Tucked just above Ballard is a very tiny neighborhood with a whole lot of draw. It’s homey, sophisticated, and nostalgic; and it’s almost entirely run by women. Here are some of the ladies behind some of Seattle’s favorite businesses and how they make the magic happen. 

Last fall I decided to move the Pursuit Concierge office from Fremont to a tiny neighborhood in North Seattle. Some folks consider it Ballard, some know it as Whittier Heights. I’ve taken to calling it Kitty Corner because it’s a one-block micro-neighborhood of businesses that are all kitty-corner to each other. Not to mention, there’s a friendly resident cat named Travis that wanders the block and visits the shops.

Regardless of what you call it, if you’ve visited this neighborhood at  Alonzo Ave NW and NW 70th St, you’ve probably also fallen in love with it. Before finding my space, I’d fantasized about being one of the lucky businesses to call this place home. Over many breakfasts at The Fat Hen, I’d daydream of joining the community while slurping up my camicia (if you know, you know). Then one day, there was a sign that my opportunity was coming. Across the street stood an A-Board that said “OFFICE OR RETAIL FOR LEASE, CALL RALPH”

I was all over it like croissant flakes from Rosellini’s on my shirt. It was a ground-level retail space with big windows and lots of natural light. Ralph and I agreed it wasn’t the ideal fit for a mostly virtual business like Pursuit. The block would benefit from a more walk-in friendly business. I was thrilled to hear he’d decided to bring Editor, a women’s consignment boutique, into the neighborhood. But, I was bummed that my dream wasn’t yet realized.

A couple of weeks later, after at least 2 mouthwatering dinners at Delancey’s, I got a call from Ralph. The craziest thing happened, the tenant above the boutique was jumping out of their lease for an opportunity in California. The space was suddenly available and Ralph thought it would be the perfect office for Pursuit Concierge. I got over there faster than Frankie and Jo’s ice cream melts on a hot summer day. It was perfect. I’m moving in!

On my first day in the new neighborhood, friendly Ralph took me on a tour to meet the neighbors. It didn’t take me long to notice what makes this node in Seattle so special and have so much draw. Of the 12 small businesses in this tiny, one-block ‘hood, 10 of them of owned and operated by women. Yup, that’s definitely part of this corner of Seattle’s magic.

There are cafés, boutiques, and wellness services open from 7am to 11pm. You could spend all day bouncing between them for a well-rounded, productive day, and delicious day.  You may never want to leave!

Already a huge fan of their businesses, I was dying to know more about these women. I wanted to hear what they were up to, how they make the magic happen, and what they love about what they do. 

I went from shop to shop, getting to know the people behind the businesses we’ve come to love so much. It came as no surprise to me to discover they are grounded, open, hardworking women who pour themselves into the work they do. They’re truly community minded and here are their stories.

 

Samantha Chernak

Owner of Emerald Physical Therapy and Pilates

She opened her practice a year and one month ago.

She loves the little things that show up as big wins. Like when her clients talk about being able to pick up their kids without pain. She knows she’s contributing positively to other people’s lives.

She leans on her husband, her fellow practitioner, her 2 dogs, her mental health therapist, and her mastermind group for support. She knows she can trust them because they give her the space and permission to stay clear and trust her instincts.

She would happily let go of the admin work.

She takes care of herself by exercising, going to Olympus Spa, journaling, meditating, keeping healthy nutrition, and having a solid morning routine.

Stay tuned for more workshops coming soon!

Photo Credit: Meredith Ruth

 

Emily Schikora

 
Owner of Editor

She started the women’s consignment boutique a couple of years ago and moved into the neighborhood this fall.

She loves connecting with the community, watching dogs go by, and witnessing families grow. It’s also about the hunt for treasure and prioritizing sustainability.

She leans on her team of 3 and fellow business owners. Pep talks on tough days go far. She appreciates having friends that lean on each other as cheerleaders and schemers.

She would be happy to let go of accounting and taxes and the worry that comes with so much responsibility.

She takes care of herself by taking her weekends back after 4 years of giving them to building her business. She uses the time away from work to write or do yoga.

She is excited to announce that Editor is now open Tuesdays. So come on by any day but Monday!

Suzanne Rosellini

Owner of Rosellini’s Bakery

She bought the bakery 4 years ago when the stars aligned.

She loves living the dream of running a bakery, one she’s had since she was a child. One of her favorite things is when the vibe is good, the customers are happy, the team is in flow, and the music is just right. She still enjoys the simple joy of frosting a cake. And she appreciates the challenge of daily changes as keeps it interesting.

She leans on fellow business owners within her industry, her family and her team of 11. In the business, it’s a mix of defined roles and cross-training. This builds in coverage safety nets plus it’s more creative and fun to learn new things. 

She would happily to let go of admin and computer work.

She takes care of herself by closing the shop for a week or two a couple of times a year. She’s learning to integrate breaks while the shop remains open.

Jean Hindle

 

Founder of Soma Yoga and founder/owner of Soma Yoga & Dance Studio

She’s been a yoga and meditation teacher, somatic movement educator and dancer in Seattle for over 27 years and has enjoyed her Ballard studio for 17 years.

She loves supporting people in finding freedom in mind, motion and creative courageous living.

She leans on the support and inspiration of her community (friends, colleagues, students, family, this neighborhood) as they make everything possible. She finds the support she needs by asking for help, accepting it when it’s offered and giving it when others are in need.

She would be happy to let go of having have to work at all with a computer

She takes care of herself with good sleep, good nutrition, meditation, somatic movement, BrainDance, Soma Yoga, nature, her creative life of dance, singing, writing and art, friends, family, laughter, good films, hot baths, reading, solitude and staying in touch with what is happening in the world at large. One of her favorite workshops she teaches is Simple Self Care: 30 second to 15 minute practices that support well being through the day.

 

Brandi Henderson

Owner of The Pantry

She started the event space and cooking classes 9 years ago.

She loves the evolution and flexibility of the business. There’s always room for growth and change.

She leans on her team of 23 and her husband. In the business, it’s a mix of instructors and admins. There are clear areas of expertise but everyone assists in classes .Her niche business has attracted a specific type of person making it a natural fit. She knows she can trust them because they’re kind, big-hearted people. Their team culture creates room for authenticity so they can always feel safe asking for and offering help. 

She will happily let go of anything that she doesn’t require her direct attention or that will strengthen her team. She always finds a way to delegate more tasks as it helps her and her team grow.

She takes care of herself with lots of massages, pilates, and long walks.

Photo Credit: Gabe Rodriguez

Sammie Jeffs

Owner of The Fat Hen

She bought the café four years ago.

She loves the people; the community and who she works with.

She leans on others in almost every way. It’s the collective – do your part so I can do mine. She has 14 people on her team. There are clearly defined roles but each one comes with the flexibility to do different tasks and to take time off. She looks for people with good, warm personalities and really likes to let them shine at work. Everything else is teachable. At home, her husband / co-owner helps her come out of her work brain. 

She would happily let go of the finances. She is learning more about it before delegating it.

She takes care of herself with meditation, yoga, and pottery. She’s still learning how to not get too wrapped up in the work.

As for exciting updates, she’s noodling ideas for next phases. She wants to create opportunities for the folks on her team to grow.

Sally Honeycutt

Owner of Anders

She started the home and gift boutique 4 years ago and she moved to the block this winter!*

She loves teaching people about sustainability and thoughtful consumption, and bringing beauty to this community that she loves so much.

She leans on fellow business owners, her husband, and her team of 5. As the eldest child, it takes learning how to accept the help not just give it.

She takes care of herself by sleeping, doing quick 30-minute exercise sessions, limiting alcohol, meditating, and journaling.

She would happily let go of payroll, cleaning, copywriting, and scheduling. She is building her systems to start delegating these pieces more easily.

 She is excited to announce that soon there will be even more events and apparel.

 

*You may have noticed she was on last year’s “18 Powerful Women Showing How Business Should Be Done in Seattle”. Well, funny story, about a month after I moved into my office, the shop across the street put up a For Rent sign. It looked perfect for her business so I messaged her right away. She pounced on the opportunity and now I’m get the pleasure of spying on her beautiful shop and the looky-loos from my desk every day.

The women who have helped build this community all come from a place of wanting to do business differently. They are dedicated to their teams, clientele, and their community. There’s really nothing more inspiring than seeing women take their vision and execute it.

It’s an honor to share this block with these powerful, thoughtful business owners. I’m grateful for the heart and soul they pour into their businesses so that whether we connect with them directly or not, we can benefit from their labor of love.

Sondra Firestein

CEO / Lead Visionary

I’m a happyseeker on the path of self-discovery. As the founder of Pursuit Concierge, my life is all about exploring fulfillment and connecting awesome people.

A few of my favorite things include eating, sleeping, tender moments with my kitty cat, falling deep into conversation, and soaking up knowledge from a good book.

Say hi on my personal Instagram.

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