Inspiration: Dustin’s Road Trip

Dustin’s epic 10 day road trip is where our dreams of the boutique’s interior become reality.  Historically, our sourcing trips have directed the interior concepts heavily.  You never know what you are going to find on the road!  Dustin explored our old haunts (and some new) sourcing fixtures and furniture for our “modern midwest” interior.  He hit all the antique malls, estate sales, salvage yards, and junk shops from Seattle to Dylan, Montana to find the key pieces to anchor our concept.  The cities he sourced in: Ellensburg, WA, Yakima, WA, Pendelton, OR, Baker City, OR, Boise, ID, Salt Lake City, UT, Buffalo, WY, Sheridan, WY, Billings, MT, Dillon, MT then back home through Arco, ID, Boise, ID, Baker City, OR, and back to Seattle, WA.  Our road-trips have been a constant source of inspiration and so much fun over the years.  For the first five years of our business we did every road trip together but this time I had to stay home and hold down the fort.  I will never forget some of the memories we have made lurking around small towns hunting for treasures.

Dustin representing the great state of Oregon.

Baker City, OR is one of our favorite places in the country.  Our fathers grew up on a ranch in a tiny (pop 375) town called Halfway in Pine Valley Oregon about 60 miles from Baker City.  Baker was the closest “big” city to Halfway and our dads would travel there multiple times a year for products and services that could not be found in Halfway.  Conversely, Baker City is, of course, small to Dustin and I and we have had lots of fun hanging with the locals at Stockman’s, the tavern in town.

Descending into Pendetlon, Oregon home of the famous Pendelton Round-Up and Pendelton Wollen Mills.

During our initial concepting for the current interior we dreamt of some sort of treatment for the walls – maybe old barn wood or a fence??   We wanted the installation to be less thematic and more about a color pallet/texture than literal props.  We loved the idea of the colors of wheat fields and big sky country.  In true Dustin form, he found the most amazing fence (Rancher: “Why do you want my old fence?”  Dustin: “I just do.  How much?”).  I didn’t realize how beautiful a fence could be until I saw this one!  It is HUGE, over 10 feet tall and rounded (cool!).  The aged wood gives a warm, rugged, masculine and organic feeling to the space.  It was on the walls for only one day and we got offers to buy it!

Loading up the fence that lines the walls of our boutique in Baker City, OR

Dustin drove the 10 foot fence from Baker City to Seattle in the Toyota.

Welcome to UTAH!

Beautiful rag rug found in our favorite antique mall in Boise, ID.  Did I mention it fits the space perfectly?

Trucker Nelson and his haul.

The wild, wild west!  (Sheridan, WY)

Dustin logged almost exactly 3,000 miles in the Hitchcock Madrona mobile (our Toyota Tacoma) to bring a little bit of the country to the boutique.  If you haven’t seen the current installation come visit!



Outfit of the Day: Commes des Garcon and Surplus

Today I am wearing my favorite purchase from our Edmonton trip, my men’s Commes des Garcon polka dot shirt. I purchased it from a wonderful store called Gravity Pope.If you have been to Edmonton (or Vancouver) I am sure you are familiar with this well curated store. Despite being made for a man, it is cut perfectly for me and the slight puff sleeves are a stuffy detail to this otherwise hilarious shirt. Perfect!

Vintage resin bangle bracelets found by hitchcock Madrona. Sterling silver and druzy quartz ring by Hitchcock Madrona.  “Big Bang” Necklace by Surplus.

How fun is this piece? Harriet, designer of Surplus Jewelry, attended the Louis Vuitton runway show in Paris in 2000. All attendees got a Louis Vuitton compass-type-do-hicky and that is the center piece of this fabulous pendant. The re-purposed, vintage water faucet knob (yes, that is what it is!) looks so scientific – like an atom. It hangs around your neck with vintage green leather that has been sewn together. The color combination, patina of the old knob, conceptual nature, and whimsy of this piece are all indicative of Harriet and her creations. This is quite a conversation piece!

We are gearing up for our next interior transformation with a Dustin road trip next week. He will be scouring the countryside from Seattle to Salt Lake City for treasures befitting the shops next incarnation. Stay tuned!



Outfit of the Day…..NEON

I busted out the hot pink pants today.  For me, neon is still relevant.  I especially love pairing neon with sophisticated colors.  To wear neon successfully, especially for anyone over 25, balance the trendiness with timeless colors such as dove grey, beige, white (of course), charcoal grey and blush pink (that combo would be great!).  I chose to balance my neon (hello pants!) with my nude wedges and the slight vintage feel of this floral blouse.  I need to wear these pants before fall comes unless I devise a clever way to wear them in colder weather.  Boots?  I don’t think so – still thinking on that challenge.  Stay tuned.

Green onyx and pearl earrings by Regina Chang.

Necklaces: (top to bottom) 1) Raw green sapphire necklace by hitchcock Madrona. 2) Vintage brass chain (personal).  3) Vintage rhinestone brooch necklace by Thea Grant.  I love the play between the flowers on my blouse and the leaf/flower shapes of the brooch.  Layering similar shapes creates depth and dimension.

Druzy quartz ring with sterling silver setting by hitchcock Madrona.  Bracelets: 1) Woven thread and chain bracelet by Venessa Arizaga.  2) Sterling silver and leather cuff by hitchcock Madrona.


Obsession: Monogram Jewelry

I am having a “monogram moment” right now.  It must be my inner prep.  There is something so distinguished and old school about owing a classic design with your monogram.  I absolutely love our new monogrammed items.  Of course, I had to engrave MY monogram so that clients could see it.  Score!  Dustin and I designed these together because we share a life-long love for the signet ring.  The signet ring is a jewelry wardrobe essential.  I believe it is something to passed down to future generations.  It will never go out of style.  We put a twist on the classic sign design with an oxidized frame and gave it a more substantial weight.  After the ring is engraved we slightly oxidize the monogram which pops on the shiny silver face.  The darker letters also coordinate with the black frame.  This is a small touch that makes a big design impact.  The hitchcock Madrona signet ring is available in sizes 6 through 11 to accommodate men and women.

Our sterling silver shield necklace is inspired by a medal that I bought in India from 1910.  It is an old military medal from the Indian Army.  I have worn it on a silver chain for about three years and people are constantly trying to buy it off my neck.  We decided to create this necklace to be personalized – therefore it looks military but also heirloom.  I love the weight of the pendant and chain (our signature hitchcock Madrona silver chain).


My signet ring is engraved with my monogram (not initials) ESK.  I chose a feminine, Victorian-looking script to balance the weight and masculinity of the ring and shield.  My monogram choice is interlocking, which means all of the letters overlap or interlock in someway.  I love monograms that are almost illegible.

In contrast to mine, Dustin chose to use his initials DTN in a more masculine font.

We have stock of our blank signet rings and shield necklaces ready for your personal touch.  We are happy to offer complimentary engraving.  This would be such an amazing gift!



Fashion Flashback: Splash!

Do you remember Daryl Hannah emerging from the ocean in Splash?  We do!

Necklaces (top to bottom): 1) Vintage Coral and brass chain by hitchcock Madrona. 2) “Sunken Treasure Necklace” comprised of chandelier crystal and vintage elements by Subversive Jewelry.  This looks like it was found at the bottom of the ocean!

Rings (left to right): 1) Snake ring by Eric Saeter (Kate’s own). 2)  “Oyster Ring” also by Eric Saeter.

Bracelets (left to right): 1) Vintage chain and pearl by Xenia Mara (another new one!). 2) Vintage Bakalite found by hitchcock Madrona.



Fancy Laundromat….

Today I had to do one of those chores that we all need to do but never want to do – washing my bedding at the laundromat.  Good thing for me that our neighbor is the Madrona laundromat!  We were inspired by the tech look and feel of the laundromat.  I also figured if you have to do laundry, why not be fancy while you do it?  However, I learned doing laundry in tons of jewels is a bit cumbersome (clank, clank, clank).  Oh well!

I am in process of designing hammered gold fill, rose gold fill and sterling silver bracelets similar to the cluster I am wearing above.  I have been living (even sleeping!) in these prototypes I had made for my exact wrist size.  I absolutely love how they fit closely and feel on my wrist.  They are ideal for layering and go with everything in your wardrobe, as well as all of your current accessories.  These should be ready for purchase in a few weeks!

On my right hand I am wearing a crazy mash up of vintage and costume.  Gotta love the tribal bling!



What I am wearing today…..Stripes on Stripes

A special thanks two these two adorable girls eating their ice cream in Madrona.  We couldn’t resist capturing this idyllic summer scene.

I (and the rest of the world) can’t stop wearing striped shirts.  This one, bought in the men’s department, luckily has some refreshing new details.  I wanted to create more stripes to really take the outfit to the almost ridiculous – the two necklaces are striped and so is my belt.

Necklaces: (top to bottom) 1) Woven cotton collar, Venessa Arizaga. 2) Crystal, Pearl and Metal Necklace, IOSSELlIANI. 3) Bronze and Lapis Arrow Necklace, Pamela Love NYC.

The thin gold chain is one that my dad wore daily when I was growing up.  It has been sitting in his jewelry box for about 15 years with a broken clasp.  I resurrected it, after asking permission of course, and have been wearing it constantly.  I love mixing family heirlooms with fun/fashion jewelry.  They personalize a look beyond just composing a great combination.  Antique pieces, especially from a loved one, give your look a dimension that I can’t quite articulate.  Is it the soul that old things possess?  Or, what the sentiment does to the wearer?  Not sure.  Plus, I am also really into longer necklaces right now!  I will write more on that later.



Outfit of the Day: Army Green, Leopard and Bling

Sorry for the break in blogging – two-week vacation, the fourth of July, blah, blah, blah.  Finally summer is here in Seattle and the eternal “what do I wear in hot weather?” conundrum is upon us.  This is what I wore on Sunday – new army jacket bedazzled from Zara, jean shorts and leopard wedges.  Loving the neon pink polish lately!

Bracelets: Right hand – green Bakelite cuff, vintage. Left hand: Small Sterling and Leather Cuff, hitchcock Madrona (among all my other random bracelets that I have been addicted too!)  I feel naked without at least four bracelets on each hand.

Necklaces: Jeweled Collar, IOSSELIANNI: love this!  Just put it out!  Sterling Silver Rosary Necklace, Pamela Love.