Category Archives: Website

So Much to Be Excited About

A lot has happened since our last blog post! After a wonderful experience at Cues & Tattoos it was time to move (again). Simultaneously, several of our beloved events had exciting news to share, so we’re passing along this news to you.

Settling into the New Studio

Sakkara Clothing & Costume has relocated to a new studio in the Seattle area. This move meant that the shop had to close for a bit, but the website and Etsy shop are both live again. You’ll even find some new additions to the sale sections.

Copyright 201 Sakkara Clothing & Costume, LLC

Exciting news: our best-selling Corrie tops are on sale for the first time! With Summer festival season right around the corner, this is the perfect time to stock up on different colors, try something new, or ditch your underwires for something more comfortable.

Hooray for Hexenfest!

You may recall from last year’s blog post that Hexenfest is one of our favorite events. For a minute we thought it was going to end like so many of our other beloved festivals, but thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign, it’s here to stay!

We’re pleased to announce that Sakkara Clothing & Costume is a proud sponsor of Hexenfest. We strongly believe in supporting the things we love. We can’t take festivals and other events for granted. Our community has lost too many good events in recent years. Support the events you love in any way you can: financially, on social media, and by inviting your friends.

Speaking of Events…

We’re also big fans of JamBallah NW! You may have heard that this event has moved to a new venue, which is true. The new site is Smith Memorial Union on the Portland State University campus. The great thing about this is that you can stay in the PSU dorms for a really reasonable price, which leaves more money for workshops and shopping (or late-night Voodoo Doughnut runs, we’re not going to judge).

Speaking of shopping, of course we’ll be vending! Come say hi.

We love how JBNW caters to dancers of all styles, levels, and abilities. If your budget is tight, there are workshop scholarships you can apply for, thanks to the generous support of Odd Fellows and micro-donations from other attendees. Lack of funds shouldn’t hamper your artistic growth, so we’re really pleased that this option is available.

Stay Tuned

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more exciting news from us and our favorite events. You can also join our FB group and chat with other Sakkara fans about style, dance, and more.

Why Local and Handmade Matter

Shop local. Buy handmade. The rallying cries of the small business. You see these phrases as memes on social media, as stickers in the window of your favorite independent book store. But sometimes, you may question why you should spend a little more, and go out of your way, when the local big box store is just so convenient.

Today I’d like to argue that buying local and handmade not only benefit your community, but in the long run it will often save you time and money. Additionally, working with a small business or artist is usually just more enjoyable than dealing with a big corporation.

Shop Local

If you want to see your neighborhood and city thrive, shop local. Multiple studies have shown that when you support local small businesses, more of your money stays in your own community. The most commonly quoted numbers are that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 stays in your local economy. On the other hand, if you spend $100 at a non-local business, only $43 dollars stay in your local economy. And that’s for businesses that have a store front in your community. How much more of your money is leaving your city if you’re purchasing from an on-line only company?

Economic impact of shopping local

To see the full-size graphic and read more statistics, check out Why Shop Local? on SuperSavings.com

But the benefits of shopping local go beyond just the economic impact. Local vendors better understand local needs.

Have you ever had to buy a jacket in the Spring? Often it’s still a little cold here in the PNW as late as May, especially at night. Maybe something happened to your favorite jacket and you suddenly need a new one, or a visiting friend didn’t pack one and is freezing. So you head down to the local big box store to pick up a cheap jacket, only to find out that the clothing department is a sea of swim suits and short-shorts, because as far as the retail world is concerned, it’s summer and everyone is having fun in the sun.

Of course if you pop into a local clothing store, they probably have hoodies and scarves displayed year-round. They know that sometimes you need a little extra layer at night, especially if it rains, even in the middle of summer.

Buy Handmade

If you want to take it a step further, don’t just support a local business, support a local artist. Handmade goods are made with love, and they’re made to last. When I spend hours cutting out and sewing a garment, I don’t want it to be worn-out and unfashionable in three months. I want it to be something you’ll treasure for years.

An artist or craftsperson’s reputation is entwined with their work. As such, we strive to design things that look good, work well, and stand the test of time.  We pay close attention to materials and construction, to make sure that they are up to our standards of quality.

This dedication to quality shows in the longevity of handmade goods. To use my own work as an example, I have customers who are still wearing pants they bought from me seven years ago. And even with daily wear, a pair of my cinch pants lasts for an average of about three years.

Black Organic Cotton Pants, made to last

One thing that local business owners and artists have in common is that we’re tuned in to what our customers really want. A large business takes a macro view of things — they analyze trends, look at sales numbers from stores, maybe do some focus groups.

I talk to my customers.

I listen when you say “I love these pants, I just wish they came in green” or “This is my favorite skirt for the summer, have you considered making a heavier one for winter?”

Of course I can’t fulfill every customer request, but I can pay attention to themes. If I’m hearing the same ideas over and over again, I know they’re worth exploring. And if I’m hearing the same complaints, I also know that it may be time to retire or redesign a product.

Artists and craftspeople pay attention to how our products are integrated into your life, and we plan accordingly. We make yoga pants that aren’t see-through, shirts that don’t disintegrate after three washes, skirts that can go from work to happy hour.

The Human Connection

What local businesses and artists have in common is that you develop a real, human connection with them. Even if your favorite local boutique has several employees, you probably still run into the owner from time to time. Even if you buy from your favorite artists on Etsy instead of face-to-face at a craft show, they’re still the one answering your messages and hand-writing a note to go along with your purchase.

By contrast, big business often feels faceless and soulless. Even if you have a great conversation with your cashier at the big box, there’s no guarantee you’ll see them next week. Big business is driven by profit and share holders, not by meeting the needs of customers and communities.

As corporations grow bigger and bigger in an endless series of mergers, that human connection gets harder to find. But it’s right there if you look for it, in your own community. Take the time to find that local business or independent artist who really speaks to your style and ideals. I promise it’s worth it.

A Guide to Laundering Costumes & Embellished Clothing Pt. 1

This is Part 1 of a 2-part series written by friend and colleague Monica Schierbaum. This article was first published on our blog in July 2011. I first met Monica at the Mediterranean Fantasy Festival many years ago where she was helping out at the Silk Road Tribal booth. Monica is one groovy woman and thrives on costuming and belly dance as much as I do. I hope you’ll enjoy the article she has written. -ks

Laundering costumes and embellished clothing can present a bit of a challenge. Specialty fabrics, beads, feathers, trim, fur and similar all need special care. So how do you clean a garment without dry cleaning or throwing it in the washing machine? Let’s find out.

Continue reading A Guide to Laundering Costumes & Embellished Clothing Pt. 1

A lovely passage

From The Witching Hour by Anne Rice, a favorite book:

“…I soon realized I was gazing directly at Stella–far more dramatic than any picture of her could possibly be. She was clad in gold silk–a skimpy little dress, no more than a remnant of a chemise layered with fringe, it seemed, and barely covering her shapely knees. Tiny gold sequins covered her gossamer stockings, and indeed the dress itself, and there was a gold satin band of yellow flowers in her short wavy black hair. Around her wrists were delicate glittering gold bracelets, and at her throat the Mayfair emerald, looking quite absurdly old-fashioned, yet stunning in its old filigree, as it rested against her naked flesh.

“A child-woman, she appeared, slim, breastless, yet entirely feminine, her lips brazenly rouged, and her enormous black eyes literally flashing like gems as she took in the crowd gazing at her in adoration, without ever missing a beat of dance. Her little feet in their flimsy high-heel shoes came down mercilessly on the polished floor, and throwing back her head, she laughed delightedly as she made a little circle, swishing her tiny hips, her arms flung out.

“That’s it, Stella!’ someone roared, and yet another, ‘Yeeeah Stella!’ and all of this with the rhythm, if you can imagine, and Stella managing somehow to be lovingly responsive to her worshipers, while at the same time giving herself over, limply and exquisitely, to the dance.

“If I have ever seen a person enjoy music and attention with such innocent abandon, I did not recall it then and I do not recall now…”

Perhaps Stella would have been wearing these fabulous shoes?