Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you! See all of our past Artists of the Week in our dedicated section.
Seattle Refined: What do fashion and style mean to you in terms of art?
Kenneisha & Sharita Brown: Style is a form of expressing your individuality through your clothing. It's how you wear clothing your own way and with confidence.
How long have you been designing? Do you work with other mediums?
Yes, we work with manufacturers to help produce the garments we add to our collection.
Tell us about your business.
We launched 4Twenty4 Boutique on Dec. 12, 2016. We're sisters, and both of us have degrees in business. Kenneisha also has a background in the fashion industry. We decided to start our online boutique for women all over the country to find fashionable, quality garments for a reasonable price. Our business is based out of Portland, Oregon. In an industry typically dominated by non-minorities, we wanted to show African American women/sisters owning and operating a fashion business. We also do pop-up events and fashion shows in our local area, which is uncommon in Portland. We knew that by starting our boutique we would introduce something new to our city.
Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
We plan our collection a couple of seasons ahead. We start by researching current fashion trends, colors and styles. For example, we decide on our Fall/Winter Collection in February through April every year. We make the final decision on what we will stock in August. Then, we launch the collection in September. Throughout this process, we work with manufacturers to produce samples until the final product is complete. Our customer analytics play a huge part in our process as well because we always want to cater to our consumers' wants and needs.
Tell us about where the inspiration for your styling/designs come from?
Each year, we forecast trends, and we decide on what styles, colors and textures we want to produce for the upcoming season. Living in Oregon allows us the chance to enjoy all four seasons. Each season inspires the colors we want to include in each collection. Spring/Summer is so much fun – after a long winter season, we play with bright colors and think about how we can style and shoot the garment outside in our beautiful city.
What fashion icons do you have/who inspired you when you were young?
Dressing up in our grandmother's clothes, jewelry, makeup and furs inspired us to be confident in ourselves. As we got older, it was about being confident and owning our style. Having that ability to express ourselves at a young age is what inspires our creations today. Some fashion icons we like are Tracee Ellis Ross and Rihanna. Their styles are timeless, and they mirror our target customer. They're also fashion-forward, hardworking and love to have fun with style, whether they're working or out having a good time.
What experiences in your life have affected your design/business?
Traveling and having the opportunity to live in a different city has shaped my growth in designing and styling. Seeing different and eclectic styles through my travels is what gives me the ambition to create. Also, my experiences interning and working in the fashion industry played a huge part in starting our business.
If we want to see more of your work, where should we go to find it?
You can check out and shop on our website, www.4Twenty4.co. Follow our Instagram @4twenty4boutique and come visit us at Periodic: A Pop-Up Shop located at 2252 7th Ave, Seattle. We are open Wednesday to Saturday 11 a.m. 7 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m. We will be at this pop-up location until Dec. 31, 2020.
What is next for you? Anything you're working on right now that you're really excited about?
We're excited to show the rest of our Fall/Winter Collection. We bring in new items every other week. You can check out our website and Instagram page to learn more about our newest arrivals. Also, if you're in the Pacific Northwest area, you can visit our pop-up store in Downtown Seattle at Periodic: A Pop-Up Shop. The majority of the items you see on our website are offered in the store. This gives our customers the chance to experience our clothes and shoes in-person. We will be celebrating our fourth anniversary in December, and we plan to celebrate with our customers/supporters in a safe way. So, stay tuned!
Lastly, how do you take your coffee? We ask everyone!
We are not coffee drinkers, but we like our tea with lavender and honey!
About the pop-up: "Periodic: A Pop-Up Shop represents a potential future of retail in Seattle. It's a proven concept for brands who want to dip their toe in the Seattle market while lowering potential risk by providing a flexible space to test the market. We've seen success even during the pandemic with activations such as Sensebellum, a tech-meets art group from Bellingham that occupied Periodic in September and October 2020. It's a great space for artists of all kinds to showcase themselves, and 4Twenty4 Boutique is the latest example of how the space comes to life," said Melissa Gonzalez, CEO and chief pop-up architect of The Lionesque Group, an MG2 Company, the curator behind Periodic.