Sublime Design: Watson Kennedy

This creative gift-ready boutique is Seattle’s finer alternative.

To give exceptionally, one must always have their ear to the ground; aware of what’s vogue and representative of the recipient, the receiver and the culture that binds them. It’s a practice in mindfulness.

At Watson Kennedy, the more creative and passionate shopper finds a concentration of gift-ready goods that reflect the pulses of finer living locally, nationally and abroad. Watson Kennedy’s owner, Ted Kennedy Watson (hence referred to as TKW [which sounds like a game for a Sega Console]), has become the talisman of vintage retail, a revivalist in a field that has sunken into kitsch Bed, Bath and Beyond mediocrity: purveying with an eye to worldliness and finery.

Just be” is a phrase commonly associated with the ideals of finer living. It expresses a sentiment of accomplishment, contentment and living in the now. Of course, humans cannot simply “just be.” The conditions conducive for in-the-moment living requires a design amenable to our personal specifications of comfort. The right shade of blue, the proper floral centerpiece, the interior designs that tie the room together, these compose the means to “just be.” Watson Kennedy urges their patrons to reach this lifestyle zenith.

As a retailer, TKW recognizes that vision is the sense that sells. His knack for visual design led Watson Kennedy to the National Retail Excellence Award for visual merchandising.

However, TKW goes beyond the visual aspects of finer living, he engages the five senses to their physiological boundaries. The associative properties of scent (Watson Kennedy features olfactory delights from here to the hinterlands), hearing (the relaxing aural aloe of Ella Fitzgerald or Edith Piaf plays with near exclusivity over the speakers), touch (woven baskets, exquisite French wood dice) and taste (tapenades and lavender bitters) plunder the memory vaults for nights spent on a well-crafted deck, overlooking the ocean spray with a cocktail, tapas and an old jazz record.

Watson Kennedy | 86 Pine Street, Seattle | (206) 443-6281

Malcolm Gladwell popularized a term for people like TKW, connectors.