News Blog for Seattle's University District Neighborhood


New children's clothing store opens in University Village

May 21st, 2012 by master

UW News Lab

This past Friday, May 18, Peek opened its doors in University Village to a swarm of eager customers. The children’s clothing store, which originated in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2006, has additional locations in California, Arizona and Texas. But for its first Washington location, University Village in Seattle couldn’t have been a better choice.

“University Village is such a great location for us. It fits in perfectly with our brand,” said Christian Wais, general manager of all Peek locations.

General manager of Peek, Christian Wais, said, “We want to offer something complementary to what's already happening here. We're not trying to compete.”

That brand he’s referring to is defined by Peek’s three key values, which include nostalgia, wit and sophistication. As an upscale children’s brand, Peek delivers high-end clothing to even the youngest generations, thus filling the void in quality children’s-wear, according to Wais.

Annjette Del Valle, manager of Glassybaby in University Village, said she thinks there are a lot of people that want more options for children’s apparel and she’s hopeful that Peek will be able to provide that.

“We felt like a lot of kids didn’t get the same attention to detail and quality that were in adult clothes. We wanted to bring a level of premium sophistication to kids,” said Wais.

Peek delivers high-quality clothing to children through its use of soft fabrics and a sophisticated color palette.

And it seems as though they may be doing just that. With refined prints, soft fabrics and miniature versions of pieces you might see in an adult clothing store, Peek is definitely bringing new styles to the arena of children’s clothing. Peek gets a lot of its fabrics from Liberty London, which is one of the oldest printmakers in the world. Some of Peek’s more sophisticated pieces include paisley and floral prints from Liberty London. As for the miniature items, Peek offers neon-colored Vans in infant sizes and a khaki-colored dress with a coral floral print that you might hope to find at J. Crew in adult sizes.

“The whole idea was kind of peeking into your child’s future and peeking back into your own childhood,” Wais added. “When you see our mix and our product, you can see we’re doing something different.”

Micaela Wanzer, a current employee at Peek in University Village, added, “What I love about Peek is that it appeals to both children and adults. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard adults, both women and men alike, come in and say how they wished that we made clothing in their size.”

Wanzer first became familiar with the brand when she worked at Nordstrom last summer, which is a large distributor of Peek-brand clothing. “Peek is unlike any other kids-apparel company out there and is really unique in style and aesthetic,” said Wanzer. “It is playful, like most kids clothes are, but it has an edge of sophistication and, of course, is very high quality.”

Peek avoids just using the primary colors and instead pairs coral, mustard and lilac with neutral tones in order to achieve a more adult color palette. In addition, Peek avoids childish graphics. Wais joked, “You’ll never see a dinosaur on one of our shirts.” Peek clothing is generally in the $30-$60 range for young boys and girls as well as for baby clothing.

Not only is it Peek’s mission to fill the need for more options in children’s apparel, Wais insists it’s also to encourage children to interact with, and be curious about, the world they live in. Maybe that explains why Peek is stocked with children’s books, has a craft station and often uses pictures of scientists or artists on its T-shirts.

Craft stations are set up to ensure that children interact and have an experience while in Peek stores. “We want to be able to provide what we do, which is a great customer experience,” said Wais.

According to Wais, Peek may be opening three more locations this year, but no official announcement has been made.

To learn more about Peek, please visit its new location in University Village or website at

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U District receives revitalization grant

March 13th, 2012 by master

By Julia Li

A grant from the city of Seattle could help kick-start a new round of revitalization efforts for the U District. The Office of Economic Development awarded the University District Chamber of Commerce a $70,000 grant to help grow the neighborhood’s economic and cultural livelihood. The grant is a slice of $844,000 the city is doling out to nine business districts this year through the Only in Seattle Initiative. According to Seattle’s OED website, the Only in Seattle Initiative “promotes a healthy business environment for business organizations and neighborhood business districts.”

Don Schulze, best known in the neighborhood for his restaurant Shultzy’s, is on the Chamber’s board of directors and is helping to lead the task force. He says the planning process has just begun, and the grant money will help generate structure and organization to get the wheels rolling. Part of the grant money will help create a steering committee of representatives from residential areas, businesses, and the University of Washington. The main idea behind the committee is to get the various U District stakeholders on board with any future development plans.

“We want to make the U District a vibrant neighborhood not just for students, but also for the private sector and university staff,” Schultze says. “We expect to see a lot of growth and urban density.”

Schulze is specifically in charge of the marketing portion of the steering committee. Some of the marketing projects include promotion for events like the U District Street Fair, Ave-venture, and a music festival for local artists. A Festival of Lights is also in the works, in which local businesses would decorate their buildings with white lights. These kinds of events help bring community members together and celebrate U District culture.

In addition to marketing, there will also be committees concerning public safety, urban design, organizational leadership, and retail and business development.

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New Microsoft store now open at U Village

October 20th, 2011 by master

It was a high-energy grand opening at Seattle’s first Microsoft Store at UVillage this morning. Hundreds of people stood in line, some since last night, to get in and score tickets to Friday’s Black Keys concert.

We arrived shortly after the store opened at 9:30 and the line into the store still winded its way through the parking lot, which was blocked off for the big event.

Video by our news partners The Seattle Times.

If you missed this morning’s frenzy, don’t worry, it’s an ongoing celebration. At 5 p.m. today play Kinect with Seattle Sounders goalkeeping great Kasey Keller. Then at 7 p.m., legendary M’s slugger Edgar Martinez will step in to play.

On Friday at 7 p.m. The Black Keys will take the stage (you must go to the store to get tickets). Earlier in the day, at 2:30 p.m. OneRepublic will put on a special performance.

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Miller-Pollard prepares to close up shop

January 4th, 2011 by master

Furniture store Miller-Pollard is going out of business at the end of this month in U Village.  Our partners at the Seattle Times report the store’s liquidation sale has already started with little merchandise left on the floor.  Miller-Pollard has been in business for 60 years, starting on University Way before moving to U Village 13 years ago.  The Times reports the space at U Village could be turned into a Microsoft retail store.

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