In case you were wondering how to say it, it’s pronounced Toh-toh-kye-oh. In case you were wondering what Totokaelo is — it’s the new high class boutique to hit Capitol Hill featuring an array of designer clothing, housewares, furniture, lighting and art from all over the world.
Jill Wenger, the boutique’s founder, manager, and creative director, gutted the space and created almost a gallery atmosphere: white walls, wide open space, purposeful hangings. Wenger said she approached the design of the space as part retail, part art installation.
“I was a dreamer and admirer of the entrepreneur,” Wenger said.
“Throughout the process of figuring out how to successfully run a retail business, I absolutely fell in love with specially shops, lifestyle brands, fashion, art and design,” she said.
While Totokaelo is new to the neighborhood, it’s not new to Seattle— a much smaller incarnation of the store resided over in Pioneer Square. But like its new neighbor, Elliott Bay Book Co., Totokaelo moved up the Hill.
The new store resides on 10th avenue in the space that used to house Everyday Music.
The shop trades in high design — selling many different items under the same auspice: it has to look immaculate. Finely tailored blouses, Japanese silverware, visual art from all over — it doesn’t matter as long as it look impeccable.
While the store currently only has women’s clothing in addition to art and housewares, the upper level of the building will add a men’s clothing section sometime next January.
Will the upscale finery fly on Capitol Hill and its celebration of most things Value Village? There are smaller, more local, cheaper design and vintage boutiques already dotting the Hill. Doesn’t matter. This Seattle glossy practically squeels as it notes 80% of Totokaelo’s well-heeled clientele hail from New York.
To check out a selection of Totokaelo’s upscale wares, head over to Totokaelo.com.