Meet the Maker: Malika Siddiq of Lika Love

Malika!

Malika!

Malika Siddiq is the definition of a #girlboss. She owns two successful (and beautiful) retail stores and a retail truck, and she isn't stopping anytime soon! She built it all from the ground up, never looking back once. She decided to follow her lifelong dream of having her own boutique. When you meet her, you instantly feel like you've been friends forever. We found ourselves chatting for over an hour as she told her story and then of course, she helped us find a few pieces from the shop! Her motto at the store is "A fun and comfortable place for all women to shop" and we couldn't agree more! 

How did Lika Love come to be?

Lika Love

I’ve always loved fashion and wanted to have my own boutique. I had been itching to start following my dreams when someone told me about this fashion truck in West Seattle. I went to check it out, met the owner, and she ended up letting me work an event with her. Everything after that just fell into place. I found a truck in Portland shortly after. I went down to test drive it with my godfather, who is good with cars, and it turned out to be a great find. Once I bought it the biggest challenge had to be driving this 20 foot truck back to Seattle. I got a lottt of horn honks heading back north on I-5.

Once I was back in town I got to work having it painted and built it out. I actually cried when I saw it in red because it was so beautiful. After the truck was ready all that was left was for me to fill it with the goods! I went to California Market on a buying trip. I just went in and did it. I picked stuff that I loved and hoped that other people would love it too.

Two days after I got back from that trip everything arrived and I started selling!

How was it in the beginning getting started? 

In addition to clothes, amazing jewlery can be found at Lika Love

In addition to clothes, amazing jewlery can be found at Lika Love

I started off in 2013, when I was still bartending, and I would do events in the truck in my time off.  It was a lot of work, but I loved it. I would take the truck to Alki Beach, park it, and sell there. I was doing well so six months in I decided to leave my day job and commit to Lika Love full time. Of course, shortly after this I got kicked off of Alki. A cop showed up one day saying I didn’t have the right to be operating where I was, so I decided it was about time to find a permanent space.

It took some time. I wanted to ease into it and decided a pop-up shop would be a great way to do this. So for six months in West Seattle I had a little shop in a shared space. After that, I spent another six months working out of the truck to save up.

By 2015, I had a broker and she found me my wonderful location in Madison Valley. It was too perfect to pass up, but I had really wanted to have a store in West Seattle because it’s where I live and I love that part of Seattle. Then literally two weeks after I signed on the Madison Valley location, she found me a space in West Seattle. So now I have two stores!

What is the best part of owning your own shop? What is the most challenging?

Malika in action

Malika in action

The best part for me is knowing that I went after what I wanted and I got it. I’ve built such amazing relationships over the years with my clients who love Lika Love and what we do. I absolutely love seeing someone come into the store in their favorite Lika piece and tell me how comfortable and happy they feel every time they put it on.

The most challenging part? Probably the staff turnover. I want to take really good care of my clients and it’s hard to find people to work in the store that have the same level of commitment and passion for the clients as I do. 

What’s the 5-year plan?

Lika Love

My five-year plan definitely involves expanding the styling business. I do a lot of 1-on-1 styling right now and I want to do more. It's a really fun part of the job where we visit people in their homes and do closet clean-outs. We work with the clothes they already have to style new outfits and pair new pieces and really re-imagine their closet.

I also want to get the truck up and going on a regular basis again and open more stores. Portland is definitely on the short list. I want to continue to open stores in communities where we can be a true neighborhood boutique; they know you, you know them. 

What advice do you have for other women who are thinking about opening their own business?

Shopping for earrings

Shopping for earrings

It's really important to not let the naysayers talk you out of what you want to do. You get to create your own experience based on your love and your passion for something. If you don’t try, you’ve already failed. Just chase your dreams and go after it! 

"People kept asking me, 'What are you doing?' and I'd reply, 'Just watch.'"

Is it fun shopping for all the clothes?

Lika Love

Honestly, it’s better to see what I buy on the person who loves it later. I love having someone come in that hates shopping and help them walk out with pieces they feel confident and happy in.  

What are you favorite Seattle spots?

Malika of Lika Love

Well, for food, I love Buddha Ruksa in West Seattle. Roxbury Lanes have the BEST salt and pepper wings  -- they are seriously just crack. I also love to get Chinese foot massages at Two Smiling Feet. Alchemy is great for cocktails. It's this super cool space that is dark and sexy. They do really fun, entertaining craft cocktails that have things like fire and dried ice involved.

Anything else We should know about in the life of Malika? 

Malika and Meghan of @WestSeattleVibes

Malika and Meghan of @WestSeattleVibes

Yes! I have what I am now calling my "side venture," West Seattle Vibes! It's an Instagram account I share with my best girl, Meghan, where we share our love of West Seattle with the world! It is such a good break away from thinking about Lika Love. I've found it is very therapeutic to have another outlet. It started off very casual with a couple Insta Story videos and lately it has gained some traction and become a lot bigger and so much fun! Follow us @westseattlevibes! 

Lika Love
Lika Love

Our Favorite Books Set in the Pacific Northwest

pacific-northwest-books

The Rain or Shine duo are avid readers. And what is better than falling into a good book that is set in a location you are familiar with. It just makes it that much easier to follow the character through their lives. We've compiled our favorite books set in the Pacific Northwest for your reading pleasure! 

Full disclosure: You aren't going to find Twilight on this list. But no judgement, we poured through those books too -- just not on our favorites list. 

Snow Falling on Cedars

Snow Falling on Cedars is part historical fiction, part murder mystery, and part love story. Based right after WWII on an island off the coast of Washington State, you experience the story of the Japanese internment, interracial love, and the culture of small-town America in the 1930s-50s. This amazing, bestselling novel by David Guterson sheds light on the tragic history of the Pacific Northwest during the Second World War and what these events meant in the long-term for many Americans. 

Buy it here.

Where'd You Go Bernadette

This book will make you laugh out loud, which makes sense because Maria Semple, the author, also writes for SNL, Arrested Development, and Ellen. In Where'd You Go Bernadette you hop between the viewpoint of Bernadette, the misunderstood mother, and Bee, Bernadette's incredibly smart and adorable daughter. Things get interesting when Bernadette disappears and Bee must put together the clues to find out where her mother has gone. If you're a Seattleite, you'll also get the added pleasure of many local references! 

Buy it here.

Today Will Be Different

Another hilarious and witty book by Maria Semple (see above) set in Seattle. If you enjoyed Where'd You Go Bernadette, you'll enjoy this too. A well-to-do mother living in Belltown has to battle with her life as it goes off the rails. If you like dark humor and Seattle, you'll enjoy this one (maybe slightly less so than Where'd You Go Bernadette though). 

Buy it here. 

The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

This book takes you back through history as the narrator, Henry Lee, a Chinese-American, discovers a parasol in the basement of the Panama Hotel, a remnant he is sure belonged to someone he knew as a child in Seattle. Readers flashback and get to experience a much different Seattle through Henry's memories. One full of growth and excitement, but also stained with racism. It's a gripping story and you'll find yourself falling in love with Henry as he tells his story. 

Buy it here. 

The Art of Racing in the Rain 

The Art of Racing in the Rain is presented from the viewpoint of a very clever and adorable dog, Enzo. Enzo is the loyal companion of Denny, an up and coming race car driver who seems to be confronted frequently with near-impossible situations (cancer, custody battles, it really isn't a walk in the park). But in between the trials and tribulations there are moments of joy, like in any life. Enzo tells the tale of his owner with compassion and fierce loyalty. Full disclosure: This one might leave you shedding a few tears, especially if you are a sap for dogs. 

Buy it here. 

Beautiful Ruins

This book immediately pulls you into a world that everyone wants to be apart of. Readers spend most of their time being transported between the Italian coast and Hollywood (with some visits to the U.K. and the PNW as well) as a lost-love story emerges. Pasquale is an innkeeper in a 1960s Italian fishing village. Dee Moray is an American actress visiting. Love sparks. And so begins a story that spans 50 years, jumping through decades and keeping you enticed at every page turn. 

Buy it here. 

The Orchardist

This is the story of a quiet orchardist, William Talmadge, who tends orchards in the Pacific Northwest in the early 1900s. William's quiet life is interrupted one day when two pregnant runaways show up on his orchard. As William let's these girls into his life you learn of their troubled past and as the years unfold, you also learn of William's history. This book is full of heart-wrenching moments and isn't what one would consider a "feel good" story, but it's powerful and moving in so many ways it's a must-read for fans of PNW fiction. 

Buy it here. 

Boys in the Boat

This real life underdog tale will not only have you engrossed in the history of the sport of rowing (who knew it was so interesting?!), but also brings you through one of the U.S.'s most trying times as a country, the Great Depression/pre WWII era. The book focuses on the story of Joe Rantz, a teenager who has barely a nickel to his name and makes his way onto the University of Washington rowing team and slowly works his way to greatness. This book transports you back to a Seattle we have only seen photos of and takes you through the ups and downs of a team of men learning about integrity and hard work. 

Buy it here. 

There are so many more than what is just on this list, but these are our recommendations. What are we missing? Let us know in the comments! 

Vancouver Vacation in 48 Hours

Vancouver, B.C. is a beautiful city with a lot to offer. As Seattle locals, we admit to a smallll bias, but even trying to take our own personal thoughts out of the equation, we think Seattle has a small edge on Vancouver in regards to vibe and overall cool factor. Vancouver does have some things we don't, like an Olympic Village, a hockey team, and an accessible beach right downtown. Long story short, it's a sprawling city with much to do and everyone should visit at least once!

If you are looking for a fun weekend away from the U.S. of A., we definitely recommend checking out the chillest city in Canada. Here are our recommendations for 48 hours in Vancouver, B.C. 

The lovely Vancouver skyline

The lovely Vancouver skyline

Friday

Whether you are driving or flying you will need to grab some dinner as soon as you get into town on Friday night. We recommend heading straight to Gastown, a hip and fun neighborhood full of great restaurants, bars, and shopping. Before you grab your dinner go see the famous steam clock on the corner of Cambie and Waters St. It's one of six in the world and every quarter hour it "chimes," shooting steam and whistles. If you aren't hungry yet, explore Gastown's many boutique shops. 

Left: Six Acres is a bar that welcomes you in, Right: Soft Peaks Salted Caramel soft serve

Left: Six Acres is a bar that welcomes you in, Right: Soft Peaks Salted Caramel soft serve

From there we have a few recommendations for dinner. Our favorite would be to walk down Waters St. to Six Acres. This is our favorite spot to take visitors since their menu caters to just about everyone and they have friendly service and a great central spot for people watching. Rodney's Oyster House is great for lovers of seafood and the German in us loves Bauhaus too! If you are looking for something casual, head over to the first brick and mortar location of Tacofino. This spot gained fame in Tofino as a food truck and when they finally set up shop in Vancouver a couple years ago they were welcomed by hoards of lifelong lovers of their fish tacos! 

After dinner go grab some casual dessert at Soft Peaks. Their soft serve ice cream is to die for! 

Saturday 

Alright, rise and shine -- it's going to be a busy day! First stop, Stanley Park. Our favorite way to explore Stanley Park is by bike. Stop by Spokes Bicycle Rentals and pick up your ride for the morning. Take the bike path into the park and either just explore the many trails or head around the sea wall for amazing views of the city, Burrard Inlet, English Bay, and the Lions Gate Bridge. Stanley Park is also home to the Vancouver Aquarium and we highly recommend a trip here. You could spend a whole day here exploring, but for a short weekend trip budget two hours and plan to see the highlights! They have a wonderful program to save orphaned or injured sea life so you can see amazing creatures here including beluga whales, dolphins, and sharks. Oh, and don't forget the otters and penguins, so cute! 

The dolphins getting a quick bite to eat at the Vancouver Aquarium.

The dolphins getting a quick bite to eat at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Lion's Gate Bridge from Stanley Park Seawall

Lion's Gate Bridge from Stanley Park Seawall

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Capilano Suspension Bridge

After Stanley Park head to North Vancouver. It would be great to have a car over here because things are spread out, but you can get around via bus or Uber too. First things first, grab lunch. La Taqueria has the best street tacos in the city. Seriously, order as many as you can eat because they are delicious. From here, head up to your suspension bridge of choice. Most people want to experience Capilano Suspension Bridge - it's huge, it's famous, and it will be crowded. It also costs $40. If you are okay with a slightly smaller suspension bridge we recommend heading to Lynn Canyon. This park has a beautiful suspension bridge that is free to access and much less crowded. 

Grouse Grind

After you are finished swinging in the trees, catch the gondola up Grouse Mountain (you can also hike to the top, but you might hate us after). The ride itself is wonderful and at the top you have tons of options for exploring. In the warm months you'll be greeted with amazing views of the city, lots of hiking trails, and access to zip-lining and paragliding! In the winter this mountain turns into a beautiful ski resort, with good skiing, an ice skating rink, and warm fires to hang with friends. 

After you are done at Grouse Mountain you've earned another delicious meal. Vancouver is known for its Asian cuisine. Don't leave without trying at least some variety. Vij's is Vancouver's premier Indian restaurant and is a can't miss. There is often a wait, but it's worth it for the mouthwatering meats and sauces you'll experience once you're inside. Make sure to order the lamb popsicle side. Another great spot is Dinesty Dumpling House; don't leave without trying their soup dumplings. 

Sunday

Wake up and head to downtown. Twisted Fork is waiting for you with delicious brunch. If you like us at all you'll have the bloody mary and eggs benny, but the ultimate choice is your own. From here there are a few keys spots you still need to hit up to truly experience Vancouver. 

Granville Island Public Market is a wonderful market stuffed full of food, artisan goods, and fresh produce. It's definitely no Pike Place Market, but it's still a fun place to explore and shop! We also recommend a visit to Van Dusen Botanical Gardens. Regardless of the season this is a beautiful public garden to take a stroll through.

Granville Island awaits. Bring an empty stomach!

Granville Island awaits. Bring an empty stomach!

When you're ready to grab lunch walk over to Meat and Bread for a sandwich. This will put you near the waterfront. Vancouver has done a wonderful job of building out an amazing path that let's you walk the length of downtown overlooking the Burrard Inlet. The path juts out and around their stunning convention center and allows you to check out some of the great public art the city has installed. 

There are also two great museums, Museum of Vancouver and Science World. They take some time to explore, so you'll probably have to pick one or the other if your trip is short. Science World would be the obvious choice if you have kids in your group. Museum of Vancouver is great for the history buff. 

If you get through everything on this list, props to you! It will be a busy weekend. Regardless of what pace you move at or how much you see, Vancouver is a bustling, beautiful place and everyone can enjoy it. 

Seasonal things to check on when in town

Sporting Events - Vancouver has three great sports teams. Check their schedules before your trip to see if you can snag tickets. 

Richmond Night Market - This amazing, sprawling market is usually open from May - October in Vancouver's neighboring town Richmond. There are over 200 retail stalls and 500 food stalls. 

Celebration of Light - Each summer Vancouver hosts this international fireworks competition spans three nights and offers some of the best firework displays you've ever seen! 

Summer Festivals and Concerts - The city comes alive in the summer months when the weather is perfect. Check this calendar to see what is going on around the city when you're visiting. 

The Best of Whidbey Island: A Day Trip from Seattle

Did you know that just a short drive north sits the 4th largest and longest island in the continental U.S.? Beyond its size, Whidbey Island is also a place full of beautiful, sprawling beaches, amazing hikes with breathtaking views, and local communities that have more charm then you could imagine. If you hop in the car by 9:00 AM you can have a full day exploring the island's many trails, beaches, and towns. Let us take you through a sample day away from Seattle exploring the wonderful island that is Whidbey! 

First stop, 

La Conner, WA

laconner-washington

This quaint town isn't actually on Whidbey Island, but it's on the way and we promise you'll enjoy the stop over. Get here in the morning and have brunch at Anelia's Kitchen and Stage. They have amazing Polish pancakes and their Bloody Mary Bar is a nice icing on the brunch cake! We love a place that let's you customize! 

The masterpiece we made at Anelia's Kitchen and Stage

The masterpiece we made at Anelia's Kitchen and Stage

Walk off that big breakfast with a stroll down First Street. There are so many wonderful antique stores, art galleries, and local gift and craft shops to visit you could spend an entire afternoon here. If you are limited on time we recommend checking out a few of these extra special places.

Handmade La Conner is a wonderful store with a variety of goodies including our absolute favorite lotions and soaps! If you need a gift for someone, odds are you'll find something for them here, and most likely a thing or two for yourself as well! 

handmade-la-conner
handmade-la-conner
bath salts handmade la conner

We are always a sucker for local bookstores and La Conner has a great little gem: Seaport Books. Go in for a variety of PNW authors and books along with some of the popular fiction and children's offerings. 

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la-conner-brewery

La Conner also has a great brewery! Stop in and try their wheat beer (our favorite) for a refreshing drink after your shopping or have a beer at one of the many riverfront restaurants and watch the boats drive by! 

Alright, now onto Whidbey!

Deception Pass State Park 

deception pass bridge

Hop back in the car and head north, through Anacortes and onto Whidbey Island. Your first stop is going to be Deception Pass State Park where the famous Deception Pass Bridge awaits you! 

There are several spots to explore in the park. Rosario Beach is a great place for easy hikes along the water or playing on the beach. There are some spots for BBQing, which also feature nice, clean restrooms. If you have a kayak or paddle board it's easy to launch from here for a nice paddle. 

Goose Rock is a nice 4 mile (round trip) hike, including some waterfront trails and rewarding views at the end. Everyone should also hop out and hike around Deception Pass Bridge. You'll want to get some photos or at least take in the sprawling structure! The many trails around it make it easy to see from every angle.

rosario beach
rosario beach

Ebey Landing 

Ebey Landing will make you feel like you're in the middle of nowhere, which is precisely why we love to go. Once you park in the small parking lot off Ebey Landing Road you have two choices, stroll the beach or head over to the trail along the bluff.

The Bluff Trail is a steady climb and is good for most skill levels. As you walk farther and farther away from what little civilization is behind you, you get expansive views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. 

ebey landing

After you've had your fair share of exploring the beautiful state parks on Whidbey, head to Coupeville for some grub.

Coupeville, WA

Situated on Penn Cove, Coupeville is known for their wonderful Penn Cove Mussells. We love Front St. Grill for their amazing menu and stunning view of Penn Cove. Get their signature coconut green curry mussels over linguine for an authentic Coupeville dish! Toby's Tavern and Mosquito Fleet Chili are also casual (and great) spots for delicious local fare. 

coupeville
coupeville

Wineries of Whidbey

If you prefer sipping wine more than hiking, Spoiled Dog Winery and Comforts of Whidbey are both amazing spots to check out near Langley, WA. They both close at 5:00 PM though, so you might want to also plan on dinner in Langley if you opt for this version of the day. Don't worry, there are a lot of delicious places to get mussels there too! 

Clinton - Mukilteo Ferry 

Now that the sun is starting to dip lower in the sky it's time to head south to catch the Clinton to Mukilteo ferry back to the mainland. If you still have some daylight left when you arrive in Mukilteo, the beautiful Mukilteo Light Station and Lighthouse Park is to the right of the ferry terminal as you dock and is a nice place to watch the sunset. 

It's a lot to cram in, but we promise it will be a day to remember, rain or shine. Happy exploring! 

mukilteo-ferry
mukilteo washington