Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ja matta, Jessica-san!

The cycle of retail goes on and as we end the year at Momo, we bid adieu to another Momo girl, Ms. Jessica. Originally, she was a loyal customer, buying bunny hats and scarves (she’s the Princess of Accessories). Then, lucky us, she applied to work here and became our resident Japanese girl (she lived in Japan for awhile). Through the year, she’s helped many a shopper pick the perfect gift, and on more than one occasion, garnered a little Momo PR in local magazines. Now, she’s moving on to pursue a career in publishing. We wish her only the best and hope to see her on the other side of the counter at Momo. Gambatte kudasai, Jessica-san!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Local Less Than $40

With the rain and recession, we Seattleites are literally staying closer to home and shopping has become very selective. It’s all about affordable local, and yes, gathering goods from the community does save on shipping as well as stimulate the regional economy, plus I get to meet a passel of wonderful folk. So, being the girl who goes wit da flow, I thought I’s share pics of qualified gift-worthy goodies in the shop. I know I missed more than a handful, so maybe you want to stop by and unearth a few discoveries for yourself. Thank you for making it Loco Moco!

Dinah Coops Tea Towels
Kokoro from Toni Yuly
Lauren Burman’s Little Shirleys
Dinah Coops Tableware
Kimono Kool Shoelaces
Wish Necklace from Lindsay Marsh

Laura Castellanos
Sock it to Me
More Kimono Kool and Umbo
Moufelt from Portland
BF Woo + Co Soap + Candles
Sockseeds from Tomoko
Una Arm Cozies
Thea Starr Kanzashi
Wraptillion from Kelly Jones
Our own Amanda’s felted ornaments

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Time is Nau

This sleek Italian bicycle jacket from Nau of Portland is designed for the Northwest: casual, elegant and equally at home on the road or out for the evening. The color is a sophisticated blocking of midnight navy and espresso brown — both not quite black and handsome with denim. And doesn’t Tom make a fantastic Momo model? No, it’s not his evil twin, that’s his mirror image.

 [Nau Italian bicycle jacket, $269]

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ms. December

Ms. Moanalua Spirit Award 1975
Junior Prom Queen 1976
Class Clown 1977
And yet another coup in a long list of achievements:
Ms. December Seattle Magazine 2010
From the recent annals of Shameless Self-promotion, a full page of Momo and me in Seattle Magazine’s current issue. On newsstands now, just in time for my birthday.

Past Posts: Fresh Sheet

Here’s a collection of bygone entries from interesting products that have passed through Momo. Some we love and always want around, like Tuesday Scarves and Baggu bags. Others were lovely to look upon and are now in the hands of appreciative customers.
Hapa hottie, Rian.
What goes ’round and ’round an always keeps you cozy? A stylish Infinity scarf from Tuesday Scarves. Super-soft and hand-sewn by local lovely Rian, we’re lucky to be able to share them in a gazillion colors. Rian sources and utilizes end pieces of fabric, coming up with fresh ideas for new styles, always keeping us guessing as to what we’ll see from her next. Right now we have the Infinity Trio, swaths of jersey in colors of your choice to be worn in threes, $13 each, and flannel collars (great for the guys, too), $39.   

Fresh stripes

Big, bad Baggu

Put it in your trunk!
Glad Bags: Leland’s been chiding me about being ‘pouch happy’ and he’s right — the charming, utilitarian bags of Baggu make me feel good, like I’m getting organized (finally)! Made of lightweight nylon, they can be put to work toting your stuff around the block or across the world. This week we received three styles: the Set of Stripes two zip pouches for smaller shoes and such (blue/white thin stripe and bold blue/blue, 12 x 10 inches, $13), Leland’s pick, The Big Baggu that can hold three bags of groceries and comes with its own zippy pouch ($15) and the XL Elephant zip pouch for boots, swimsuits or tees (16 x 12 inches, $8).

To each her own: A box load of Girlbands has arrived at Momo and we’re having fun with the multitude of choices. Zelda opted for a rusty red variation while Leslie demonstrates her pick of black eyelet and Jessica tames her tresses in a be-ribboned Betsey Johnson-esque style. In another happy/sad story, GB creator Carolyn is moving on and will not be producing the versatile hair accessory, hence our stocking up ... so jump on the Girlband wagon while you can. Good luck, Carolyn!

We love French dressing, especially comfy, kawaii Cop-Copine Paris. Lines are distinctive and colors neutral. This makes their clothing especially versatile, plus the materials travel well and the fit is undeniably flattering.

Parallel Thinking: There are certain personalities who take delight in stripes and Momo is one of them. Perhaps it’s the harmonious continuity that we find so pleasing. Or maybe stripes are a bold statement, looking fresh no matter what the incarnation, in this case a Metalicus one-size-fits-most (yes, we said it) tank dress for $109.

Past Posts: Random Notes

As I enter my 51st birthday year, I’m vowing to simplify and one way is to start with our Momo blog by removing two tabs. These memories are so lovely — like the post about Kevin — that I want to retain the information. So here it is, just in case you might ever want to revisit.
When Tom and I opened Momo, two words we said we’d keep in mind when seeking merchandise are ‘fun’ and ‘interesting.’ Add to that, ‘charming’ and you’ve described traditional wooden Japanese kokeshi dolls. I can’t resist collecting them when I can, and Tom, too, has come to love these rare dolls as only a grown man can — appreciating them for their craft and learning how the shapes, colors and expressions vary from prefecture to prefecture and throughout history. This cute couple, in pristine condition, was once a giveaway from Japan Airlines back in the glory days of flying.

On the subject of hapa, this Sunday, Diane took Tom and me out to her favorite new brunch spot, Nettletown (2238 Eastlake Avenue East; 206.588.3607; where the food deliciously reflects chef/owner Christina’s mixed heritage of Chinese-Swiss. Opting for breakfast, I ordered potato-onion pancakes topped with poached eggs, sided with a bed of raw greens and generous slabs of bacon ($11). Ever the yang to my yin, Tom partook of lunch, happily gnawing the elk meatball sandwich that so many on Yelp have raved about ($11 with salad). Veggie-girl Diane slurped a bowl of noodles blanketed with baked tofu and greens ($8.50) while bf Paul dittoed Tom on the elk meatball sandwich. For sure I will be back — next time earlier in the day — to sample the sold-out fried rice and tantalizing salad I spied at the next table.

 The Momo Man: confident and just a wee quirky, as embodied by devoted customer Kevin. He trotted in one spring morning declaring that he needed socks to warm his chilly toes. After picking out a pair of striped Pantherella, he was officially decked in head-to-toe Momo garb, from New York stingy brim, to Saint James sailor shirt and Blake jacket (except the cargo shorts ... we remain a pants-less shop). Kevin, you are a marvelous Momo poster boy.

Into everyone’s life, a little Rain must come, and lucky for us, this little ray of sunshine dropped by on her way to Maneki. Rain and her daddy were meeting a few friends and bought thoughtful omiyage for everyone. Only five years old, she selects her own clothes, including the scarf she so nonchalantly tossed about her neck. At Momo, we love stylish shoppers of all ages.


Day one of Kyoto Art and Antiques (5790 Airport Way South; 206.381.9871; 11-day warehouse sale was a madhouse, more enthusiastically attended than ever. The secret stash opened up Thursday, April 29 and runs through Sunday, May 9, every day from 11 - 7.  Within the brick walls of the Georgetown jewel box, you’ll find myriad rare tansu and treasures from Japan, China, India and points beyond. If you go, be sure and dress for the occasion: warm, comfortable clothing that doesn’t mind the dust, and of course, shoes for the urban archeological adventure. If you miss it this time around, owners Jay and Kyoko will be back again come fall.
Beautiful ceramic bowls are among a few of the finds.

Kyoko and sidekick Yuri step back from the crowd to smile for the camera — what friendly service!

It started as a wee joke as people expect us to have chic boutique bags. But at Momo, we felt there were enough cool totes out there, so why add to landfill? That’s how we started recycling — first with bags contributed by Lala’s Jazzersisters, and now with surplus stash from our customers. Here’s a tour of some of our more interesting finds, bring us your bags so we can share them with others.
This vintage bag from Kobe reads ‘Seattle - Kobe - Sister Cities’.
Did you shop during these elaborate Festa Italia and Russian Romance promotions at Nordstrom and Frederick and Nelson? (Were you even born back then?)
Suki thought of us when she traveled to Vietnam and was given this ingenious newsprint and twine shopping bag.
These envelopes made of recycled posters come to us by the creative hands of Patty, who visits when she’s in from England.
Comfort with Style, what more could you ask? And all the way from Ala Moana and Pearlridge in Hawaii.


 With the slow economy, ad budgets are the first to be cut and businesses need to think of more clever-than-expensive ways to get the word out. At Momo, we recruited two of Seattle’s finest underground artists — ‘Sidewalk’ Sammy and Denise-the-Niece — to graffiti our walkway, thereby literally stopping shoppers in their tracks. The bold and colorful graphics are done in chalk, reminding each of us of the ethereal nature of life.
Sammy,  mastermind of the ‘Sidewalk Chalk’ movement.


We each have our sweet memories of favorite treats, tastes that can transport us to childhood. These are goodies Momo Girl Diane enjoyed growing up. From left: slightly sugary and fragrant Japanese Flower Kiss candy (20¢); chewy, fruity Chinese Haw Flakes (25¢); and White Rabbit from China — milky with a caramel-like texture (15¢).