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Checking in: Capitol Hill’s Retail Therapy makes it safe and easy for customers to enjoy shopping for creations from independent artists

(Image: Gabrielle Locke)

Checking in is an occasional series on CHS as we talk with people from longtime neighborhood businesses, organizations, and more about their experiences during the COVID-19 crisis.

By Gabrielle Locke

“We are riding the rollercoaster, like everyone else,” Wazhma Samizay said.

Samizay opened Retail Therapy nearly 18 years ago after traveling through Europe, “At the time, Seattle didn’t have many shops with a mix of art and goods. I wanted to do something like that here, to have a way for artists to show their work, and that’s how I did it. I just came back and took a leap of faith.”

The small E Pike shop specializes in gifts, clothing apparel, jewelry, and, cards all created by independent artists.

“Retail therapy is all about making people feel good. If you buy something from me, I want it to be something that you’ve worn and worn, and you have the stories to match it. It’s not necessarily about the thing; it’s really about you” Samizay said.

(Image: Gabrielle Locke)

She closed the shop before the official mandate and re-opened it as soon as she was able to.

Since reopening the shop, Samizay has taken her community’s safety into deep consideration by creating an online store with a pickup and a delivery option.

“My goal is that everyone feels at ease and safe to come here,” she said. Samizay has a handful of regulars who utilize the new online store.

The online shop is slowly picking up. Samizay is now making about half the sales she did a year ago.

“The places that you love will only stick around if you support it. There is a sense of community here, I want my community to be safe, which’s the most important thing. And then I hope that I ride it out with them, too,” Samizay said.

The shop’s door is open with limited capacity, and Samizay will warmly greet you with smiling eyes and hand sanitizer.

Retail Therapy is located at 905 E Pike and is currently open Sunday 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Monday 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM, Tuesday through Friday 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and Saturday 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. You can make online purchases for artisan merchandise and gift cards here.

(Image: Gabrielle Locke)


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Jason
Jason
1 month ago

Love this shop, love getting gifts there and people love the shirts I have

Worth
Worth
1 month ago

Wazhma, her crew, and Retail Therapy in general are a gem for the neighborhood!

Lauri
Lauri
1 month ago

My favorite go-to for gifts and to treat myself! Always feels so welcoming and it’s fun to shop there.