Checking in: 20 years of Pretty Parlor on Capitol Hill

(Image: CHS)

Banana and crew (Image: CHS)

By Gabrielle Locke

While we’re thinking about Capitol Hill fashion and beauty that may end up being nothing more than plans due to the COVID-19 crisis, one neighborhood center of fashion, beauty, and more is doing everything it can to hang on through the pandemic and celebrate its 20th anniversary in style.

When COVID-19 first hit, Pretty Parlor owner Anna Banana turned to doorstep delivery to local customers, focused on her Etsy shop, and created an e-commerce store attached to her website — graceful but major shifts for a business that has been in motion since the turn of the millenium.

“In the beginning, I would do doorstep delivery and sometimes, if I knew the customer well, I’d pick them up a Dicks burger and friends, because why not!” Banana says of the early pandemic delivery effort. Continue reading

No Parking closes its E Pike store — but the Capitol Hill vintage shop lives on

Ready to open in 2008 (Image: No Parking)

After more than a decade providing Capitol Hill with vintage treasures it didn’t know it needed to have, No Parking on E Pike is packing up its Brooks Brothers suitcases of collectible oddities and moving its store online.

Thank you Capitol Hill for 12 wonderful years! We are moving online. For now you can find us on Etsy – but stay tuned for a future stand alone website – and who knows, maybe another brick and mortar in the post-apocalypse!

In 2015, CHS talked with owner Billy Hutchinson about the shop and its treasures. “A lot of times people are buying the story more than the item,” Hutchinson said at the time. “The stories enhance it.”

The story behind Hutchinson and wife Linda Young’s decision isn’t just about COVID-19. Hutchinson tells CHS he was diagnosed with cancer last November and while his prognosis is good, he is immunocompromised. Running the store right now just wouldn’t be safe.

“it’s been a tough year for us,” Hutchinson said. “But we’ve hung together.” Continue reading

Fox + the Feather owner closes Pike/Pine boutique to open new vintage-focused Rove

For Rachel McNew owning the type of store she, and she believes the community, wants means starting fresh.

New paint, new merchandise, and a new name — Rove.

“I think Rove will be a better fit for Capitol Hill because our biggest focus is vintage,” McNew said. “It’s not just your everyday vintage. I’m trying to curate more fashion-forward pieces, which I think will do better up here as well.”

By the end of the month, McNew plans to open the new store in the former Fox + the Feather space at 1507 11th Ave. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Value Village to close after one last Halloween — UPDATE

(Image: REI)

(Image: REI)

This is the last time you’ll be able to rummage through 11th Ave’s Value Village for a Halloween costume — or a dookie brown leather jacket or some moccasins someone else has been walking in or a broken keyboard or a kneeboard.

The Capitol Hill thrift shop grandaddy is slated to close after the holiday, customers of the store are being told this weekend. A Value Village manager confirmed the closure plans with CHS.

The store’s last day of business is planned for November 7th.

UPDATE 10/25/2015: A spokesperson for the Value Village/Savers company has provided some additional information about the closure, telling CHS that the store has been renting the space on a “month-to-month basis” for years. So, why close now?

“Though unfortunate, certain business conditions have made it necessary to close our Value Village thrift store in the Capitol Hill neighborhood after a number of years of leasing the space on a month-to-month basis,” the spokesperson said. Continue reading

Lifelong Thrift brings vintage Capitol Hill to new Broadway store

Lifelong Thrift's Tamara Asakawa (Image: CHS)

Lifelong Thrift’s Tamara Asakawa (Image: CHS)

The old sign will stay -- kind of. Watch for a LIFELONG update later this spring (Image: CHS)

The old sign will stay — kind of. Watch for a LIFELONG update later this spring (Image: CHS)

It fits like a hand in a glove. A second-hand glove. Lifelong Thrift is set to open on Broadway Wednesday morning bringing a most Capitol Hill next chapter to the former space home to Red Light Vintage.

“I feel like we’re a part of the old Capitol Hill,” Thrift’s director Tamara Asakawa told CHS Tuesday as she and her crew of 10 employees and a dozen or so volunteers put the finishing touches on the gigantic new home for the store.

The new Lifelong Thrift combines the spaces left empty by the departure of the much-loved Red Light and its sibling boutique Aprie and at 12,500 square feet and two levels will be almost three times the size of the thrift’s former E Union location.

In November, CHS reported that the prospect of higher rent combined with lower than needed sales was forcing the ownership of Red Light, acknowledged as the Hill’s oldest vintage clothing store, to leave Broadway. Lifelong Thrift was slated for an earlier opening but a complication over a move-in date caused a costly delay for the nonprofit. Asakawa said the pluck of her crew and volunteers helped keep things on track even with the added cost and work of dealing with storage and waiting for the spaces to open up for the buildout to begin. Changes inside are few — in fact, you’ll see many remnants of Red Light left behind. But you’ll also find an opened up space that better connects the two wings of the shop. Continue reading

Revival fashions vintage opportunity from tiny store above Broadway

Busacca (Images: CHS)

Busacca (Images: CHS)

DSC_8756As Red Light Vintage prepares for one last liquidation sale on Broadway before leaving its space and making way for Lifelong Thrift, another source of recycled fashion and style is settling into Capitol Hill. Nestled atop Jai Thai on the western corner of Thomas and Broadway is Revival, a “one-stop-shop” boutique offering to buy, sell, and trade an array of items such as clothes, furniture, home accessories, and and jewelry.

Though the shop has been on the block for around half a year already, it still is somewhat of a “secret spot,” due to its above-street-level location, according to co-owner and San Francisco transplant Ashley Busacca.

“People are like ‘I live across the street and I had no idea you were here, when did you open?’ I’m like ‘six months ago!’” Continue reading

Lifelong Thrift readies for Broadway with sale, moving campaign

(Image: Lifelong)

(Image: Lifelong)

With plans to open in February March on Broadway in the former home of Red Light Vintage, Capitol Hill’s Lifelong Thrift is clearing the shelves and preparing for the move with a big sale and a fundraising campaign to boost the nonprofit’s move from E Union.

Saturday is the last day of business for the shop at 1017 E Union — you can find some sweet deals on the final day:

As you all know, out last day of operation at 1017 E Union will be Saturday Jan. 24th. So we will be having a store wide 75 percent off sale, starting Friday Jan. 23rd. Items that are .50¢ will not be further discounted.

Lifelong is also holding an online giving campaign to help with additional unexpected costs from a one-month delay in the move:

The Lifelong Thrift is a Seattle thrift shop institution known for awesome one-of-a kind items. It has resided on Capitol Hill since the 1980s when, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, it was a place of togetherness…a place the symbolized hope in a time of heartache. Today, it is one of the few, if not the only, thrift stores in Seattle that offers a voucher program to HIV positive individuals in need of basic living essentials, like warm coats, dishes, or even an outfit to wear to a job interview. The Lifelong Thrift has given $500,000 in vouchers through the years!

The thrift store is bursting at the seams and can grow no more in its current building while the number of clients served by Lifelong continues to grow. The good news is, the thrift store announced in the Fall that it would be relocating to a new location on Broadway in Capitol Hill — a space that is three times the size of the current space. The new space will allow the thrift store to double the amount of contributions back to Lifelong’s programs delivering food, housing, and health services to people living with chronic illnesses including HIV/AIDS.

If you give $2,500, you’ll get a fitting room in the new Broadway location dedicated in your name.

Buzzworthy vintage furniture and design shop Homestead Seattle opens on Capitol Hill

(Image: Homestead Seattle)

(Image: Homestead Seattle)

The husband and wife partners behind antique and vintage interior design retailer Homestead Seattle undersell the business just a little.

“We find and restore and fix up vintage and antique furniture,” Ryan Tansey tells CHS about the business he runs with wife Michele that has just opened a brick and mortar shop on Capitol Hill.

The couple has an eye for finding one of a kind pieces that fit into a kind of American classic look just trendy enough to be upvoted and liked. Until now, their showroom has been their stylish Madrona home. Now, Homestead Seattle’s look is on display on E Pine in the retail space left empty with the nerd consolidation of Gamma Ray Games up the street.

“The way that we looked it, we’ll have a lot more visibility and foot traffic,” Ryan said. “Especially for local folks to stop by and see.”

The Homestead Seattle store is currently open by appointment but the Tanseys said they expect to around the shop with doors open for visitors on weekends through the holidays.

You can check out what is currently for sale — A leather Henredon sofa for $1,995? A MC Selig table for $495? An East German map of France for $395? Vintage bullhorns for $195 —  here in the Homestead Seattle online collection.

Homestead Seattle joins street art supply provider Art Primo as new retailers on the block.

The new Homestead Seattle is located at 411 E Pine. Check out for more information.

Happy customer appreciation day — Love, Lifelong

1795351_10152001017449624_1205808660_oYes, the neighborhood is getting its very own Capitol Hill Goodwill. But there is already plenty of vintage love to go around. Some basic old “cheap stuff” love, too. Friday is E Union’s Lifelong Thrift Store annual customer appreciation sale:

Everything will be at least 50% off! It’s our thanks to you for doing good just by shopping. Your purchases support Lifelong’s work delivering services to people living with chronic serious illness. Thank You!

Maybe you can find something to wear to Lifelong’s Gay Bingo fundraiser Saturday in Fremont.

Goodwill to open Capitol Hill store this spring

The former home of Half Price Books is the future home of Goodwill

The former home of Half Price Books is the future home of Goodwill

He's excited

He’s very excited

CHS has learned that the grandaddy of thrift shopping is coming to Capitol Hill. Seattle Goodwill is planning to open a Capitol Hill store in the former home of Half Price Books that has stood vacant since the discount retailer shuttered the location last year.

“We would love to be on Capitol Hill,” a spokesperson for the nonprofit retailer tells CHS about the project. “It really is a neighborhood that appreciates the recycle, repurpose, reuse values.” Continue reading