellow retailer NuBe Green. Around the corner in the Odd Fellows building, Molly Moon’s has put its plans to expand into the former Flora and Henri shop on hold. Meanwhile, 10th Ave lost a tenant in February when sex club Tribe/Basic Plumbing abruptly closed down.
In our recent discussion with Totokaelo’s Wenger, the CEO also addressed the store’s price point:
What about the CHS commenters who will say pffft to an expensive boutique, I’ll never shop there, blah blah bah? Anything to say to sway them? Or just tell them to fuck off?
Totokaelo is a specialty shop. It doesn’t proclaim to have something for everybody. If you can’t tell the difference between a 20.00 pair of pants and a 200.00 pair, then fuck it, buy the 20.00 ones, right?
But for the person that can tell the difference, the person that wants to discuss Raf Simmons’ final collection for Jil Sander, or French seaming, or the Antwerp 6, Totokaelo won’t disappoint. We love what we do. We are enthusiasts.
In my mind, there’s a commonality between enthusiasts of any kind. Whether it be coffee, farm-to-table food, fixed gear bikes, etc. I appreciate it when someone finds something that gets them excited. Hopefully the feeling is mutual.
You can learn more at totokaelo.com.
UPDATE: CHS stopped by but were told no photos of the space until some larger fish in the global media pond get their turn (rhymes with Blue Cork Limes). Here’s a glimpse of the front and a sad little sidewalk shot. Look, shoes!