Truly a one-of-a-kind, Laura Bee’s has been a neighborhood shop at the corner of Ballard’s NW 18th Avenue and 65th Street NW for nine years. But her loyal customers come from all over the city and beyond. To understand why it’s important to note that the handbags designed and created by Laura and the dedicated staff are just the beginning. A large part of the establishment is devoted to fabrics, handle choices, added buttons and other stuff, and you can go in there and chose your own everything! What you have then is a one-of-a-kind design event… and you are the designer! Once you make your choices the staff will put the handbag together. For a basic of $88 up to about $150 for adding every possible option, you have a fashion statement only yours. And for your favorite Seattle-brand fashionista, why not give her a gift certificate to go make one? Or make one for her! And there’s a selection of items you can put photos on. I thought of a fun one when you remodel your home, get two pillows made, one with the photo of the original house and the other with the remodel pictured, and put them at opposite ends of the sofa. Laura told me they have done several architectural designs on those throw pillows, which end up being pretty fascinating.
But it doesn’t stop there as the gift selection is fun, fun, fun, and it’s hard to choose from the spiffy selections of jewelry, key rings, scarves, cards, and so on. I’ve tried to capture the lighthearted atmosphere in a few photos, but I know you’ll want to go see for yourself, and visit Laura’s Website and Blog as well. And hey, 39 5-star reviews on Yelp!
Laura loves having the store in a neighborhood rather than down on Market Street where so many of the Ballard favorite boutiques crowd together, in what ends up being a straight line. I love shopping on NW Market but I do see what she means. During her 9 years at this location she has met little babies that have grown up into big happy kids. They came in to chose their first wallet to put their allowance in, and to get Mom something special for Mother’s Day, and when their cousin got married for the right hair ornament, and innumerable times with Mom while she indulged her Laura Bee addiction. Speaking of which, be careful, because the first time you walk in here, I predict you’ll be hooked for life.