Silk, velvet, fringe, no fringe…

Growing up in the Pike Place Market is like having a very large family. As I walk through, I see familiar faces; loving faces who have embraced me and even employed me as I grew up. For my post this holiday season I want to share with you one such Market family member, Claudia Kelly.

Claudia has been a part of the Market since 1981. She is a graduate of Evergreen State College and Seattle Central’s Apparel Design Program. Her area of expertise – fabric. She designs and makes unique scarves, wraps, jackets and bow ties. You can usually find her at the corner of the Desimone Bridge on the craftline. She is an especially important part of my life because I worked for her years ago.

Everyday that I worked I would go down to her locker and roll out her cart (neatly packed to the very top with lots of bungee cords.) Coffee in hand, I would head to roll call early enough to make sure and get that corner spot on the Bridge. Roll call can be an emotional time. If you don’t get the spot you are after, or you arrive late, your whole day is set on a different course than planned. To this day I dream of roll call and of working for Claudia. Once I got my spot I unleashed each bungee cord and carefully placed out the beautiful fabric creations. Everything on the cart had a place on the table. Once I was done it was completely covered with gorgeous scarves.

When you sell something wearable on the line you begin to play with psychic abilities (emphasis on the “chic” in this case) by matching scarves with customers and helping to decide on the perfect gift. I think that is what I enjoyed the most; using my own creativity to tell a story about each scarf. No one knows the fabrics better than Claudia. In looking for fabrics, she has traveled throughout the world. Her creations are truly original. 

Claudia’s scarves are the perfect holiday gifts. If you are looking for something extra beautiful, try the velvets and go for the large wraps. I have several hanging in my closet and I get compliments every time I wear them out. For the man in your life, try a bow tie – always classy. Claudia even creates themed bow ties, fishing anyone?


Handmade for the Holidays! For more information go to

~ written by Mercedes Carrabba, Market Ghost Tour


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