Just off of Snohomish’s bustling First Avenue is a picturesque storefront painted in serene tones of blue and green. Above the door, a sign announces in cheerful cursive and delicate capital letters: Maple + Moss Boutique.
Inside, the fashions that owner Kortney Rasmussen carefully curates evoke the quaint exterior with their warm colors, soft draping, and inviting fabrics. But the on-trend styles are youthful and pretty, giving the clothes a freshness that is anything but old-fashioned.
Swingy tunics with crochet and lace details, cozy cardigans, soft tees with cute quips and vintage graphics, as well as print dresses and relaxed pants fill the easy-to-browse racks. There’s a range of accessories too, from bold, geometric necklaces, to infinity scarves and floral clutches, which makes the boutique a one-stop shop for charmingly chic outfits. Quirky candles with offbeat scents and hipster mugs are an added bonus that lend a sense of playfulness to the store’s woodsy-romantic vibe.
Rasmussen’s own modern bohemian style is the inspiration behind the shop’s offerings, but beyond the laidback effortlessness of her own obvious sartorial sense, Rasmussen has that rare combination of youthful enthusiasm and diligence that lends itself well to a fashion entrepreneur. Her background is a case study in hard work and determination paying off. After getting her degree in fashion merchandising, Rasmussen saved money working as a server and manager of a pho restaurant while searching for the perfect place to set up shop. Unwilling to settle for anything less than her dream location but still steadfast in her desire to make progress toward her goals, she began Maple + Moss Boutique as an online store. “I started with a very small inventory, built my own website, took classes on how to get it out there and launched Maple + Moss Boutique, basically from my parents’ basement.”
To gain exposure and sales, Rasmussen hosted “Sip + Shops” in friends’ living rooms. “I would set up all of my product and stage their living room as a boutique,” she said, “and they would invite all of their friends and family to come to the event. We would sip mimosas and have a shopping party!”
The idea proved so popular that even after finding her ideal space in a former antiques store, Rasmussen still brings her pop-up shop to living rooms and local businesses. She also hosts private parties, partnering with brow bars, hair stylists, and professional photo booths to create the ultimate ladies’ night, during which attendees can peruse the boutique with their closest friends.
All her persistence and creativity has paid off. Maple + Moss Boutique celebrated its first year in business this past December. The success of the store is due in no small part to her resourceful, DIY attitude—she worked with her dad to design and build the boutique’s gorgeous wooden dressing rooms, for example—and her eye for easy, beautiful pieces that are affordable and accessible. Nothing in the shop costs more than $100, with most price points around $50, and she carries sizes XS-3X, a rarity in the boutique world where it is often difficult to find anything in a range of sizes. “I really think it’s important to have something for every size and income to make my shop as appealing and welcoming to everyone and anyone as possible,” Rasmussen said.
That sense of inclusiveness carries through to the brands she stocks. She gravitates towards lines like Sevenly, Krochet Kids, Mata Traders, and The Created Co. that give back to causes around the world. She also carries items, including menswear, from Casual Industrees, a local company with operations in the iconic Rainier Brewery downtown. “I love to support local,” Rasmussen said, “and I love to support companies with a higher purpose and meaning.”
This thoughtfulness and commitment to the customer are a top priority for Rasmussen. “The absolute one thing that keeps me motivated,” she said, “is when I can help find that one item or outfit for someone that just makes them light up and so happy that they want to wear it out of the shop.” She pulls out a long-sleeved tee in a rich maroon color, her current favorite, that might be just that sort of day-making purchase. Printed on the front is the maxim “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” It’s a message that resonates with Rasmussen, and one that perfectly sums up her passionate approach to Maple + Moss Boutique.