Taste Test

Taste Test with Brenda Bryan

Photo by Kelly O

Oh, the life of a professional hat maker! “Milliner,” corrects Brenda Bryan of Lovewell Couture. “Just the word sounds old-fashioned.” But Bryan is anything but anachronistic. After moving to Seattle 17 years ago, the Georgia-born designer launched Lovewell in 2011, crafting edgy updates on classic women’s styles. Selling almost entirely online and through word of mouth, Bryan now splits her time hand-building hats and pursuing her second love: surfing. “The outdoors and the arts—they feed off each other and inspire me in different ways.”

Corn porn
I was born in Athens, Ga., so I know what makes good grits, and the grits at Absinthe in Belltown are perfect.

First secondhand
My house consists of a lot of found items and garage sale and thrift store finds. The West Seattle Garage Sale Day, with like a thousand garage sales in May, that’s my Super Bowl.

Viva Mexico
I used to love going to Europe, but I started surfing and now I like warm, tropical destinations. I love the Puerto Vallarta area especially. Not only is it culture- and arts-rich but there’s good surfing right outside the city.

Strictly ballroom
I was watching RuPaul’s Drag Race with a friend, and the show always references Paris Is Burning, so I told him he needs to see it. It’s such an important film and links to so much pop culture.

Local gem
Tracy Cilona of Virago Gallery in 
West Seattle curates amazing locally made jewelry and art. It’s maybe the best place to buy jewelry in town.