Globally-Inspired Style in Central Seattle

Seattle fashion designer and stylist Kiko Waters is weaving a lifestyle brand based on social good.

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Sometimes launching a business starts with a plan—and sometimes it starts with a leap of faith. For Kiko Waters—fashion designer, stylist, and owner of CURA Collective—it was the latter.

Waters was a 15-year veteran of the corporate fashion world when her life took a pivotal turn. Her perspective shifted while on vacation in Mexico in 2018, admiring the work of local indigenous artisans. “Their work was so beautiful, and clearly had a story to tell,” she says. “I couldn’t shake the idea of learning more.”

So she acted on her insatiable interest and six weeks later, moved her family to Mexico for several months while she learned indigenous techniques and met local artisans. “That’s where the idea for [CURA Collective] was born.”

Kiko describes CURA Collective as a one-stop-shop for conscious living—a mindful curation of life’s essentials. From bags to beauty products, to decor, everything in the shop is hand-selected by Waters from designers and artisans around the globe. “I make sure that we curate a very specific style—but equally important, that every product we carry and every partner we support is doing good in the world,” she says.

Through CURA, Waters focuses on creating community not just through her network of global makers, but with her customers. Primarily focused on women, CURA serves as a space for workshops, female-led art shows, and other community gatherings.

A few years ago, soon after the business launched, Waters competed in Business Impact NW’s IMPACT Pitch program and won best female-owned business. “It was intense,” she says, but it motivated her to write a business plan and clearly articulate CURA’s mission.

Now, Waters is working on designing her own line of clothing and jewelry for the spring season, which will be produced in a zero-waste workshop. Running, curating, and designing for her shop is a lot of work, she says, “but doing something you’re passionate about doesn’t ever feel hard.”

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