Shop Indie Seattle

Sure, you could bring back some “Sleepless in Seattle” T-shirts that you got at a souvenir shop outside the Pike Place Market. But wouldn’t you rather support small businesses, independent designers, and local artists — and get some great stuff at the same time? These Seattle stores will send you home with truly unique mementoes of your trip.

1932 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
A couple of doors down from Fancy (see what they did there?), Schmancy is a whimsical little shop full of toys for kids of all ages. Novelties like food-shaped plush toys, finger puppets, mini knitting kits, Kidrobot figurines, and Japanese blind-box mystery toys crowd the shelves, so there’s plenty to look at in this tiny store. Owner Kristen Rask is also the founder and curator of Plush You!, an annual exhibit that showcases plush creations from artists all over the globe, and has authored several craft books for plush toy crafters. Whether you’re looking for a kooky housewarming gift or trying to win a kid’s eternal admiration, Schmancy has the stuff you never even knew you needed.
1914 2nd Avenue
Just down the block from Schmancy (get it?), Fancy is a charming little jewelry boutique with gorgeous, modern jewelry and art. They’re a Seattle-based company focused on producing high-quality jewelry that is 100% handmade of ethically sourced materials: all precious metals are recycled, and all gemstones and diamonds are either repurposed or Kimberly Process approved. Prices start below $100 and go up quickly, so if you can’t afford a broken heart, don’t go in and fall in love with their high-end and beautifully made designer pieces.
4536 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116, USA
As you might guess from the name, Fleurt began as a flower shop, but the West Seattle boutique also carries an extensive selection of fancy soaps, candles, jewelry, home decor, and handmade items from local artists and crafters. They create custom shabby-chic floral arrangements using flowers chosen from local markets, placed in vintage milk glass, canning jars tied with ribbon, wooden crates, birch bark, and modern pots.
4306 SW Alaska St, Seattle, WA 98116, USA
For a great selection of art, jewelry, apparel, and decor from local Northwest artists, it’s hard to beat Twilight Gallery & Boutique. Their spacious West Seattle gallery/shop at the Alaska Junction carries leather goods, modern jewelry, quirky gifts, and affordable original art and prints for as low as $20. The gallery in the back of the store features a rotation of talented artists, and when you shop here, you know you’re supporting a small business as well as local artists. The shop is part of West Seattle’s Second Thursday art walk, and hosts events such as author readings, artist receptions, and spoken-word poetry nights.
5344 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
A little gem of a store located on a cobbled brick side street in Ballard, Horseshoe has a fun, casual hipster-boho-chic aesthetic and beautiful clothes and jewelry, whether you’re shopping for a professional work look or a wedding outfit. Their flattering clothes feature graphic prints, bold colors, and edgy, asymmetrical details, and if you’re feeling spendy, you can top off your look with timeless Frye western boots or a beautifully worn-looking leather tote. Want to represent your home state? They also carry Kris Nations’ charming state-name necklaces in gold and silver — a thoughtful present for a friend.
2204 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
A pretty pastel bonbon of a vintage boutique, Trove is so full of amazing stuff that you won’t know what to look at first. Will it be the sparkling sequined cardigans? The chunky costume jewelry? Or the gorgeously voluminous circa-1950s vintage party dresses, so delicate that they’re kept under lock and key? Their items are clean and in good condition, and priced accordingly, which isn’t to say you can’t find some bargains if you look; dresses start under $50. The owners are friendly and helpful, and will even keep an eye out for a particular item if you have your heart set on something specific.
5105 Leary Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
Gamers, rejoice! Card Kingdom has everything a board or card game enthusiast could ask for — including an attached gaming cafe, where you can take a game for a spin before buying. The large, nicely lit store has rooms dedicated to role-playing games, classic and independent board games, Magic: The Gathering cards, dice and accessories, children’s games, puzzles, and miniatures. Smaller rooms off to the side are for tournament play and can be reserved by larger groups, or you can just grab one of the tables in the open central area to play. At the front counter, they have dozens of tester games that they’ll let you sign out and play with in-store, and if you ask nicely, they’ll open a new game if they don’t already have a tester. Cafe Mox serves a simple menu of sandwiches and salads, plus shareable snacks (the pineapple rumaki are strangely addictive), and beer and wine; larger groups can also reserve one of the cafe’s private rooms. Shop for a new favorite game or gather with friends and play an old favorite together.
608 Maynard Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
Chinatown, aka the International District, isn’t all souvenir stores and dim sum; there are museums, galleries, and indie boutiques like Tuesday Scarves. Owner/designer Rian Robison’s tiny shop is brightly decorated with long, looped infinity scarves in every color and pattern hung from rods on the walls. The versatile accessories work as scarves looped once or twice around the neck, pulled up over the head as a hood, or worn around the shoulders as a shrug. Rian is usually in the shop, happy to talk about her wares or discuss custom orders. You can also shop online at her Etsy store if you’re not in the area.
4559 California Avenue Southwest
Visitors with a particular interest in the grunge scene should make a trip to West Seattle’s Easy Street Records — Eddie Vedder lives in the neighborhood and has been known to shop here. But aside from that, Easy Street is just a great local independent music store, with a wide selection of CDs and records, and knowledeable staff. The attached cafe is a diner covered in music memorabilia that serves up good, basic breakfast and lunch. And an Easy Street T-shirt, with its distinctive red star logo, makes a great gift for your favorite music lover.
601 N 35th St, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
If there’s such a thing as a single “Seattle style” for women, it’s probably epitomized by the charmingly craftsy, slightly bohemian, shabby-chic goods for sale at Burnt Sugar. From knitted hat to knee-high Frye boot, with all kinds of semi-precious stone jewelry and frilly scarves and graphic Orla Kiely bags in between, this boutique overflows with interesting and pretty things to admire. The striking Jonathan Adler salt-and-pepper shakers would make a great housewarming gift, while the cosmetics, scented soaps, and candles are sure to please any hostess. Check out their sale table for cute, good-quality leather shoes under $100.
621 N 35th St, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
Portage Bay Goods describes itself as “a gift shop for the thoughtful procrastinator,” but it’s equally handy for souvenir-seeking visitors — or even locals looking for a fun little treat for themselves. They carry tons of highly giftable and inexpensive items ranging from fun to functional, including totes and wallets, Seattle-themed children’s books and apparel, local glassware and art, and novelty barware and mugs. There’s also a fine selection of kids’ toys, games, and craft kits. Add the finishing touch to your gift with a sassy, locally created letterpress notecard.
7 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
In case the unthinkable happens and you run out of reading material while visiting Seattle, there’s an inexpensive solution at hand: Mercer Street Books. Located in Lower Queen Anne, this little used bookstore offers a general selection of fiction and nonfiction books at very reasonable prices. The owner is a friendly book lover who’s equally happy to help you find your next read or just let you browse the stacks in peace. A clean, well-organized place with beautiful wooden bookshelves, Mercer Street feels just like a used bookstore should.
5332 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
A charmingly decorated paper-goods store in Ballard’s shopping area, Lucca has a touch of gothic style, between the black walls. lavish chandeliers, and mounted animal heads, but it’s done with a distinctly playful feel. The mismatched tables and cabinets are packed with trinkets and treats, ranging from affordable jewelry and decor to luxury tea and scented soaps. The back room is devoted to paper and stationery of all kinds, including a sale table; we love ilee’s letterpress notecards and gorgeous limited-run calendars, packed in a CD jewel case that doubles as a stand. You could stock up on a year’s worth of hostess and birthday gifts in one visit to Lucca.
5318 22nd Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
When you pick your way down the metal stairs into Space Oddity, it quickly becomes very clear that this vintage furniture store is the result of a collector’s passion. Owner Todd Werny focuses on midcentury style, assembling an eclectic mix of technical equipment, office and classroom surplus, home furnishings, vintage black-velvet and textile art, and random knick-knacks ranging from chemistry beakers to temporary silver dental crowns. The stock is ever-changing and can be hit-or-miss, but it’s a lot of fun to go wandering through this tiny, labyrinthine store to see what you can discover.
2300 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98121, USA
Endless Knot is a fun and stylish women’s clothing boutique in Belltown carrying mostly independent and local designers, including Seattle label Prairie Underground. Expect boutique prices, but you can find colorful, pretty separates and dresses for under $100 with a bit of digging, and there’s a sale rack in back. The bags and jewelry are simple, modern classics that you’ll be tempted to wear out of the store, and they have inexpensive coats and jackets in case you didn’t bring the right outerwear to Seattle.
92 Pike St # B, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Pike Place Market isn’t just fish-throwing and flower bouquets: it’s also home to Left Bank Books, a collectively owned and operated anarchist bookstore that sells primarily political and philosophical nonfiction, but also literary fiction, poetry, periodicals, zines, clever T-shirts and posters, and more. They’re also active supporters of the Books to Prisoners program which provides free books to prisoners throughout the United States. You won’t find bestselling paperbacks here, but they do have general-interest books and a decent selection of used titles.
1535 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
It should come as no surprise that Seattle has an umbrella boutique downtown. What might be a surprise is the fact that you can rent umbrellas by the day (and that a single day’s rental might be what you were expecting to pay to purchase one outright). Fanciful, elaborate umbrellas with layers of brightly colored ruffles, asymmetrical shapes, and unique prints hang from the ceiling in an eye-catching display that’s worth stopping in just to see. For a sunny day, a lightweight paper parasol might be just the thing for portable shade (though you’ll find them cheaper in the International District). Locals tote the clear plastic “bubble” umbrella, which has a hemispherical shape to offer more coverage and a transparent material so you won’t sacrifice visibility.
210 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
Fireworks Gallery is that rare thing — an airport gift shop that you actually want to buy things from. A Seattle-based boutique with several locations, Fireworks is packed with designer jewelry, bags and wallets, housewares, novelty items, party supplies, decor, and children’s books and toys. During the holidays, they also have beautiful and elaborate tree ornaments and menorahs. They also have stores at the University Village shopping center and downtown at Westlake Center. So, just in case you suddenly realize you’ve forgotten a hostess gift, souvenir, or thanks-for-watching-my-pet present, Fireworks has a ready supply of last-minute gifts that will make you look like a savvy shopper.
3419 Fremont Pl N, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
It may not look like much from the simple street entrance, but vintage-loving shoppers will find plenty to browse at this underground, two-floor antique mall. You’ll find black velvet paintings, vintage pinup magazines and comics, and antique collectibles, plus some truly impressive taxidermy mounts downstairs. For a more packable souvenir, try one of these colorful and charming Pyrex pieces or some midcentury barware.
309a 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
If you’re a fan of taxidermy/curiosity stores like Paxton Gate in San Francisco or Deyrolle in Paris, you’ll need to check out the whimsically morbid Belfry Oddities. It’s located in the Pioneer Square area near the train station, but don’t let the slightly rough neighborhood put you off. Inside, you’ll find a fascinating assortment of taxidermy mounts, carnivorous plant terrariums, skulls and bones, seashells and gemstones, jewelry, hair art, and greeting cards. While the taxidermy can get pretty expensive, there are affordable terrariums in the $30-40 range, and inexpensive trinkets like $5 glass beakers filled with tiny starfish or mineral specimens. If you feel like splurging, ask about their taxidermy classes, where you can try your hand at stuffing mice, squirrels, or bunnies.
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