New shop ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ opens today, bringing handmade bags & animated hats to the hill

Posted on February 23rd, 2010 by Sara Willy

Emma Roscoe has been designing colorful handmade and custom bags through her line, Red Delicious, for seven years. Two years ago Lynn Rosskamp left a job in social work to create funky fun fleece hats through her business PingiHats. Both are Queen Anne residents and vendors at Pike Place Market. And as of today, Tuesday, February 23, they are Queen Anne’s newest shop owners!

Absolutely Fabulous

Absolutely Fabulous (whose website is still in the works), located at 6 W Howe St Suite #2 (on the second floor) just off Queen Anne Ave N., is the brain child of Lynn and Emma, who decided to open the joint studio and retail space together, though they admit to having very different styles.

“Our work matches because it’s very different,” Emma said, noting that both love to splash lots of color into their work. “It comes from the same place in our hearts–a love for design.”

Emma’s handbags are crafted with designs and colors she selects to fit her style. You won’t find plain old black and white bags with boring lining here. Everything she makes is bright and cheery, sprinkled with upbeat colors and patterns. Why? “Life is too short to have boring bags,” she said.

“I hadn’t sewn in about 20 years when I started making bags. I was looking for the perfect bag and I couldn’t find it,” Emma said. “I’ve never used a pattern–I design bags to suit me, and if it suits me, it suits a lot of other women.”

(Red Delicious bags range in price from $12 to $100. Customers may choose from one of Emma’s designs, or have their own custom-made).

Lynn brings the same unique design to her hats, which range from colorful adult winter-wear, to customized hats designed to look like your pet (just bring in a picture!), and even a Halloween-themed zombie with a detachable ear (for realism, of course). Everything is made out of polar fleece, which Lynn has dubbed “the play dough of fabric,” because it’s fun and easy to mold into interested shapes and styles. (PingiHats vary from $22 to $34 each).

If you want something a little less eye-catching, Lynn says “You can go to Old Navy or Fred Meyer. I dare you to find a zombie with a removable ear!”

“It definitely assures people that they get something they won’t find anywhere else,” Emma said.

And though their styles often draw in different crowds, the pair say they share a lot of the same customer base. “There are people who buy both,” Lynn said.

Lynn and Emma held a soft opening at their new shop on Saturday, where they showcased their own work and that of a few other market artists who will have displays in the store, including Kim Sun Designs.

Both Lynn and Emma will be splitting their time between Pike Place Market, where their main clientele are tourists visiting the popular city landmark, and the new Queen Anne store, which they hope to make their more permanent, local crafting home base. Though opening up shop in the current economy was certainly a risk, both agreed that the chance to connect to Seattle and the local Queen Anne community was an opportunity they couldn’t pass up.

“The market is a business incubator for homemade crafts people,” Lynn said.”People in Seattle get that if you buy local, everything stays local.”

“If you look up and down Queen Anne Avenue, you can see the community is very supportive,” Emma said.

What’s most important is that it gives both of them the time and space to move out of their home offices and expand their businesses. Up until this point, Lynn has been using her attic as a craft room, while Emma’s been working within the confines of a small closet.

“This is a chance to move my work out of my house and make my cats less sad,” Lynn laughed.

Absolutely Fabulous will be open from noon to 6 p.m. today, Tuesday, February 23. Because Lynn and Emma have irregular schedules due to the market, the shop will not have definite hours each week. Check their website, Facebook page, and the sign post outside for an up to date schedule.