Monday, December 29, 2008

Nip and Tuck meets Northwest Natural: Dr. Baxter in the Spotlight

The economy may be sagging but this local cosmetic surgeon’s stock is rising, just in time for Christmas.

The Puget Sound Business Journal featured cosmetic surgeon and chief medical officer of Calidora, Richard Baxter, in their December 19th -25th issue in the Spotlight.

Dr. Baxter’s new appointments to both the Emerging Trends Committee of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and to the Editorial Advisory Board of Healthy Aging magazine make him the go-to guy for anti-aging and rejuvenation technologies and products.

Thanks to Bonnie Graves with the PSBJ!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Home Shopping Network Blows Through Rosanna Product During Her Live Appearance

The Puget Sound Business Journal's Patti Payne recently splashed Rosanna Bowles lovely pic across her pages, following the tableware designer's most recent appearance on HSN. And once again, Patti was the one to break the news.

Rosanna became the first Seattleite to be featured on HSN’s “12 Days of Christmas” TV special and Patti helped capture the moment in her column in the PSBJ on December 12th with a gorgeous photo of Rosanna on HSN’s set in Florida.

Patti wrote, “Rosanna, on the air. Rosanna Bowles keeps scoring hits with shoppers on the Home Shopping Network (HSN). Bowles, who owns Rosanna Inc., an international tableware business she started in her Montlake bungalow in Seattle more than two decades ago, was featured selling her teapot-and-cup sets as one of HSN’s 12 days of Christmas sales push. This product is part of a 20-foot container full of Christmas creations that Bowles shipped to HSN earlier in the year.”

Thanks Patti for all you do.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tagliatelle at Spur Cited as One of 2008's BEST DISHES by Providence Cicero

Seattle Times restaurant critic Providence Cicero showcased Spur Gastropub's delish tagliatelle with duck egg as one of the top dishes of the year. Cicero wrote, "The duck egg that nestled among fresh tagliatelle at the Belltown gastro pub Spur was cooked sous vide; one prick sent rich orange yolk cascading into the arms of Parmesan and oyster mushroom foam."

PHOTO CREDIT Don Ruiz, The Seattle Times

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Rosanna's Product Featured by the Associated Press, ABC News and More as a Top 10 Gift of the Holidays

What could be better than the Associated Press selecting your product to feature in their socially-conscious holiday gift guide? Well, how about having that story picked up across the nation with the story and photos running everywhere across the country... including ABC News?


Our holidays were certainly off to a great start when Jennifer Forker agreed to include Rosanna Bowles' Mondo collection in her "Gifts That Give Back" story. Rosanna's globally-inspired collection benefits Doctors Without Borders, the organization bringing emergency care to areas hit hard by epidemics. To see this colelction, and more, visit

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Big Time

Patti Payne wrote about Margo's recent art show in New York in this week's Puget Sound Business Journal. A gorgeous color photo, shown here, ran with Payne's "Behind the Scenes" column which read:

"Seattle’s Margo Spellman still gets a little weak in the knees thinking about her quite successful gallery showing in New York in late September. Spellman, daughter of former Washington Gov. John Spellman, and sister of Kat Spellman, with whom she co-owns public relations firm The Spellman Company, is an artist in her spare time, painting under the guidance of a teacher from Colorado for 10 years. When the opportunity opened for her to show at the established Gallery Montserrat in the Big Apple, she prepared for almost two years, crated up 10 stretched canvas /acrylic paintings, and sent them to New York.

She asked her husband, Bryan Tagas, with Sterling Bank, to fly back with her for moral support.
Turns out she really needed it, because, she says, “My timing couldn’t have been worse. We were there when the Lehman Brothers thing happened, and WaMu’s collapse hit that night.” But people came, and the gallery owner said it was the best such turnout she’d ever had. “Your work is vibrant, emotional and powerful,” she told Spellman.

Friends like Seattle’s Art Mazzola, as well as high school buddies of hers and Kat’s, joined over 100 folks there. Her parents could not go, “but they are wonderfully supportive now. At first they had trouble dealing with (her art) because my work deals with issues of infertility and such. But now they are totally on board, and I got the sweetest email from Dad.”

Her paintings will hang at the gallery for at least a year. Spellman says other galleries are now vying for her work. And she did get a good review in the September/October issue of the esoteric Gallery and Studio magazine. “And I am still in shock,” she says."

Photo Caption: BIG APPLE MOMENT: Margo Spellman had a memorable opening for her artwork at Gallery Monteserrat in New York

Thanks Patti and Margo, we're all so proud!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kelly Bothum writes about Surfing Online Lifelines for the News Journal

In her article today, journalist Kelly Bothum gave folks a look into a new online health site launching next month, while discussing why people go online for health answers and how they can connect on sites and thriving online communitities like Bothum explains how Keith and Jennifer Schorsch's personal experience led them to launch Trusera:

"In 2004, Jennifer Schorsch's husband, Keith, suffered debilitating fatigue and facial paralysis, but more than a dozen doctors couldn't figure out his problem. It was only when a family friend called and offered some nonexpert advice -- "I think you have Lyme disease," he said -- that the couple were able to get Keith the help he needed.

That experience eventually led the Schorsches to start up, a social networking Web site that encourages people to share their health-related experiences. Visitors can browse categories, read member stories and submit questions to individual health communities on the site.

"Keith and I really feel that call saved his life, if not the quality of life," said Schorsch, who serves as marketing director of the Web site, which launched in June. "You realize you always want to have your doctor involved, but we felt that there was really a missing link -- that friend who has been through it."

For some Trusera users, Jacki Donaldson is that friend, even if they've never met her. The Gainesville, Fla., woman is a breast cancer survivor, mother of two sons and a blogger for Trusera, which has drawn visitors from 179 countries.

Three years ago, she started a personal blog about her experience with breast cancer as a way to keep family and friends in the loop about her treatment. Over time, the entries morphed into a form of communication -- and online therapy -- for her and her growing group of readers.
On Trusera, Donaldson has recounted those experiences, including her yearlong treatment with Herceptin. The cancer drug is used for HER-2 positive breast cancer, which occurs in about 20 percent to 30 percent of all women with the disease. She's heard from several Trusera users with the same type of breast cancer who worry about what it's like to go through that treatment.
"I think probably the biggest thing it does it soothes the panic," Donaldson said of her writing for Trusera. "The Internet can be dangerous because there can be a lot of unrefereed places out there. I think most women want to find someone like them who is doing OK so you have some hope going forward."

Reaching out to others

One of the strengths of online health networking, Schorsch said, is that the community does a good job of self-correcting erroneous or inflammatory statements. She pointed to a 2006 study in a British medical journal that found less than 0.2 percent of the 4,600 postings made on an Internet chat support group for breast cancer patients were misleading or inaccurate. Of the 10 incorrect statements, all but three were corrected by members within an average of five hours, the study found."

Monday, November 10, 2008

Reader Reviews Average Five Stars for Spur

Ginger wrote to the Stranger with a review of Spur recently, saying:

"As terrified as I am that the rest of Seattle is going to figure out what's going on at Spur, these folks deserve major kudos for getting it right. Cocktails: spot on. Food: right up there with Sitka and How to Cook a Wolf. Service: perfect (knowledgeable; well mannnered, but still charming). If you want beer though, you're better off going to Quinn's. This is a cocktail-and-wine joint. Hallelujah!"

13th Anniversary of Double Black Stout: Or a Story of How a PR Agency was Formed and Fueled by a Really Great Stout

You know, I'm thinking the brewers over at Redhook Brewery must have tuned-into their wiretap to my office the other week. 13 years ago I wrapped-up my final project in-house at Starbucks before rolling up my sleeves to start this agency. My final hurrah as in-house PR gal at SBUX? The co-launch of Redhook and Starbucks' Double Black Stout beer... a delicious way to exit a fabulous company and launch an equally rewarding one.

Memorable moment from the 1995 launch? Tom Douglas' recipe for Starbucks Double Stout Brownies which he created for the beer's launch. I've lost track of that recipe somewhere in my old archives but, trust me, it was a divine one.

The Seattle PI's Geoff Kaiser wrote today on his "What's On Tap" beer blog about the re-launch of Double Back Stout. It's now brewed with Lighthouse Roasters coffee, not Starbucks.

I'm looking forward to a tasting. Am thinking of saving it for the viewing of Top Chef's season premier Wednesday night. Cheers!

Keith Schorsch, CEO of Trusera, Tells His Story to Jason Brooks on KIRO Radio and

Go to Jason Brooks' page on to hear the interview he did with Trusera's Keith Schorsch. It's a great overview of why the Trusera community has been formed and how it's poised for the future. Keith's personal health journey plays a big part.

About Brooks' CEO Spotlights: "Seattle is home to one of the most diverse and exciting business communities in the world. Each week, Jason talks to the people responsible for leading these groundbreaking businesses. Find out their secrets to success, and plans for the future."

KIRO about Trusera: "You can find just about anything online these days, but what if you've an illness confounding doctors? In this week's CEO Spotlight KIRO Money Editor Jason Brooks reports a Seattle businessman has drawn on his own experience to help others find answers."

To listen to the interview, go midway down Jason's page on the KIRO/MyNorthwest website and click on the Trusera logo/link in the right-hand column under "CEO Spotlight" features.

Thanks Jason for the terrific story.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Things We Like: When Seattle Times Restaurant Reviewer Uses the Word "Divine" Describing Spur's Food

Providence Cicero's review of our friends and clients Spur was amazing. We're so proud of the Chefs, Brian McCracken and Dana Tough, cocktail maestro David Nelson, and Spur's servers and crew. And just look at this cool photo Dean Rutz took of the guys for the Times. Wow. If you missed it, read it:

Co-chefs concoct adventurous mix of flavors and textures at Spur
By Providence Cicero
Special to The Seattle Times

It's not easy being married to a restaurant critic.

My husband went along on my first visit to Spur, Belltown's trendy, new gastropub. I thought we were having a lovely meal. It began with a trio of smoked-salmon crostini. Each fragile toast bore a nugget of soft, gently smoked sockeye on a pouf of mascarpone, boffo little bites enlivened with pickled shallots, spicy micro radish greens and crunchy fried capers.

But then came potato-leek soup. There wasn't more than a puddle of rich, creamy potage in the bowl. The rest was foam, and from that ebb tide emerged three whole prawns, looking like they were making a run for it.

Mussels followed, gripped by some fearsome-looking crustacean. It was a giant chicharon, a canopy of fried pork rind sheltering the shellfish. It took some might to break it into pieces small enough to dunk, and it crackled like a windshield shattering when it hit hot liquid, merging its delicious bacon-flavor with the scallion- and chili-stoked broth.

It was after that, as he nibbled politely on crispy little drumettes of chili-glazed chicken confit, with whipped buttermilk where he thought mashed potatoes belonged, that he calmly announced, "I don't think I need to come back here with you."

"You're not enjoying this food?" I asked, nonplused.

"There are certain things you don't fool around with," he said. "I shudder to think what tagliatelle with parmesan foam is like, or carpaccio with fried béarnaise."

I enjoyed both on my second visit (sans husband) to Spur, where fooling around with food is part of the fun. Co-chefs Brian McCracken and Dana Tough dabble in the shape-shifting world of molecular gastronomy, finding new ways to manipulate flavor and texture, but they do so judiciously, not just for effect.

Fried béarnaise sounds like a gimmick, but that rich sauce, transformed into springy, grape-size globules, released a flood of tarragon in the mouth, mightily enhancing tissue-thin raw beef.
Foam did indeed froth from the pasta. It faintly echoed the smoky oyster mushrooms and melting ribbons of nutty parmesan that clung to the fresh noodles. A duck egg, cooked sous vide to a quivering, semisolid state, nested among the tiny bubbles. A vigorous toss with fork and spoon distributed pale foam and orange yolk, and the result was akin to a divine carbonara sauce.

Sous vide is the process of vacuum sealing and slow-cooking food in a warm-water bath. It results in a moist, velvety texture, and it's used here on both steak and fish to great effect. Lush butterfish (another name, in some parts, for sablefish or black cod), sauced with foaming fish fumé, is paired with earthy companions: chanterelles, chopped black kale, white beans and marble-size potatoes. Sweet shallot marmalade and sharp, spicy Tasmanian peppercorn vinaigrette temper the gaminess of flat-iron steak arrayed against a crisp-creamy slab of fried mashed potato.

As much as these 27-year-old chefs like to play with their thermal immersion circulator, and with ingredients like agar-agar, they don't get carried away by chemistry. Their cooking has integrity as well as verve.

They tweak their short menu monthly, and nothing on it resembles a science experiment, except maybe the chocolate "soil" and almond "caviar," two of the "playful accompaniments" to gelato. Granted, the powdery chocolate tastes way better than dirt, but the liquid pearls released little almond flavor, nor did either much enliven bland, thin Bing cherry gelato. Foie gras ice cream was more voluptuous; its savory swagger perfect with a pistachio financier teacake drizzled with sweet elderflower syrup.

Fruit tartlets were exceptional. In early October these tiny shortbread canoes held wild huckleberries dressed up with candied orange peel, sprigs of lavender mint and dots of Bavarian cream. The waiter made a point of explaining that the kitchen had "suspended physics" by devising warm Bavarian cream. When I pointed out that the plate had been chilled and sauce congealed, he was back in a flash with warm, fluid spoonfuls of vanilla cream.

Food hadn't come that swiftly all night. The lag time between ordering and eating was sometimes long, and no two plates ordered together managed to arrive simultaneously.
It was a different story on another night sitting at the small bar, where cubbies are stocked with high-end spirits and small TVs soundlessly run spaghetti Westerns. Service never missed a beat and I had the added pleasure of observing head barman David Nelson practice his own kind of alchemy.

Dozens of small, chubby corked bottles line the far edge of the bar. They hold his house-made tinctures and bitters. His expertly crafted drinks include the elegant Kentucky Tuxedo and the raffish Red Hook. The former blends bourbon and sherry with a hint of lavender and orange. The latter, named not for the beer but for the Brooklyn neighborhood, winks at a Manhattan with a mix of rye, maraschino liqueur and Punt y Mes. It's not shaken but stirred, slowly. "For at least a minute," says the meticulous Nelson, "unless we're really busy."

Spur was packed on both visits. The youngish crowd gravitated toward the high, communal bar tables that seat eight, though eventually the dining area and even the wing chairs by the front door filled with patrons dressed to match the artsy, urban-industrial surroundings.

It's not everybody's kind of place. Just ask my husband. But I could see becoming a regular.

Providence Cicero:
photo of dana tough and brian mccracken by DEAN RUTZ for THE SEATTLE TIMES

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Seeing RED: great stuff from howard, bono, don (and you kim!)

Starbucks has teamed-up with Project RED, fronted by our fave Irishman of all time Bono, for a holiday beverage campaign with true meaning.
It's got more legs than the "just in time for the holidays" saint bernard campaign.
Ah, I show my age.
Way to go Starbucks!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Groovy Girls and Moms, Get Set to Party at the Palace Ballroom Tomorrow After School

Darling Victoria Pericon (aka “The Savvy Mommy” who you may have seen in her many appearances on 400+ TV stations nationally) asked us to get the word out about a fun little fete for moms and daughters tomorrow, at the fabulous Palace Ballroom downtown. Reservations are required for this afternoon soiree, so be sure to call in soon. (The event was mentioned on Daily Candy today so it may fill-up quickly).

Here’s the scoop:

Where: Palace Ballroom. 2100 Fifth Street, Seattle.

When: Wednesday, October 29, 2008. 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm (registration from 3:30 pm - 4:00 pm).

How Much: Free for You!

What You’ll Enjoy: Moms and daughters who are fans of Groovy Girls dolls will enjoy fun activities like bracelet making, pin the bow on the doll, temporary tattoos, frame decorating and hair styling. Bring a camera for photo opportunities and get set to have some fun in the swank Palace Ballroom. Cupcakes and treats will be served. And you’ll walk home with a gift bag filled with $50 worth of Groovy Doll goodies. Can’t beat that!

Being mom to two boys, I won’t be there. But feel free to share the word and have pals drop me an email with any questions at

photo of victoria complements of the groovy girls website

Friday, October 24, 2008

Spur Gastropub: November 10 wine dinner

Spur’s wine dinner with Cor Cellars is Monday, November 10 at 7 pm. Luke Bradford (owner and winemaker of the Columbia Gorge’s Cor Cellars) will be there with Spur chefs Brian McCracken and Dana Tough.

Expect four wines, a dessert cocktail incorporating Cor, and five courses of local, seasonal ingredients like Blue Hubbard Squash, Pork Belly, Flagoulet Beans, Apples and Plums. Wines include:

Cor Cellar’s Sauvignon Blanc 2006
Pinot Gris- Gewurztraminer 2006
Cabernet Sauvignon 2006
Momentum 2006

Cor Cellars produces high-end Bordeaux reds and whites, Alsatian style Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer. The Lyle, Washington estate vineyard farms organically and focuses on corkless closures— becoming one of the first Washington wineries to use glass stoppers.

Spur’s the intimate, urban gastropub located in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. The Seattle Weekly’s restaurant reviewer Jonathan Kaufman “had a holy-shit response to much of Spur's food, both in terms of presentation and flavors.” And Braiden Rex-Jones (Pike Place Market best selling cookbook author, and wine and food contributing writer for the Seattle Times) described Spur’s 21 and over restaurant as “stellar”.

Price: $85.00 per person, excluding tax and gratuity
Call 206/728-6706 to purchase your place at the dinner, space is limited

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Trusera's Member Michele Hyra Tells Her Health Story: Breast Cancer

One of the biggest rewards of late has been collaborating with an old Starbucks cohort, Jennifer Schorsch and her hubby Keith, on a new project they are launching- spurred by their personal journey battling Keith’s Lyme Disease… a disease that truly wracked Keith’s body and their family’s life.

A former executive at Amazon (in the early days), Keith’s experience led him to launch Trusera, an online community centering on people helping one another through life’s health journeys through shared stories, knowledge and wisdom. The online health community he launched this summer is found at . (It was mentioned in a New York Times article just last week, thanks to the referral of a fan in the Health Blog community- yahoo!) Autism and Breast Cancer are two communities already buzzing along with wonderful people sharing at Trusera.

Beginning this week Trusera is introducing a Just One series of their members. Michele Hyra is our first featured gal—and what a great woman she is!

I’d love to invite you to join Trusera and especially to share your own health story and knowledge if you feel inspired after watching Michele’s story unfold. (It can be as easy as posting questions and tips, or cutting-and-pasting any health related content from your own website, blog etc. for sharing with others.) It’s quite simple and meaningful.

Oh, and yes, share Michele’s video with others. In doing so, you’ll help us get the word out to more folks about Trusera. Thank you!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Back Pain Relief from the Alexander Technique

We're getting the word out about a recent medical study showing back pain is significantly relieved by lessons in the Alexander Technique[1]. It's something I've known personally since first studying with my instructor Jeanne Barrett here in Seattle A car crash put me in pain. Jeanne and The Alexander Technique got me out. Read more here:

A recent study published by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) determined that back pain can be reduced by 85% through the study of the Alexander Technique. The major clinical trial also examined massage, standard medical care under a General Practitioner, and standard aerobic exercise, finding the Alexander Technique to offer the most significant long-term benefits for patients with chronic, non-specific low-back pain. Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old.

The study determined that back pain can be reduced by the Alexander Technique’s practical method of self-care taught in individualized lessons. The technique benefits people of all ages and fitness levels. Students learn to recognize, understand and prevent the consequences of poor postural and movement habits. By improving postural tone, coordination, mobility and balance, they experience a significant reduction in back pain.

The method was created in the 1890’s by F.M. Alexander. In addition to its efficacy in pain relief the Alexander Technique is used by actors, musicians and athletes to enhance their performance. Notable students include: Sir Colin Davis, William Hurt, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Kevin Kline, Paul McCartney, Paul Newman, Lynn Redgrave, Maggie Smith, Mary Steenbergen, Sting, Robin Williams, Joanne Woodward and members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

The randomized controlled trial showed significant long-term benefits for patients with chronic, non-specific low-back pain. 579 patients were involved in a multi-center clinical trial lead by General Practice (GP) researcher Professor Paul Little, University of Southampton, and GP Professor Debbie Sharp, Bristol University, and funded by the Medical Research Council and the National Health Service Research and Development Fund.[2]

Trial results showed that 24 private lessons in the Alexander Technique led to marked improvement in function, quality of life and reduction of days in pain. One year after the trial started, and following 24 lessons, the number of days in pain was reduced to three per month compared to 21 days with pain in the control group. The average number of activities limited by back pain fell by 42%.

The trial assessed benefits provided by Alexander Technique lessons, classical massage and conventional medical care. Half the patients allocated to each intervention also received a prescription for general aerobic exercise (30 minutes of brisk walking or the equivalent each day). Of all the approaches tested, 24 Alexander Technique lessons, at least half taken within the first three months of the trial, proved to be the most beneficial.

The study is online at:

The American Society of the Alexander Technique (AmSAT) was founded in 1987 to define, maintain and promote the Alexander Technique at its highest standard of professional practice and conduct. AmSAT teachers complete a three-year, full-time training course. U.S. instructors and more information can be found at .

[2] The Medical Research Council funded the trial with £585,000 and the National Health Service Research and Development Fund contributed an additional £186,000.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Margo's Art Premiers in New York Tonight

No, this isn't a Margo Spellman Painting-- but a painting for Margo from her nephew Fin (age 4) in celebration of her opening tonight. (medium: poster paint, tree branch brushes with paper.)

What's the buzz?

Tonight’s the opening celebration for Margo’s art show at Montserrat Contemporary Art in New York. (547 West 27th Street, New York 10001). From 6-8 pm you can stop by to see her and enjoy her work. Some of it’s shown here at too.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kaufman's Holy Sh*t Response to Our Client Spur

The Seattle Weekly's Jonathan Kaufman reviewed Spur today, stating:

"I had a holy-shit response to much of Spur's food, both in terms of presentation and flavors. McCracken, the owner, met up with Tough working under Maria Hines at Earth & Ocean, and the two have worked in a number of Seattle restaurants. But here they're looking to New York and Spain as well as local farms and waters for inspiration, and trying food that Tough calls "risky." They keep the menu small, they play hard, and they're not afraid of diving into trends."

To read Jonathan's entire review visit the Weekly's website or the Spur Blog

Thanks Jonathan!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lucky Magazine's new is coming to Seattle... and they've asked us to spread the word.

Our pals at Lucky magazine let us know they're heading to Seattle next month. Lucky's stylists will be on the lookout for fashionable gals to feature on their new website launched this Spring. Thanks to Lucky for giving us the inside tip on where their next StyleSpotter private party will be. We're thrilled to be spreading the word for you!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Julien Perry Visits Spur (and loves it)

Julien is a "Voracious" foodie Blogger on the Seattle Weekly site. She stopped by Spur, and here's what she had to say...

Steak and Frites: The Spur Way

Spur gastropub, which softly opened three weeks ago (today, in fact) in the former Mistral space, is going to be my new favorite hangout. Not only because the food is fantastic, but the atmosphere and vibe of the place is so laid back in an upscale-saloon sort of way.

Plus, the chefs did something to me that has never been done to me at any restaurant: They enticed me into ordering the flat iron steak with fried mashed potato, which I never order ANYWHERE. I'm just not a big red meat eater. The boys couldn't have been nicer or more cordial (or cuter).

I say boys, because owner/chef Brian McCracken, formerly of Flyte, and chef Dana Tough, formerly of Tilth, are only 27 years old. Twenty. Seven.

The two started talking about the idea of opening a gastropub in Seattle years ago when they both worked together at Earth & Ocean.

But I wasn't in the mood for steak and potatoes this night. I wanted something sweet. I ordered the Pistachio Financier, a pistachio brown butter cake topped with Rainier cherries accompanied by foie gras ice cream and elderflower gelee set atop an elderflower gastrique. Yum!

What came next can only be described as an upscale version of Dippin' Dots. A strawberry sorbet with vanilla cocoa butter crumble. A COCOA BUTTER CRUMBLE (!!) topped with slow-poached strawberries.

I also had one of the best cocktails I've ever had. It's called the Empress, and it's made with rum, St. Germain, grapefruit juice and topped with heaven (officially: fresh grapefruit and lemon juice foam). The picture I took didn't turn out so well, so I took a photo of my friend's cocktail, the La Rocio.

This drink starts out as a foam of red wine, lemon juice, sugar and egg white before the bartender topps it off with a mixture of tequila, stone fruit and red wine.Spur is open until 2 a.m. every night. Right now, they're enjoying an extra spill of folks being turned away at Tavolata, which recently stopped serving at midnight.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rosanna's Design Contest Featured on Seattle Homes & Lifestyle

The editors at Seattle Homes & Lifestyles magazine were so excited to hear about Rosanna's Tabletop Design Contest, they featured it on their Blog and newsletter. Thanks Giselle!
(A photo of last year's winner's design is above- Tresa Nicols). Here's what the SH@L folks wrote:

Design Dish: Rosanna Table Setting Contest Calling all dishware divas! Last year, Rosanna Bowles held a table setting contest and it was such a hit that she's holding it again. Create a fabulous tablescape with your family heirlooms, personal treasures and favorites from Rosanna, Inc. and then tell Rosanna the story behind your creation. Each entry will be judged on creativity, use of inspiration and personal style. The winner will be chosen by Rosanna Bowles herself, featured on her Web site and win a $300 gift certificate to Rosanna, Inc. Entering is simple and there's no purchase necessary to win: 1. Design the most amazing table setting— only one entry per contestant please. 2. Photograph your design as best as possible, although you will not be judged on the photography. You are allowed up to three photos of your table setting. 3. Send your photos along no later than August 31st with a message about the inspiration for your design to: or Attn: Contest, 440 South Holgate St., Seattle, WA 98134. The winners will be announced on Rosanna's blog by Friday, September 5th.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

fab review of Spur by Cody Ellerd for

Spur rides into Belltown, serving grub and drinks with a pioneer spirit: The gastropub features a trailblazing menu of New American cuisine.

With the arrival of Belltown's latest nosh spot, Spur, it's high time for the term "gastropub" to secure its place in Seattle's lexicon. It comes to us via London, where the Eagle, the world's first gastropub, distinguished itself nearly 20 years ago as a public house that served high-quality food a step above the basic pub grub. New York got its first gastropub in 2004 with the Spotted Pig, which now boasts a Michelin star and a chef, April Bloomfield, who was last year named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine.

Belltown's Black Bottle was Seattle's first "gastro-tavern," followed last October by Quinn's on Capitol Hill. And now there's Spur, a partnership between Tilth's former chef de cuisine, Dana Tough, and longtime friend Brian McCracken, who previously ran a catering company called Flyte.

Spur, however, should not be considered a follower. In the Western spirit its name evokes, the Belltown newcomer is indeed blazing its own trails. Rather than slathering pub grub with aioli and truffle oil, or gentrifying the old British classics, Tough and McCracken are pulling out the stops with New American cuisine and making the liquor a gastronomical experience of its own.
The dishes start out small, such as chilled asparagus with truffle, egg and tempura ($9), and a must-try salmon crostini ($9) with house-made mascarpone and chunks of cold smoked sockeye so delicate, it truly boggles the mind.

Most items fall into the mid-size (not quite an appetizer, not quite an entrée), mid-price range, like pork belly sliders with mustard and marmalade ($12), free-range chicken confit with bleu cheese, crème fraiche and bourbon glaze ($10), or pan-seared trout with a mizuna farro salad and almond foam ($12).

About half the menu will change every month to take advantage of seasonal ingredients, but even after just two weeks of business, Tough and McCracken know that to take away the charred bison burger ($14) -- the kind of meal that fills your heart with pity for the world's vegetarians -- would be a deadly sin.

As for those other devilish matters, the focus at Spur is on spirits, rather than the pints you'd typically expect from a pub, gastro or otherwise. Only four beers are offered on tap.

Instead, a bourbon-heavy cocktail menu draws from nearly 50 American whiskeys, and includes the Foreigner, with rye, ramazotti amaro, strega, blood orange bitters and peach bitters ($10); and the Corsican, a combination of bourbon, citrus and champagne ($9).

For the weekend crowd, long communal tables cut from salvaged wood are the place to mingle. For the quiet weeknight cocktail, there is a small section of table seating bathed in the glow of the space's only wall art -- a film projection of rustic black and white photos by a rotating cast of local artists.

Wagon wheel light fixtures fashioned from iron cast a dim light over the dark space. The décor is inspired by the Wild West, and in a further departure from the British model, the ambience is just plain sexy. This gastro apple has fallen quite far from the tree, and it's a delicious one to bite into.

Copyright © The Seattle Times Company

Friday, August 1, 2008

Whole Lotta Shaking: What's New at The Spellman Company

“If these ceramic soda fountain glasses don’t make you want to put Elvis on the jukebox and rock around the clock, I don’t know what will.”

— Oprah Winfrey
Things are in full swing here at The Spellman Company where we’re toasting to “good ink and great synergies” over a couple of summery Skagit Valley raspberry milkshakes. You see, our client Rosanna Inc has hit the Holy Grail of PR exposure. Her milkshake glasses, pictured here, headline Oprah’s much-coveted August “O List” published in O Magazine just hitting the newsstands. Sláinte, indeed!

This is a great highlight to what’s already proven to be a wildly fun summer where we’ve marked milestones with clients like Voletta Couture. Opening a brand new dress shop this week in Bellevue, Voletta features an exclusive Vera Wang boutique and dresses and gowns by designers coveted by all those Hollywood lovelies. Legends and purveyors like Badgley Mischka, Oscar de la Renta, Jenny Packham, Reem Acra and more… Sigh… Maybe we should hold off on those milkshakes before we head over to try on more summery frocks!
Northwest legend garden Molbak’s is a delightful new addition to our client group, bringing locally grown plants, amazing flowers and a distractingly tempting slew of gifts and items for the home. Meetings over there allow us to relish the lush environment and great café. We’re thinking of signing up for their succulent wreath-making class or lavender workshop. Gotta get our hands a little dirty!

And may we let you in on a little secret we’re most thrilled about? Our new inspiration, Chef Brian McCracken, has selected us to help him launch a decidedly cool new business called Flyte. His multi-course tasting menus are adventures in dining: he’ll bring the party to you and a small group of friends. Whether you’re setting up the fete in a pasture, on the beach, or on your fab terrace— Chef will wow you with his culinary prowess. Consider yourself forewarned as his bookings fill-up. Book this charming guy for your next dinner party NOW. We mean it. Mention our names and get a special rate on dinners secured until the end of the month.
We’ve got a lot more fun things coming on the horizon, including more national media coverage for clients, great events and sales, and more. This is just a taste of what we’ve had our hands in over here, and we’d love to hear what’s new with you!

Do dish!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

glug, glug, glug

Thanks to Allison Brownrigg, the cheery GurglePot was just featured as a Daily Find on NWSource! She wrote:

GurglePot is a whimsical jug with a delightful glug: The colorful pitchers are attractive, functional -- and fun.
With the world what it is today, we all deserve a little whimsy -- an unexpected pleasure that gives us a giggle.

I found my whimsy in the form of the GurglePot, a delightful pitcher in the shape of a fish that actually gurgles and glugs when poured. At first glance, I thought it was just a great-looking pitcher that matched my turquoise Fiesta ware, but after trying it out, I was completely smitten.
The GurglePot is the brainchild of local entrepreneur Matt Ellison, who after encountering a similar pitcher in France 10 years ago decided to attempt his own design. According to Ellison, the GurglePot is a more contemporary version of the Glug Glug Jugs that have been popular in England since the 1800s.

While the English version is more scaly and carp-like, the GurglePot is sleek and refined. When filled with liquid, air becomes trapped in the fish's tail. When tipped and poured, the result is a surprisingly loud and lilting gurgle. If you can't quite "hear" it, there's a sample of the sound at

Made of durable stoneware, the GurglePot is 9.5 inches tall, holds 42 ounces and retails between $40 and $45, online and locally at Mrs. Cook's, Molbak's and Anthropologie.

It comes in white, oatmeal, yellow, mustard, blue, aqua, green, moss, coral, red, cobalt and brown. New Fiesta ware-inspired colors out this month include tangerine, sunflower, chartreuse and pink. All the colors are fabulous, so if you're having trouble deciding which one to choose, rest assured that you can't go wrong with any of them.

GurglePot can be used for much more than holding water, iced tea or lemonade. I've used mine as a vase, filling it with peonies, sweet peas and early hydrangeas as a centerpiece for my summer dinner table.

And recently, out of desperation, my husband even filled and poured the GurglePot for our teething toddler who was having a full-on meltdown. Once she heard the sound emitting from the fish, she stopped crying and starting smiling. Thank you, GurglePot, for making my world a happier (and sweeter-sounding) place to be.

Copyright © The Seattle Times Company

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rosanna Brings a Touch of Class to Recycled Glass

Thanks to our dear pal Kathy Schultz, today's "Daily Find" features Rosanna's new glass collections. (Thanks Kathy!) Read it now, in the link above.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

SCORES in Seattle Metropolitan Mag This Month

We're thrilled to have photos from this terrific fundraising event in this month's issue. We were first introduced to SCORES by Debbie Mizrahi. If you're not familiar with this meaningful organization, check them out at Soccer, poetry, reading-- after school enrichment. It's good stuff.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

spur's website is live

...and we are so excited that the gastropub will be opening later this month.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Our Client's Fabulous Write-Up in Patti Payne's Puget Sound Business Journal Column

Patti's article with this darling photo of Kevin Kasier and daughter Ilaria (by Big Cheese Photo: Katy VonBrandenfels) was more than we could have dreamed of. Read on:

Kevin Kaiser, One of Five Brothers in Dance, is Thinking Big for the Evergreen City Ballet: BOLD DREAMS FOR RENTON DANCE COMPANY

Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) - by Patti Payne Contributing Writer

Remember the movie "Billy Elliot," about a talented young boy whose life was all about dance? Kevin Kaiser, the new artistic director of Evergreen City Ballet (ECB) in Renton, could be the adult version of that famous young man, with four brothers all involved in the ballet world. Think Billy Elliot times five.

Roy Kaiser is artistic director with the Pennsylvania Ballet in Philadelphia. Ken Kaiser is artistic director with the Washington Contemporary Ballet in Tacoma, while Dan Kaiser holds that lofty position with the Delaware Regional Ballet. Russell Kaiser is a ballet master with the New York City Ballet.

Growing up in Federal Way, the boys started tap dancing when each turned 4 years old. "It was easier for our mother to drive us all to the same place," says Kevin Kaiser.

The boys got so good at tap, they signed on with "The Singing Angels" from Cleveland, and went on tour to places like Disneyland, Hollywood Bowl and other tourist spots in the country.
Their dance teacher eventually steered them to ballet. "Once we got over the tights, we really enjoyed it," Kaiser says, "and the rest is history.

He danced as a soloist with Pacific Northwest Ballet for 14 years under Kent Stowell and Francia Russell, and went on to Oregon Ballet Theater to become its associate artistic director.
Among his credits, Kaiser appeared in the 1986 movie "Nutcracker, The Motion Picture," performed with Wayne Newton when Newton was a dancer, and made the cover of Dance Magazine.

Returning to the Seattle area, he became a mortgage banker and taught ballet at ECB a few times a week.

Now as head of that dance company, he is calling on illustrious colleagues and relatives all over the country to help him elevate ECB to a new level of excellence and discipline. "I've put together a (six-week) summer program second to none," he says, with pride.

Gathering a world-class faculty, Kaiser has tapped former PNB principal dancer and colleague Patricia Barker, James Canfield with Nevada Dance Theater in Las Vegas, Kaiser's brother Roy from Pennsylvania Ballet, artistic director Donald Byrd with Seattle's Spectrum Dance Theater and choreographer for "The Color Purple" on Broadway, and Alison Epsom, ballroom dance teacher who danced in a Harry Potter movie.

Classes start June 23, with more than 100 young people signed up this summer, from 9 to 22 years old.

"We'll offer everything from tap to ballet to ballroom to pointe to modern dance. And this fall we open ballroom classes to adults," he says, pointing to the strong positive influence of ABC's hit "Dancing with the Stars."

So far the response is gratifying. "We've doubled our revenue from prior years. We're pretty much close to capacity for summer." There are a few openings left, most of them for the workshops for very young students.

Kaiser says what ECB offers is unique. "We will give our students a well-rounded dance education, even teaching them how to interview for dance jobs, learning the ability to work with professional choreographers. We'll put together their dance résumés, pictures and DVDs, and give them performance experience on stage where artistic directors could see them in action. This is a dream of mine. Something I've wanted to do for a long time."

Yes, Billy Elliot is alive and well.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Spur in today's Seattle Post Intelligencer Food section

We’re thrilled to have Spur in today’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer. In it, Leslie Kelly writes:

“Spur will soon take over the space in Belltown that was home to Mistral (113 Blanchard St.). The new venture will serve small, shareable plates that range between $7 and $24. Co-chefs Brian McCracken and Dana Tough are calling their place a gastropub…”

Kelly continues on to say: “McCracken said he was initially looking for a space to expand his catering operation, Flyte, which specializes in small events and intimate dinner parties. But when he took a look at the former Mistral, it made more sense to go gastropub.

‘It's something I've been thinking about for at least eight years,’ said McCracken, who grew up on Mercer Island.

McCracken comes from a family of restaurateurs; his grandfather and his father were in the business, his dad running a pair of places called Charlie Mac's in Seattle. His mother taught cooking classes.”

In her column, Leslie mentions some of Spur’s New American dishes including slow poached butterfish (aka black cod) alongside an English pea puree, a shallot jam-adorned steak on crisp potatoes, and salads of wild lettuce collected by foragers.

‘We really want to go for clean, bright flavors and use lots of local ingredients,’ McCracken said.
The two are collaborating with a bar manager to create some signature cocktails. They've secured some highly allocated wines such as Buty, and they plan on having vintner dinners. There will be a late-night menu available in the bar.

The space is getting a makeover as the cooking team looks to create an environment appealing to a broad demographic. Get ready to saddle up sometime in July.”

Stay tuned for more info on Spur and visit to get added to our list. And thank you, Leslie!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Apples and Hops Await Summer

It's like Spring in what I like to call our home's "garden" here in Seattle's Bryant neighborhood. (Really no more than a few planting pockets, truly, on our postage stamp-sized urban lot covered mainly by house, porches and driveway.)

The peony buds are still tightly closed, the golden hops just beginning to emerge, and tiny apples are only starting to form on our espalier. I brought these elements together inside, in an old olive oil bottle here, to brighten another dark day.

Summer's official arrival is June 20. We'll be ready.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

a tease

In a tantalizingly slow manner we’ve been getting the word out about a fab project we’ve been happily entrenched in for many months: the Summer 2008 opening of Spur. Our mysterious drop-offs of cocktails and fried hominy (see photo) have enticed a few folks around town who are so, so curious to see what chefs Brian McCracken and Dana Tough have in store for us with Spur. Join the mailing list to hear about it first at Buzz.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Oprah's O at Home Magazine Honors Rosanna as the "Women Who Make Beautiful Things" Designer of the Summer

The summer issue of O at Home magazine hit newsstands over the weekend and Rosanna Bowles graces three entire pages.

Shot and written in March, the story details Rosanna’s launch of her internationally recognized tableware gift company. It is an inspiring account of a fabulous woman’s growth and includes business advice and musings as well as a great selection of her collections. Be certain to check out 11 year-old daughter Francesca’s line of dishes featured too.

Post from Margo- New in the Hood: Pilates & Art for Everybody

It’s been about 7 years since I took my first Pilates lesson. Life at the ballet equaled life on a diet, but my stomach muscles were nadda. My pal Brad told me Pilates would fix everything; and he was right. I swear my limbs are longer and know my core is stronger. Marjorie Thompson, Martine Dedek—I’ve had some fabulous teachers along the way, but my current obsession is a great little Pilates Studio in Madison Valley, Conscious Body Pilates owned by Heather and Tom Scearce.

Great teachers; spotlessly clean; schedule and pay on-line; easy peasy. The pre-natal and “mom & me” classes are quite the rage so now this dynamic duo has opened their second studio for the folks up in Madrona, across from the Madrona Pub. I’m honored to say that a few of my paintings are for sale and gracing the walls of this sunny spot. Check it out and if you are on the fence about Pilates schedule a complimentary consultation to learn the five basic principles of Pilates, discuss your goals and to ask questions. Call 206.709.CORE (2673) or email

Conscious Body Pilates Madison Studio
2921 E. Madison Street
Seattle, WA 98112
(Next to City People's Garden Store)

Conscious Body Pilates Madrona Studio
3317 E. Union St.
Seattle, WA 98122
(Corner of 34th and Union, across from the Madrona Pub)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Watch out for Bears: The Zoo's Live Bear Cam is Back

The Woodland Park Zoo's "Bear Cam" is back online after being downed in winter storms. It's sponsored by Brown Bear Carwash. Visit it online and watch the big boys delight in the fresh scents of elk dung, or even catch a trout.

The 12-year old 800+ pound grizzly brothers are, according to the Zoo, "'scatter fed' produce and favorite food items throughout the exhibit each morning and again later in the day; providing new stumps, logs, props and other natural items in the exhibit also introduces new sights and smells to stimulate the bears’ senses. Keepers place browse (branches and leaves) in the exhibit and grasses for the bears to consume. They will also lace the exhibit with novel scents such as elk dung and spices to stimulate their olfactory sense. During the warmer times of the year, the bears are provided overnight access to their exhibit, providing them full use of all available areas to better accommodate any need they have to move about their environment. Exhibit featuresVarious artificial elements including rockwork, a stream and deep pool that maintains 20-30 live trout, many that have lived in the pool for several years. The bears actively “fish” for the trout, occasionally teaming up to corral and capture the trout."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dress Shop Owner and Mom Has a Terrific System in Place

At Work at Home: Housing choices allow Eastside professionals to live more efficiently
-by Suzanne Monson, Contributing Writer, the Seattle Times

In Sunday's Eastside Living section article about home offices, writer Monson interviewed our client Su Choi of Voletta Couture. Monson wrote, “With an eye on efficiency, the environment and the clock, working from home isn’t just smart business. It’s smart living.” Saving time on commuting was one advantage discussed. “That was the driving force for Su Choi, owner of downtown Bellevue’s Voletta Couture and mother of three children—all under the age of 7. Choi designed an at-home office into her new Clyde Hill home so she could balance her client’s needs with those of her family.

'I couldn’t run a business if I didn’t have an office at home,' says Choi, whose chic boutique offers cocktail, evening and bridal dresses by the world’s top designers, straight from high-fashion runways.

'I work from home four to five hours a day instead of driving back and forth between home and the stores,' says Choi. 'As soon as my kids get home, I can’t really go back to work, so after we clean up from dinner, read with them and make sure they do their homework, I can finish up my own work once they’re asleep.'”

Friday, May 16, 2008

Darjeeling on Our Minds

No, I haven't seen the movie yet:
And yes, I adore Rosanna's Darjeeling line- we have one of the dramatic, jewel-toned hurricanes gracing our mantel right now:
But this post is about our friend Kathy Schultz who writes for magazines and and is taking a group of gals to India for an incredible shopping tour. When we saw the itinerary we immediately wanted to sign-up, but it conflicts with Margo’s art show opening in New York— phooey!

But if you are free in early October, here’s the scoop. Kathy and her fab biz-partner Anita have space for three more clients on this intimate, exclusive tour of an exotic land rich in culture, color, gems, jewelry, and shopping! This jewelry and shopping tour to India is from September 29-October 15, 2008. They will focus on New Delhi and Jaipur, with a special shopping/sightseeing trip to Pushkar, and a village visit to see textile designers, and of course a visit to the Taj Mahal. Jaipur has the distinction of being the gemstone-cutting center of the world. More than 90% of the world's colored stones are cut there.

This tour is designed for a select group of individuals who are interested in:

Sourcing and buying gemstones, having their own jewelry designs produced, buying wholesale priced jewelry in small and large quantities, buying gold jewelry at phenomenal prices, and
Private shopping events at wholesale and famous retail shops.

While jewelry is the main focus of the trip they are also offering:

Shopping at fashion forward boutiques featuring Indian Designers, shopping for textiles, village visits and sightseeing.

Cost of the trip is $5,600 which includes airfare, hotel, ground transportation, two meals a day, entrance fees to sightseeing, guide and driver. A deposit of $500 is due June 15 with the remaining fees due July 1, 2008.
Visit the website to learn more:
And if you'd like a glimpse of some of the gems and jewelry that awaits you (the photo above is one sneak peek), take a look at Kathy's article in Virtuoso magazine:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

STARBUCKS SMOOTHIES: Modo Exec Comments on Smoothie Market

Read today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer to see our client, George Murphy's take on the latest spot to get smoothies:

Smoothie market is heating up
Emerald City awaits competition
Last updated May 12, 2008 9:59 p.m. PT
Emerald City Smoothie has said that it wants to be the Starbucks of smoothies. But now, Starbucks says it wants to be the Starbucks of smoothies.
What does a business development executive say when his chain of 61 franchises is now competing with more than 11,000?
"I think it's great, I really do," said John Trautman, vice president of business development. "It's just exciting. They're a giant. It's a compliment."
In April, Seattle-based Starbucks Corp. said that it hopes to expand its customer base by serving blended fruit and protein beverages, energy drinks and healthy foods. (It's rolling out the energy drinks Tuesday.)
Mercer Island-based Emerald City Smoothie said last week that it is not swayed from its aggressive growth plan, hoping to serve meals of blended fruit and vitamins in more than 1,000 locations by 2017. If anything, competing with Starbucks is good news, Trautman said.
"There's lots of room for smoothies out there. With Starbucks doing it, it just further validates what we've been doing for years," said Trautman, who also owns three franchise stores.
An outside consultant agrees with him. The same way that Starbucks created a market for the small coffee shop, it could generate more buzz for smoothies, said George Murphy, managing partner of Modo Group, a Seattle-based marketing and brand consultancy.
"There's plenty of room in the marketplace for a small competitor. Starbucks has proven that in the coffee category," Murphy said. "They raise awareness for the category so all consumers understand what's out there -- that creates opportunity for other small companies to fill niche elements on the side of the category leader."
The biggest challenge will be competing with Starbucks for real estate, he said.
Emerald City already faces smoothie competition from market leader Jamba Inc. The Emeryville, Calif.-based company has more than 700 Jamba Juice stores.
As business fate would have it, Jamba Juice got its start with the help of Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz, who was an original investor and had served as board member of the company, according to a February 1997 article in The New York Times. In June 1998, Forbes magazine reported that a venture capital group that included Schultz bankrolled Jamba with $47 million in venture funding.
Other smoothie competitors include Greenwood Village, Colo.-based Maui Wowi Inc., Covington, La.-based Smoothie King Franchises Inc. and Atlanta-based Planet Smoothie Franchises LLC.
Emerald City has recently launched a marketing campaign, which includes commercials and Internet advertisements. The commercial now airing shows people drinking smoothies and working out -- a flash of jumping rope, pumping biceps, mountain biking, playing basketball and golfing.
"We'll serve more than 2 million smoothies this year," Trautman said to show the popularity of the drinks. "We'll use over 1 million-and-a-half pounds of strawberries."
The company is also going to start promoting a reusable cup in the next month. (It currently serves up smoothies in foam cups.)
While rising gas and food prices have caused Starbucks' profit to decline, Trautman said that consumers have not flocked away from Emerald City. A smoothie isn't an "extra," he explained as a possible reason, but an investment in one's health.
"We haven't seen an impact; if anything, we're seeing a bigger growth," he said. "People are looking inward. We're seeing gyms pop up everywhere. People want to take care of themselves and do something good for themselves."
Trautman said that Emerald City would not start selling coffee any time soon -- the company wants to preserve the smoothie smell in stores. That said, he was careful not to criticize his new hometown competitor: "We haven't started selling coffee -- not that coffee's a bad thing, we all like a cup of coffee now and then."
P-I researcher Marsha Milroy and P-I reporter Daniel Lathrop contributed to this report. P-I reporter Andrea James can be reached at 206-448-8124 or
© 1998-2008 Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Friday, May 9, 2008

an effusive patient

We were tickled when Patti Payne of the Puget Sound Business Journal reported on our client Dr. Richard Baxter's work with patient James Raisbeck. What a hoot!

Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) - by Patti Payne Contributing Writer

Face-lift is no secret for James Raisbeck

A growing number of men are getting plastic surgery, and telling all. Like Seattle businessman and philanthropist James Raisbeck, 71. "I just got a neck lift and eyelids done by Seattle area Dr. Richard Baxter. It was so easy," Raisbeck says, confiding that a total of "six square inches of skin were removed from both areas." Raisbeck's brother, Cliff, 80, had the same procedures two years ago. "I didn't even know I needed my eyes done," says James, just back from Paris with wife Sherry.

Thank you Patti!

Friday, May 2, 2008
No letup for Rosanna Bowles' home-decor company

Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) - by Patti Payne Contributing Writer
W hat do the May editions of Martha Stewart Living, Family Circle and the upcoming summer issue of O at Home have in common? They all feature lifestyle designer Rosanna Bowles, whose Seattle-based business, Rosanna Inc., is internationally hot.

Starting in 1982 in her Montlake home with a $15,000 loan from the former Seafirst Bank, Bowles has grown her business to a successful eight-figure private company, with worldwide distributors and a warehouse in Sodo filled with her tabletop designs. People magazine plans to feature many of her designs in a special gift section. And she will sell several of her collections on TV's Home Shopping Network on June 12. She is employing 25 artisans in Guanajuato, Mexico, who are recycling Coke bottles into artistic glassware, sandblasted with intricate European designs.

Bowles designs everything for tabletops, from flatware to glassware to dishes, serving pieces, vases and more. She sells wholesale to retailers across the world, including some private label retailers such as Nordstrom.

Expect her to expand into Rosanna furniture and Rosanna textiles, and she is in talks with a publisher about a lifestyles book.

The economy is not slowing her. "We're medium price point home wear," she says. "People are nesting more and making their own environment more beautiful."

Friday, April 25, 2008

more than 4 million people are reading this article

After a gorgeous day at the beach last August, we’ve been on pins and needles awaiting the May issue of Family Circle magazine. You see, their crew came to a quaint coastal town in Oregon to photograph our client Rosanna and her family at their beach home in August. The story is on newsstands now—all SIX PAGES. Visit to see the entire piece. We’re just thrilled.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tasting menu for ten

Chef Brian McCracken is a busy, busy man these days and a buzz is building. Intrigued? More to come on that…

…but in the meantime, do definitely check-out his new seasonal menu posted at for a serious case of desk-side tummy rumbles.

Born into a family of fisherman, farmers and restaurateurs Chef Brian McCracken has trained with some of the nation's top chefs in culinary capitals such as Boston, New York, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and his home town of Seattle where he worked under Chef Maria Hines. (Factoid: Maria was just nominated for a James Beard award last month. Back in 2005 Brian accompanied Hines in the kitchen at the James Beard Dinner in New York when she earned national acclaim at Earth and Ocean Restaurant.)

Jens afield

Spring has sprung. The snow has melted and flats of Redmond-grown pansies are flying off the shelves and into area gardens. We’re thrilled that Patti Payne told of Molbak’s expansion in her Puget Sound Business Journal column entitled “Just in time for spring, Molbak’s nursery in Woodinville is sporting a new look”.
If you haven’t been yet to check things out, plan to buzz over there this weekend. With weather predicted to be back up in the balmy 60’s for Saturday and Sunday, perhaps planning a Friday hooky trip to the nursery will help you beat the crowds.

Inside tip: if you don’t already know about Molbak’s e-news club, it’s a great way to get emailed coupons for exclusive discounts. Visit to sign up.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Calling all swans. An artistic collaboration takes flight.

Post from Margo: We got a last minute call last week to help spread the word about a new dynamic-dance-duo in town: Kevin Kaiser and Patricia Barker, both Pacific Northwest Ballet "alums". Kevin became the Artistic Director at Evergreen City Ballet in January and opens Swan Lake Friday. Who's helping whip those ECB swans into shape? Returning recently from coaching the Slovak National Ballet in their production of Swan Lake, Patricia has flown south to help.

More news to come on this collaboration, but if you need a fresh ballet fix, head south this weekend to Renton's IKEA Performing Arts Center at 400 S 2nd Street, Renton WA on Friday, April 11th at 7:30 pm; Saturday, April 12th at 1:30 & 7:30 pm; and Sunday, April 13th at 1:30 pm. Further information and tickets are available at

Check out Barker's great new “do”. (Photo by Chris Clark.) When we saw her recently she quipped: “my hair's even shorter than yours.” And so much cuter!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Modo Branding Pros Open in Paris

Coverage we secured this week for the talented group at Modo:

Seattle Marketer Spans Ocean with Paris Office
Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) - by Greg Lamm and Steve Wilhelm Staff Writer

Modo Group, a small Seattle marketing and branding company that counts Microsoft as one of its major clients, is opening an office in Paris to be near the software giant's European, Middle Eastern and African headquarters.

The move to Paris this June will put Modo closer to the action with Microsoft's Paris-based operations and also will give the boutique branding firm a foothold in Europe to attract new business, said Modo Managing Partner George Murphy.

Modo's decision shows how issues such as currency exchange rates and more convenient travel options can affect the strategy of a small company with clients in foreign markets. Murphy said the weak U.S. dollar against the euro should make Modo's fees more attractive to European companies. And Modo's decision to go to Paris was helped along by non-stop service between Seattle and the French capital that Air France launched last year, Murphy said.

"It makes things a whole lot easier because of the direct flights," said Murphy, a former branding executive with Starbucks and Coca-Cola who relaunched Modo last year.

Those daily Air France flights, which began June 11, helped put Seattle on the map in France, said Jack Cowan, executive director at French-American Chamber of Commerce in Seattle. Since the non-stop service started there has been an uptick in interest from executives and officials in France.

The cross-continental interest may not be reciprocal, however. Cowan said the Air France flights have not sparked a flood of interest from Washington companies considering branches in France.
Cowan said about once a month a French dignitary who might not have made the trip otherwise turns up in Seattle. In February, Cowan attended a dinner with local French senior executives to welcome to Seattle Monique Ben Guiga, a French senator who represents overseas French citizens.

About 5,500 French citizens live in Washington, mostly in the greater Seattle area. About 50,000 people travel each year between Seattle and Paris, including executives with The Boeing Co. and Microsoft Corp.

Murphy said Modo has seven employees and annual revenue in the range of the $5 million to $10 million. Murphy originally launched the company in 2003, only to take his then-four-person staff with him in 2006, when he became managing partner of Fitch, a British-based design firm with a Seattle office. In September, Murphy resigned his position with Fitch in Seattle and relaunched Modo.

Modo has about a dozen clients, including Microsoft, Kaiser Permanente and Grupo Modelo, the Mexican brewer of Corona and Modelo beers.

Heading up Modo's Paris office will be Sarah Van Dyck, Modo's managing director. Prior to coming to Modo, Van Dyck worked on product launches and branding strategies for Proctor & Gamble in Europe. She speaks fluent French and received an MBA from Insead, the European Institute of Business Administration, in France.

Van Dyck also has another connection to Paris: Her husband, Philippe Sanchez, former CEO of Seattle's PhotoWorks, is the new managing director of Starbucks Coffee France.
Contact: • 206-876-5435

Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring Media for Molbak's and Some Garden Fun to Boot

A front of Business section photo ran in today's Seattle PI covering our client Molbak's new wholesale business and stepped-up production of locally grown plants for sale in both retail and to the wholesale community of landscape designers.

This piece ran on the heels of some gloriously sunny afternoons we spent at the Molbak's "farm" with fabulous media including Marianne Binetti (PI garden writer and renowned author), veggie-expert Willi Evans (the West Coast editor of Organic Gardening) and local legend and gardening buff, Patti Payne (columnist of the PSBJ). World clematis expert Raymond Evison gave a riveting talk on those climbing beauties and gave us countless ideas on how to incorporate them into our landscapes. I woke up thinking about it. And chef-to-the-stars Russell Lowell feted us all with crazy stories and good, good salmon.

Today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer read: "Molbak's Focuses on Growing Local Trends. Four acres of Molbak's 40-acre plant production farm in Redmond are dedicated to a new wholesale operation, growing plants primarily for professional landscapers. Nursery worker Jacqui Evans is shown moving perennials Thursday at the wholesale site. Owner Jens Molbak says the retail business, in Woodinville, is also offering more locally grown plants this year, a new sustainable pots program, and more fruit trees, herbs and vegetable plants to serve the trend of growing and eating local foods."

Monday, March 24, 2008

GOT INK: Client Rosanna Bowles in Today’s New York Times Speaking on Creative Inspiration

Current soundtrack at The Spellman Company: the happy “sigh” of champagne corks.

After months of anticipation, we’re thrilled to see Rosanna’s photo gracing the pages of Tuesday’s New York Times business section. Rosanna was shot by Seattle-based photographer Kevin P. Casey, see above. Thank you, Kevin!

In this piece, written by Sharon McDonnell, Rosanna speaks about finding creative inspiration for the bi-annual tableware collections she creates. It’s a good read.
The collection Sharon describes is Rosanna's "Les Bijoux" line of teacups, saucers and dessert plates.

A very special shout-out goes to Margo who tenaciously pursued this one.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Post from Margo: Hear the folks who inspire us

Kat and I share a love of U2 and Bowie, but my understanding of classical music starts and stops with the melodies I heard at PNB which became the sound track to my dreams. Perhaps that’s why we are so amazed by our friends at Choral Arts. This amazing group is devoted to their art and Lorin Wingate, their managing director (banker by day, vocalist by night), volunteers countless hours to share his passion.

Bach may be a bit beyond me, but I’m intrigued and excited to experience one of the most moving and dramatic of all choral works tonight: St. John’s Passion (which premiered in 1724 on Good Friday).

Besides learning the music for tonight and tomorrow’s performances, they’ve had to learn German too, and yesterday they took it to the school room (Bach to School) to share their love of music…

Read more about it in Richard Campbell’s preview in today’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer: or the Seattle Times as well:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

TODAY’S SEATTLE TIMES: This Day in History, March 11, 1969

Who knew March 11 was “Cute Picture Day” in the Spellman family? (Note to self: add to calendar.)

Today’s Seattle Times includes a darling picture of our dad in a “This Day in History” feature by Lynne Berry, photo by Greg Gilbert. (Thanks Lynne and Greg!)

It’s a flashback to a very good year, 1969, that is. Accompanied by this photo of “JDS” flashing the V for Victory sign is a nice little blurb.

It reads:

John Spellman gives the victory sign as he prepares to become King County’s first executive. King County Commissioner John Spellman defeated former Gov. Al Rosellini to win the newly created post of King County Executive.

Voters also chose seven members for the new nine-member County Council that along with the executive replaced the three-member Board of County Commissioners that had governed King County since 1852. The elections created positions created by the Home Rule Charter approved by votes in November 1968. Under the new charter, the two remaining outgoing commissioners, John O’Brien and Ed Munro, automatically became members of the new County Council. (Source:

Thursday, March 6, 2008

It’s Contagious: a web community where folks talk health, tell their stories and offer info for action

Been so giddy about anything lately that you startle awake at night to happily jot notes and mull major ideas? After a meeting with the masterminds behind Trusera I did.

A while back, former exec Keith Schorsch took some well-earned and scheduled time off to be with his family, after intense stints as early-early day veteran of companies like McCaw and Amazon. His year-off for relaxation included an unnoticed bite by a deer tick back East, sending him into an undiagnosed spiral of major health problems.

11 doctors later and with near-deadly results, Keith was still undiagnosed. Through his circle of friends, Keith reached-out broadly to investigate and research his symptoms. A friend-of-a-friend immediately recognized Keith’s symptoms and emailed him suggesting they were possible indications of Lyme Disease: something more prevalent on the East Coast than back here. By sharing his story, and actively asking questions, Keith’s life was quite literally saved.

A long road to recovery he’s still traveling, we’re thrilled to have spent some time this past week working with Keith’s newest “baby”, Trusera. This meaningful new online community is geared to launch this Summer. Its philosophy is that “much of the work of being well and staying well is through relevant and credible personal knowledge”. (Thanks for that succinct description, Jude!). Trusera’s poised to be a network where people can share, explore and act on information.

By invitation, people with their stories are gathering on Trusera’s open beta community now, with an already impressive representation from folks interested in sharing experiences on Autism and very soon, Breast Cancer. If you’re like us and would enjoy being invited to be one of the founding members of this great new community— before it launches to the actual public this Summer— let us know. We’d be happy to get an invitation to you. Just send us an email.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll take a visit to their current site under construction to get a feel for what Trusera will be. Hear Keith’s stories and see more. His username’s storyguy. It’s pretty powerful.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wear Black: Feb 26 CD Release Party for Pike Place Market Street Performer at the Triple Door

If you haven’t discovered 15 year-old Vince Mira from Federal Way yet, I don’t want to ruin the delicious surprise. Vince has been on the Ellen Show and Good Morning America and his appearances are on frequent rotation on our desktops. Watch him on Ellen:

One of seven kids (that’s one more than Margo and my family boasts), Vince’s voice changed and he started singing and playing guitar as a street performer at the Pike Place Market. And talk about poise: this kid gave a great interview on The End Friday night. I was floored by his ease, and loved the contrast of his sweet speaking voice and amazing baritone. He sang half of “Walk the Line” in Spanish. Here’s the talented kid’s MySpace page:

Vince is releasing his first album next Tuesday entitled “Cash Cabin Sessions”. To launch it, there are two shows in Seattle, one at 7pm and another at 9:30 where Vince will perform. The Triple Door is such a swank venue. It’s certain to be a sparkly, fun night:

Quick facts:

-Vince just finished recording on a Hank Williams tribute CD with Stone Gossard (Pearl Jam).

-His CD was recorded by Johnny Cash’s son, John, at the Cash Cabin (built originally by Johnny just outside Nashville).

-Vince’s manager, local club owner Chris Snell, had a custom rhinestone-studded shirt made for Vince by Manuel Cuevas who originally created stage costumes and wardrobes for such greats as Elvis, Mick and of course Johnny.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Feb 9: Bubbly, Braiden and O List Fave Theo Chocolates with Reds from Ste Michelle

After an end-of-week glass of bubbly Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Moscato Frizzante at the club on Friday, we were thrilled to see it as the inaugural sip of what looks to be a fabulous afternoon on Feb 9th (1-3 pm). Our client Molbak's has rounded-up a delish group of enticements (O List honoree Theo Chocolates included) for their foodie, wine and chocolate event. Seating's limited to 35 and the class is already half full before being publicized, so call soon if you're interested. We're starting a "wait list" with fingers crossed that we can squeeze in another if all parties are open!

The details: Sip, Listen, Taste and Sip Again. 1-3 pm on Molbak's event stage. $45 per person. Pre-register by calling 425.398.5151.

1:00: Start off by sipping aforementioned Frizzante sparkling wine.

1:15 - 1:45: Foodie/writer Braiden Rex-Johnson will offer a glimpse into her latest book Pacific Northwest Wining and Dining, touted as a "love letter to the Northwest". Guests receive copies of the book and get to mingle with Braiden. (Did we mention we love her?)

1:45 - 3:00: A guided tasting of Ste. Michelle wines paired with Theo Chocolates. Specifically 2004 Canoe Ridge Merlot with Theo's Madagascar 65% dark chocolate; 2004 Ethos Reserve Cabernet with Theo-blended-cocoa Ghana/Panama/Ecuador, 75% dark chocolate; and 2005 Canoe Ridge Cabernet (NEW RELEASE) with Theo's Ghana 84% dark chocolate. (Congrats Theo on making this month's O List in Oprah's magazine. We're still reveling in our client Rosanna Bowle's July stint there. See the top item here if you never saw Rosanna's hit:

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Eat pizza. Gain goodwill. 2.18.08

Question: Which came first, the pizza or the H&M?
Answer: THE PIZZA.
California Pizza Kitchen's Coming to the Southcenter Area.

President's Day weekend is the time to satisfy that pizza jones while doing something good. Visit the new California Pizza Kitchen on Monday, February 18 near Southcenter and know that 100% of (dine-in) pizza sales from that day will benefit the great folks of Seattle SCORES

California Pizza Kitchen, CPK, is opening its doors to the public the week prior, on February 11. Their third Western Washington location will be at 150 Andover Park West in Tukwila. Fast fact: did you know CPK co-founder and co-CEO Larry Flax is a Husky? Indeed yes-- this former assistant US attorney turned pizza legend graduated from the University of Washington. Go Dawgs.

The nonprofit Flax and his great company are supporting, SCORES, serves 500+ kids locally in urban communities using soccer, writing, creative expression, and service-learning. With teamwork as the unifying value, SCORES inspires youth to lead healthy lifestyles, be engaged students, and become agents of change in their communities. Come show your support Feb 18.

Kid stuff! Tomorrow Feb 2nd: Shop, buy a copy of Tara Jorgensen's new book, and help Children's Hospital

We're thrilled Red Tricycle, Seattle's Child, NWSource and KING 5 have covered our upcoming event with client/author Tara Jorgensen. Client Jody Hall of Cupcake Royale is sending over babycakes for it. Yum. Here's the scoop:

When: This Saturday, Feb. 2, 2008 (10:00 am – 1:00pm)

Where: Le Petit Shoppe at 3432 NE 45th St. Seattle, WA 98105 (East of University Village near Sand Point Way. Free parking.)

What: Store opening celebration, children’s book signing, book give-away’s, goodies, and enter-to-win a children’s or maternity outfit.

There's a brand new spot to score stylish and affordable, “nearly new” children’s and maternity clothing: Le Petit Shoppe. Local moms founded this store after noticing a lack of options in the gently worn kid’s market. To celebrate the store’s opening, children’s author Tara Jorgensen will be on hand to sign copies of her book, Nina and Madison Ride the Bus in Seattle. The first 10 families who stop by will receive a free copy of this delightful children’s book which tells the tale of two winsome kids who travel the City by bus. A portion of all proceeds from book sales benefits Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center’s “Pink Polka Dot Junior Guild”.

Guests may also enter-to-win in a drawing of children’s and maternity outfits of their size and selection. Le Petit Shoppe carries nearly new clothes and small wooden toys and furniture. Inventory rotates frequently with lucky shoppers snapping-up European specialty lines such as Petite Bateau, Le Top, Catamini and favorites from Mini Boden, Hanna Andersen and more. Store phone: 206.525.0619 and email: