Get To Know Six Of Seattle’s Coolest Creatives

Between the Puget Sound and Lake Washington lies a city of distinct neighborhoods and urban districts that thrive with industrial, commercial and cultural activity around the clock. This bustling city is overflowing with creatives, makers, and explorers, and we want you to get to know six of our favorite. In the simplest terms, our Seattleite squad includes a photographer, restaurant owner, designer, toy collector, hair stylist, and vintage store owner. But, of course, they are all so much more. Get ready to meet some of the coolest creatives we know, find out why they love to call Seattle home, and get the lowdown on their expert city tips.

CHRISTINA HICKS, PHOTOGRAPHER

Art director and photographer Christina Hicks lives in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood with her boyfriend Ryan — also a multi-disciplinary creative — and their two year old rescue dog, Nori (a must-follow on Instagram). Hicks creates content in the fields of design, fashion, travel and technology with work that is both commercially strategic as well as artful.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I love the freedom of living in a growing city with so many amenities, yet being within a short drive of so many beautiful natural environments: the Pacific ocean, the Puget Sound, two major mountain ranges, an archipelago of islands, national parks, forests, and deserts, to name a few.

WHAT’S THE CREATIVITY COMMUNITY LIKE? The creative community here is definitely close knit — I think Seattle’s geographic location up in the corner of the country contributes to a sense of pragmatism and camaraderie.

I love that there’s an undercurrent of go-getters that gravitate towards one another, encouraging and supporting each other as both friends and creative colleagues. And with the more recent tech boom, I feel as though the creative community is coming together even more strongly as a means of survival in a quickly changing city that could easily displace artists and small businesses.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PLACE IN SEATTLE TO PHOTOGRAPH? I love the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island- it’s an inspiring place to walk and clear your head, and the impeccably kept grounds offer an endlessly changing backdrop of colors and textures.

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MICHELE TANSEY, HOME GOODS STORE OWNER

Michele Tansey co-owns a vintage rug and furniture shop called Homestead Seattle as well as Plant Shop Seattle (you can imagine what they sell) with her partner Ryan. In their spare time, the couple has been renovating and restoring their 1903 house over the course of seven years. They run an Airbnb out of the home, and it is one of the most beautiful places to stay when in the city.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I’m from Washington state but grew up in the midwest, and I always felt like I just needed to get back to Seattle. It’s beautiful here even when it’s cold and rainy because it stays so lush and green. If the green can carry you through the sunless winter, the summer here is just perfect (and practically mosquito free). We live about a mile from downtown and can walk to a beach or forest just as easily as a museum or restaurant. But my favorite thing about living in Seattle right now is watching it grow, so much so fast. Even though some of the growth is problematic I’m still proud as hell of our city, continuing to evolve and make a bigger name for itself in the world. Like me, it seems to be right in the middle of its story and I’m interested to watch how it plays out for both of us.

WHAT’S VINTAGE/ANTIQUE SHOPPING LIKE IN SEATTLE? It’s good and bad. Compared to somewhere like Portland, we have fewer cute, small vintage furniture shops, but we have more large antique malls, especially if you’re willing to drive an hours. I’d consider Pacific Galleries to be the gold standard of antique malls in Seattle. We also have some really great collectors that you can easily find selling on Craigslist. If you’re not scared of a bit of elbow grease, our friends over at Seattle Furniture Co have a 7000+ sq ft basement filled with furniture to hunt through.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE YOU’VE EVER FOUND AND DID YOU KEEP IT? Pretty much anything that’s made the cut to stay in our house at this point falls into the category “favorite.” We only have so much space, and in order for something to stay something else has to move on. If I was forced to pick one thing right now that I own I think it would be a large Persian Gabbeh carpet that I have hiding under a stack of other beautiful hoarded rugs in my basement (this stack is the one thing I allow to grow). As for furniture, in the shop right now we have a pair of lucite Pace Argenta Chairs and a set of Mario Botta Quinta Chairs. If I could, I would hoard those forever, too!! Definitely going to cry when those lucite chairs leave the shop.

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BOBBIE YANOUPETH, HAIR STYLIST

After living in New York for the past 10 years, Bobbie Yanoupeth has moved back to his hometown of Seattle. In 2015, he and his business partner Michael Sing teamed up to open BAHTOH, a bridal boutique that does everything from floral arrangements to decor to hair styling. Bobbie is a professional (and seriously amazing) hair stylist who has worked with Lady Gaga, numerous fashion houses, and whose work has been featured in Vogue, Brides, Nylon, and more.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? Seattle has just as much to offer as any other big city. It has great food, cute little shops, dope art, so many cool neighborhoods, diversity and who doesn’t love driving along the freeway and seeing all the lush greens and Mt. Rainier in the distance!?! Even with all this growth and great culture, Seattle still has a small town feel. Since opening our shop, so many people have reached out to us and are so excited to support us. There is a sense of community here that a lot of big cities lack.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER YOUR LOVE FOR HAIR STYLING? I was eight and we were living in Holland, MI. My parents were refugees from Laos and could barely speak English. So my mother decided that in order for her to keep up with the hair trends, she was going to teach me. She pulled the dining chair up to the kitchen counter and taught me how to perm her hair. Which then led to French braids, French twist and other updos. I became obsessed and started playing with everyone’s hair. I would get in trouble in class cause I was braiding hair during work period.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WEDDING VENUE IN SEATTLE? I’ve really been into intimate weddings. We did a wedding at Zoe Events recently. It feels like a little secret garden in the middle of the city. I can’t wait for the day that a couple give us total freedom to do whatever in that space. I want to recreate that moment in The Great Gatsby movie when he meets up with Daisy at her cousin’s house. He had the whole place decked out with tons of flowers, sweet treats and cakes. SOOOOO DREAMY!!!

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LINDA DERSCHANG, RESTAURATEUR

Linda Derschang is the founder and CEO of The Derschang Group, which owns and operates six neighborhood cafes, bars, and restaurants in Seattle. With so much success, Linda has rightfully earned the title “Queen of Capitol Hill.” Her signature aesthetic –– rustic, Scandinavian-inspired, vintage–– can be found in each space, big or small.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I love the Seattle summers. After nine months of grey, it is such a treat to spend so much time outside and on the water.

HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED IN THE SEATTLE FOOD SCENE? Ever since moving to Seattle I have known people who are involved in food, art, and music. After opening Linda’s Tavern in 1994, it was just a natural progression to move into food.  

TELL US WHERE YOUR IDEAL DAY OF EATING OUT WOULD BE FROM BREAKFAST TO DESSERT. My ideal eating out day would start with Vif in Fremont for breakfast. I love their smoked trout tartine. Then I would pop over to Juicebox in Capitol Hill for lunch. They have amazing juice and salads. Le Caviste is just a few blocks from my house downtown so I often head there for wine, bread, and cheese, or charcuterie in the evening. I would  finish out the day at Stateside in Capitol Hill.

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ABRAHAM VU, BOUTIQUE TOY SHOP OWNER

Abraham Vu and his family moved to Seattle from Edmonton in the late ‘90s. He’s spent most of his career at tech companies including Microsoft and Amazon, until he recently quit the corporate world to pursue his dream of starting a boutique toy shop, curating collectible and designer toys under the moniker Made to Scale.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? The diverse mix of culture, food, and the great outdoors. Seattle’s culture has been flourishing with the recent come up of tech companies and startups, leading to the increase of new food spots and developments in the city. I also love that you don’t have to drive very far to be surrounded by water, mountains, or the forests of the Pacific Northwest; what’s not to love!

HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO COLLECTING TOYS? For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been into collecting toys at some point in my life. My passion started as a kid the day I received my very first Transformers toy from my parents as a birthday gift. Since then I’ve collected everything from He-Man and Ninja Turtles, to Marvel toys, to now the more art-centric collectibles. I’m a huge sneaker collector, too, and the designer vinyls go hand-in-hand with sneaker culture. I think what appeals to me the most about toys is seeing the progression of the hobby so deeply rooted in my childhood to now being fully engrained in my life and my appreciation for them as an art form. I have always viewed toys as the artistic process of starting from a 2D art drawing, manifesting into its 3D representation.

YOUR FAVORITE TOY RIGHT NOW AND WHY? My favorite toy right now is the 400% Jackson Pollock Be@rbrick, from the Japanese company Medicom Toy, a collaboration with the late American painter. What draws me to this piece is that it perfectly captures the essence of Jackson Pollock’s work and makes for a great display piece in any collection. Medicom Toy is definitely my favorite toy company because of their collaborations with high profile artists and brands such Andy Warhol, Kaws, Nike, A Bathing Ape, Daft Punk, just a name a few.

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NIN TRUONG, DESIGNER

Splitting his time between Seattle, California, and Japan, Nin Truong kind of does it all. He runs a small design studio and gallery called WKND with his partner Christa Thomas, which is home to serveral in-house projects: Maiden Noir, a men’s and womenswear line, Blk Pine Workshop, a lifestyle, accessories, and furniture collection, and a small neighborhood coffee shop called Café Weekend. Along with the design studio, he is the design director for Stussy and to top it off, he has recently started a new project called the Da Da Da Gallery. Located in Seattle’s little Nihonmachi/Japantown, it is a revolving creative and contemporary space for work that can transcend from multiple dimensions.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN SEATTLE? I really love the geography and setting in Seattle. It’s a major city but is tucked away between the water and the mountains. I’m always reminded about how much I love Seattle when I’m flying back home.

YOUR FAVORITE SEATTLE NEIGHBORHOOD AND WHY? My favorite or part of Seattle is the South End (Columbia City, Beacon Hill, and Seward Park). There’s a lot of diversity and food choices are pretty amazing. There are still little immigrant restaurants and shops sprinkled throughout. Seward Park is great for swimming and there’s a few good loops for trail running.

HOW WOULD DESCRIBE SEATTLE MEN’S STYLE? It’s a mixture between laid back outdoorsy and contemporary. There are remnants of the grunge era still around, that’s part of the laid back vibe. Filson is based out here, along with several other outdoor brands, so that has an influence. Then there’s a great design and art community in Seattle. It’s much more contemporary — almost Scandinavian or Japanese in sensibility.

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Bonus: We have an unreal Seattle flash sale happening right now! Shop the city’s brightest boutiques and designers at up to 85% off, but only until August 30. And go >

Woman We Love: Hannah Anderson

We discovered Hannah Anderson, the way most of our girl crushes occur, through a winding Instagram rabbit hole. After scrolling through her feed of colorful snaps, endless OOTDs and professional-quality selfies, we knew it was true love. Her style had us hooked. But then, we discovered her voice. Hannah is actually an amazing singer who also knows her way around the guitar and piano. Her dreamy sound and powerful lyrics will have you enchanted within seconds. And don’t be surprised when all sorts of feels come rushing in because that’s just what Hannah’s music has the power to do. Here, we chat with her about style, creative expression and being an artist in LA. If you’re not already on the ‘gram stealing style inspo from Hannah while blasting her Soundcloud, then you most definitely will be after this.

Listen to Hannah Anderson as you read along.

https://soundcloud.com/hannahanderson

SO WE’RE KIND OF OBSESSED WITH YOUR STYLE. HAVE YOU ALWAYS HAD A LOVE FOR FASHION? Too kind. Thank you! I have always loved to express myself through my clothing. I remember when I was really little I would cry if my mom tried to dress me. I’ve always had a very clear vision of what I want on my body.

IT CLEARLY COMES SO NATURALLY TO YOU. IS STYLE SOMETHING YOU USE AS A TOOL TO EXPRESS YOURSELF? OR JUST A FUN PART OF YOUR DAY? Getting dressed really is an event in and of itself. It’s both a tool of expression and a fun part of the day. It’s how you present yourself to the world and it’s how you feel about yourself.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Constant shape-shifter and fabulous tomboy.

WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO OUTFIT? High-waisted trousers, a t-shirt and sneakers.

LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR REAL SUPERPOWER: YOUR VOICE. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN CREATING MUSIC? I’ve always loved singing and I had my first “performance” when I was nine at my older sister’s Quinceanera (15th birthday party). I started writing my own music at 16. Music is my most powerful form of expression and my most personal and sacred form of expression. I’ve had a really hard time sharing my music because I’ve honestly been terrified to. I am also very excited to see the music I’m working on now as a complete project!

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR BIGGEST MUSICAL INFLUENCES? Honestly, my list of musical influences is impossible to write down because it’s endless. A few things that inspire me are people that are kind and true. I like to surround myself with people who are undeniably themselves because that requires honesty in myself. Love and tragedy, the most extremes in life, that’s what I’m really inspired by.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST? I love being an artist because as an artist you feel everything very deeply. I’m already someone with very extreme emotions and so it’s nice to be able to have an outlet, whether that be through music, what I wear, a painting, etc. I love being able to translate my emotions to something physical and through that have the ability to directly affect people.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST IN LOS ANGELES? HAVE YOU ALWAYS LIVED THERE? I won’t say being an artist in LA is my favorite. It’s cool because there’s a lot of people doing what you’re doing, but then that’s also a negative because it feels more like a sport and everyone is competing. Being able to find/know yourself and find a good flow with solid people is key. I’m originally from Houston, Texas and just moved here to LA about year ago. There’s still a lot I’m adjusting to! I really am starting to enjoy being here more everyday!

YOUR TOP THREE SONGS ON REPEAT RIGHT NOW? Last Dance by Rhye, Still Feel Like Your Man by John Mayer, Mistress by Nicholas Jaar.

TELL US SOMETHING NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU. I’m one of the most introverted-extroverts ever. I LOVE being around people but almost 90 percent of the time I would rather be home, by myself, or with those I love. I’m also a very good cook. If I wasn’t pursuing music I would probably want to be a chef!

Shop Hannah’s Puma kicks here >

Follow @hannahandersonn

hannahanderson.net

On Repeat: Meet Montreal’s Ryan Playound

Full confession: we’re kind of obsessing over Ryan Playground. She’s a musician who is doing things differently, taking complete control of her creative output and vision, and is straight-up one of the coolest women we love right now. Not only is she a singer, songwriter and producer (aka the holy trinity) but this rad woman also has strong ties to the fashion industry. She has modeled for Vera Wang, ELLE and Rudsak and created her own capsule collection. Featuring two t-shirts that read “Jeune Pour Toujours”, which translates to “Young Forever”, the collection is simple but perfectly reflects Ryan’s easy going approach. As such, living and working in Montreal as an artist seems like the way to go. The city’s arts community works closely together and they always have each other’s backs. By surrounding herself with like minds, Ryan is constantly inspired and pushed to new creative levels. Her signature sound of crisp drum sounds, loud bass and soft airy vocals, will get you moving to the tempo in a matter of seconds. Here, we chat with her about music, inspiration, Montreal and of course style.

Listen To Ryan Playground While You Read Along >

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Photo by Scott Pilgrim

HOW DID YOU GET INTO MUSIC? I was into music at a really young age. Both of my parents are classical musicians so I’ve always been surrounded by music. Everything started for me when I got my first guitar and mini drum kit when I was five!

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST? I feel I’m free to do whatever. Like there’s no real convention or way to do music, every musician has the freedom to reinterpret music and find his own way of doing it. It’s super relieving somehow but it also can be kind of weird because it’s limitless and having no boundaries can bring a feeling of insecurity.

WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS? It really depends. It depends on the place and the time I start to create something. I usually start by messing around with my guitar or my bass then I add drums and finally vocals. But then if I’m on the bus for example, the process will be different. I will maybe start with drums or maybe I’ll try to create a specific texture or whatever or simply write lyrics or ideas that will bring me to the next step.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR BIGGEST MUSICAL INFLUENCES? My biggest influences are the bands I used to listen to when I was a kid. I’m talking about Blink 182, Sum 41, Billy Talent and Hawthorne Heights, for example. I also have a soft spot for A$AP ROCKY.

ANY ARTISTS IN PARTICULAR YOU LOVE WORKING WITH? I definitely enjoy working with my friends Robert Robert, Thomas White and Ryan Hemsworth. I mostly work alone, but I easily connect musically with these people and it’s a lot of fun to share music with them as well.    

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Photo by Scott Pilgrim

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN MONTREAL? I love the peaceful vibe in Montreal, although it can be a little too slow sometimes. When I come back from cities like New York I realize how cool and chill Montreal is, but at the same time I have the urge to be more productive. Montreal will always be my favorite city though mainly because I feel free and inspired and it’s a very easy going city.

Psst… Ryan reveals some insider scoop on Montreal. Find it here>

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD? I live near the Jean-Talon Market and Parc Jarry. It’s a very fun and quiet neighborhood, there’s everything you need around here really and it’s beautiful. It’s fun to just walk around and I actually quite like doing groceries and Marché Jean-Talon makes it easy and fun. There’s also this Italian grocery store called Milano that I love.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE PLACE TO PERFORM IN MONTREAL? I think École Privée because the sound system is amazing and it’s something really important for me to enjoy a performance. Both times I’ve played there the crowd was super into it too.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE? Quite simple, too big for me and a little bit colorful.

WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO OUTFIT? Black loose straight pants, t-shirt (it really can be anything, one of my favorite one is a vacuum company t-shirt), white socks and a color baseball cap.

TELL US SOMETHING NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU? I’m really good with numbers and math in general.

Bonus: Ryan put together a Soundcloud playlist for us with some of her fave songs.

TRACK LIST 

“Changes” – Antonio Williams & Kerry Mccoy
“Ohio is for Lovers” – Hawthorne Heights
“Your Best American Girl” – Mitski
“What’s My Age Again” – Blink 182
“Don’t Give Me Grapes” – Happy Doghouse
“I Hear You Calling” – Gob
“Handle This” – Sum 41
“Responsibility” – MxPx
“Delete Me” – Posture & The Grizzly
“Hear You Me” – Jimmy Eat World