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Warm light pours out of big windows, gleaming off worldly wonders, inviting you to travel the world in the space of one store. Hands of the World has an impressive 35-year history in Pike Place Market, matched only by the countries represented in the store—Nepal, Pakistan, Indonesia, Mali, Kenya, Thailand, India—just to name a few.

As a young woman, Cynthia Hope took off to see the world. Her travels led her through Southeast Asia, including Thailand, where she met a missionary working with local tribal people. Inspired, Cynthia settled in Northern Thailand to work at a refugee camp on the border of Laos. The next two years would be an experience “like living in a National Geographic magazine,” and ultimately one that would change the trajectory of her life forever.

Cynthia returned to the states with a huge collection of handmade folk art from her time abroad. After selling pieces at street fairs for several months, she eventually made her way to Pike Place Market to open Hands of the World, which over the years would become one of Seattle’s most beloved independent shops.

Keeping the shelves full of beautiful jewelry, art, toys and accessories is no easy feat. Without revealing all her secrets, Cynthia notes that while it has become harder to source items for the store, she is able to source directly from people with whom she has built decades-long relationships, thanks to the longevity of her business.

By sourcing from various communities, Hands of the World helps to provide a fair wage and educational resources through a system that is now known as Fair Trade, putting the needs of the producer first. Since 1982, Cynthia has enabled the Market and the Seattle community as a whole to support craftspeople all around the world.

Visit Hands of the World on Market Level 4, open seven days a week from 10 am to 5 pm.

Robot vs Sloth Opens on First and Pine

Posted January 23, 2018

Located on the corner of First and Pine, Robot vs Sloth is the new shop of owner/artist Lauren Rudeck. Though the shop is a Market newcomer, Lauren is no stranger to Pike Place. For the past five years, she was half of the duo behind Ugly Baby and La Ru on Western Avenue.

Now with more space to showcase her handmade art of "cute animals fighting each other," Lauren's original designs be found throughout the shop on t-shirts, buttons, pins, magnets and totes. Robot vs Sloth also features an expanded selection of paintings, jewelry, plush creatures and DIY craft kits from other local artists such as Starheadboy, Care It Bites, Narboo and more. For those who are artistically inclined, a variety of workshops will also soon be offered in a new classroom space in the back of the store.

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What's Your New Year's Resolution?

Posted December 21, 2017

With the busyness of the holiday season coming to an end, New Year’s resolutions are all the talk! Whether you’re committed to getting in better shape, using your vacation time, practicing self-care and meditation, learning to cook, or reading more books, Pike Place Market is a great place to help get 2018 off on the right foot.

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Looking for some costume inspiration or something to take your Halloween party to the next level? Pike Place Market has you covered for all things Halloween! Head down to the Market's Lower Levels, but watch out for Market ghosts and oddities along the way...

1. Market Magic & Novelty Shop

Start your adventure at the Market Magic & Novelty Shop on Level 4. For more than four decades, owner Sheila Lyons and her team have put the 'trick' in trick or treat, delighting customers with oodles of tricks, illusions and gags. Here you'll see pictures of famous magicians that have visited the shop, turn of the century magic posters and a fun, jammed pack place of enthusiasm and wonder.

2. Sweetie's Candy


Stock up before the 31st here at Sweetie's Candy. This tiny 135-square-foot shop boasts a massive candy selection of over 200 different products, including Jelly Belly's, gummies, nostalgic candies and, of course, tons of treats for Halloween.

3. Holy Cow Records

Whether you're looking for spooky sounds to scare trick-or-treaters as they walk up to your front door or background music for your shindig, the friendly staff at Holy Cow Records will point you in the right direction. With album titles like "More Death and Horror" and "Sounds that make you Shiver!" you can't go wrong! Stop by any day of the week between 10 am and 6 pm.

4. Our Fabric Stash

The next stop on our Halloween guide is for all the crafters and DIY-ers out there. Our Fabric Stash is a consignment shop that carries yards of seemingly endless fabric, beads, threads, patterns and anything else you could possibly need for the perfect Halloween costume. Open Monday through Saturday from 10 am- 6 pm and Sunday from 11 am-5 pm.

5. Orange Dracula

Every day is Halloween at Orange Dracula! Here you'll find Frankenstein, The Addams Family, Dracula and Harry Potter inspired buttons, candles, accessories, masks and more. Check out the photo booth and take a pic with your newest find!

6. Rummage Around

Step out of Orange Dracula, take a left down the hallway and you'll find Rummage Around. Packed wall-to-wall with odds, ends, and everything in between you'll find almost anything you need (and maybe even something you didn't.) Don't wait to check out this store, the Halloween items are selling almost as quickly as they're coming in!

By now you’ve noticed the nip in the morning air, the chill in the evening breeze and have probably switched your daily cold brew for something warmer. Well folks, fall is officially here, and we think it might be time to add a little hygge to your life.

Never heard of hyggeHygge (pronounced “hue-gah”) is a Danish word describing a quality of coziness that encourages a feeling of comfort and contentment. This Scandinavian philosophy has been sweeping the internet by storm and we think it's the perfect way to help us get through Seattle's rainy, gray season.

Thanks to our Pike Place Market merchants, we found nine ways to add a little hygge to your life.

1. Rain Boot Liners from WithTheRain

While Seattle may have broken its own record of days without rainfall over the summer, that certainly is not that case this fall. Pick up a pair (or 2!) of cozy/cute boot liners from WithTheRain and your feet will be singing your praise throughout the rainy season. Shop WithTheRain on Etsy or find them set up most days in the Pike Place crafts market.

2. Wool Blanket from Eighth Generation

Can we all agree that snuggling up in your favorite blanket is one of the best feelings in the world? Eighth Generation carries 100% cotton and 100% wool blankets featuring Native designs, perfect for curling up with in your favorite chair or spot on the couch. Browse Eighth Generation's blanket collection online or visit their flagship store in Pike Place Market's Atrium.

3. Something Hot from Storyville Coffee Company

Photo by Stephanie Jarstad

For an inviting spot to hide out (and hang out) away from the bustle of Pike Place, take the stairs to the top floor of the Corner Market building and head towards the back to find Storyville Coffee. Grab a cup of something hot and snag a seat next to the windows overlooking the Market or get extra toasty by the fire place.

4. Wool Link Chain Scarf from Twyla Dill

Comfort meets style! This knit Chain Scarf is made with 100% wool. The chain links (11 to be exact) give you a little warmth without being overwhelming. Each link is hand-knit around the previous link, making this a chain with no sewn seams. Every Chain Scarf is lovingly made here in Seattle by Pike Place craftsperson Twyla Dill. Shop on her website or find her table at the Market (sign up for Twyla's email list to get a weekly schedule).

5. Candles from Sunny Honey Co.

Add warmth and light to your home with these exquisite hand-dipped, 100% beeswax candles. The subtle sweet fragrance and light of these pairs of long-burning, air-cleaning tapers are an essential addition to keeping your home cozy. Order online or pick some up in person at Sunny Honey's shop next to Pike Place Fish Market.

6. Slippers from Northstar Trading Co.

While the jury is still out on if you can actually get sick from walking around barefoot, we’ve got you (err your feet) covered just in case! These sheepskin slippers from Northstar Trading Co. will keep your toes safe from cold floors thoughout fall and winter. Available online or in person at the Market seven days a week!

7. Hoodies from Slow Loris

Hoodie season – you know, when it’s too chilly for just a t-shirt but not quite cold enough for a heavy jacket. Slow Loris has unisex hoodies ranging in size from XS-XXL in various colors and prints, all designed and screen printed by Guemes Island duo Jessica Lynch and Arlo Rumpff. Check these out online, or for a bigger selection visit their shop on Market Level 3, across from Orange Dracula.

8. Tea from MarketSpice

MarketSpice is over 100 years old, establishing their presence in the Pike Place Market in 1911! They carry nearly 200 bulk loose-leaf teas, though we won’t judge if you go straight for their signature Cinnamon Orange tea (yes, it's that good!).

9. Handmade Mug from Ting Ceramics

You've got your tea, but now you need the right drinking vessle. Seattle ceramic artist Michelle Ting creates wheel-thrown mugs, all one-of-a-kind with varying textures, colors and a mix of glazed and un-glazed surfaces. Michelle's Market days may vary, so be sure to check @tingceramics on Instagram for her weekly schedule.

If Jesse Link's work looks familiar, that's because you've likely encountered some of his handpainted creatures around Seattle. His seafaring great blue herons adorn the side of the West Seattle Lofts. His larger-than-life black bear paddles past customers at The Shack coffee shop. At the base of the Pike Street Hill Climb, his 8-foot sperm whale guides pedestrians between the Market and Aquarium. Now, visitors to Pike Place will delight in discovering the artist's marvelous menagerie in its new home, Jesse Link's studio and gallery in Pike Place Market.

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