One of the best things about creating the Galactic Boutique is the opportunity to feature the work of awesome urban crafters of home decor, fashion and art from around the planet. As an independent artist myself, I think it’s vital to promote all the talent and awesome-ness this world has to offer. One of the artists/designer I have encountered in my space travels is Jacob Vaughn Gushue, who makes sexy leather fashion accessories thru his line PROJECT TRANSACTION. Boston born Jacob, 28, has studied numerous facets of the arts: showing indie films at Flaming Film Festival, poster designs at Paper Politics, and multi-media work for Homo-A-Gogo. I recently had the honor of sitting down with this handsome young man to talk about life, love, and the pursuit of hot, hard-core leather:
GB: HOW’D YOU GET STARTED?
JACOB: I started screen printing when I was 14 because none of the bands that I was into had t-shirts. After completing 4 years at MassArt with a focus on photo, film, and video, I promptly got a screen printing job and returned to my love of printmaking. The leatherwork started as a gift making idea but I quickly realized that I lacked the know-how of a Leather Master. Once I had a handle on that I started combining leatherwork with screen printing and Project Transaction was born.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
A veterinarian, a rock star, or an artist. Mostly because I was under the public school impression that Pirates were a thing of the past.
Hot Topic at a suburban mall, which was by far the best option for where I grew up.
WHAT’S YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
I tend to work best as a lone wolf, scribbling notes and sketching away crazily until I find that Eureka! moment of divine inspiration.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CREATIVE APPLIANCE?
A nice heavy Canon AE-1 35mm SLR film camera.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST THING YOU MADE?
This is a toss up between a green faced Santa head Xmas tree ornament affectionately referred to as “the clunker” by my parents until this very day, and a 7 year old’s zine project titled “French Fries.”
WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR NEXT PROJECT TO BE?
The next big idea is a line of handbags with custom in-house designed screen printed patterns. Watch out, Louis Vuitton.
IF YOUR HOUSE WAS ON FIRE WHAT WOULD YOU GRAB FIRST?
My girlfriend, my dog, my pot, and my grandmother’s collection of family photos.
WHAT FAMOUS PERSON IN HISTORY WOULD YOU: SPLIT A 6 PACK WITH?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SWEAR WORD?
Definitely Fuck. It’s SO versatile!
WHAT ASTROLOGICAL SIGN ARE YOU AND DO YOU FIT THE DESCRIPTION OF IT?
Aries on the Pisces cusp. I don’t speak Astrology yet. (sorry California!)
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF 5 YEARS FROM NOW.... 10 YEARS?
Yikes! 5 year plan is to have an affordable apartment with a yard, porch, and more dogs. Also a storefront. And a beard.
In 10 years I hope to be well off, pampered, and smiling.
WHAT DID YOU DO LAST NIGHT?
Worked until 9 pm then made a low carb but delicious dinner and watched reruns of 30 Rock with my girlfriend.
WHAT’S FOR DINNER?
Whatever it is, I guarantee it’ll be delicious. I’m a total foodie.
NIGHT OWL OR EARLY BIRD?
LAST MOVIE YOU SAW?
Haha! Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice. It’s a late 60’s swingers movie.
DRINK OF CHOICE?
Water, coffee, diet coke, dark beer. In that order.
HARDEST THING ABOUT MAKING A LIVING IN THE CREATIVE WORLD?
Hustling for every damn dollar.
PROJECT TRANSACTION was created in August 2006, Over time it evolved to become what it is today: a unique combination of custom screen printed and handmade leatherwork. Jacob single-handedly designs and hand-crafts each item with careful attention to detail, and in the most earth friendly way possible. TransAction is currently based in San Francisco, CA where he toils away making plans to (responsibly) take over the world. Check out his designs in our Fashion Department!
Posted By Karl
I’m not gonna lie, I miss having the galactic boutique store sooo much. It wasn’t so much the working for myself, doing whatever I wanted to do, making my own money and giving the “man” the finger, running things my way.... those are really awesome perks. I still struggle saying the term “I” as opposed to “we” when it comes to the Galactic Boutique. It’s not really “my” business it’s A business. It has Its own identity (which mainly comes from my dazzling personality and style hahah).
But the saddest thing is that I don’t have such an immediate outlet for my creativity and the creativity of the talented artist and designers that I’ve meet and have yet to meet in the world.
Thank god I still have the website. It allows me to make “digital window” displays, gallery shows, and same energy of the first store front.
My life is still first and foremost the Galactic boutique (despite my technical occupation of a retail whore). The latter annoyingly takes up most of my time and frustration but I still manage to bang out some new work. The blogs and email updates are where I currently slack on. But with blog, I would like to say that I’m not indeed down for the count. I will always be all about the Galactic Boutique, all about modern design, fashion, and art.... always about the future . . .
ps… stay tuned! I just moved to san francisco and am redoing my apartment. It’s gonna be off the shizzle (as in… my nizzle)
Posted By Karl
Okay okay.... I know it’s been a LONG time since I’ve updated our blog. For those of you that don’t know, our Seattle store has closed . The Galactic Boutique opened it’s doors on March 1st 2006. It was the most exciting thing I’ve ever done in my life. To have my dream realized and tangible is such a crazy feeling. I remember our first sale was a postcard for 2.95. So small yet sooo huge. The most exciting thing was to see the store grow. We started out with a handful of items that I made only with one outside vendor as well as one jewelry cosigner. At the end of the store’s 3 year run, we had added more than more than 20 vendors, and over 35 independent artist / designers. We still held true to the themes of the store as the inventory grew: Asian Underground, Rainbow Brite, Retro Classique, and Asian Underground. Just check out these crazy before and afters:
It has taken quit a while to get back on my feet. You’d think that opening and setting up the store was hard work. But tying up all the loose ends was just as if not more stressful. It was soo worth it though. Although this chapter of The Galactic Boutique has closed, I hope you will agree with me that it is far too a great concept to just go away. So you might be wondering: what is next for the Galactic Boutique’s future? (that makes 2 of us… haha)
We are concentrating our powers 100% on our website and have packed this new season with more hotness. We are focusing our attention to the amazing talents of more sexy independent designers. Check out our NEW INDIE DESIGNER MATRIX!
So since the first chapter of the Galactic Boutique was ended, just you WAIT for what the future will hold for us!!!!
Galactic Boutique Owner
Posted By Karl
Incase you missed out on the excitement and pleasure that was to be had at the EXTRAVAGNA DE EROTIC, we finally got the pictures back from super photographer ERIK FRIEND! The event was the CRAZY-est we’ve ever had here: wall to wall people, spilling drinks everywhere, displays being knocked over… it was awesome.
The evening started off with a few glitches. I’ve never planned / executed a fashion show and it was a lot of work. I luckily found a sexy bunch of babes to show of our selected sexy fashion. A big thank you to SUMMER, JESS, SIDNEY, and KENDRA. During the rehearsal, we had a to close the store, cuz we couldn’t have customers coming in and seeing all the boobs and other random nakedness that comes with a crazy dress rehearsal. But we quickly got our plan down and then opened the store back up to the eager line of patrons waiting outside the windy October weather (the line was actually 3 people… but STILL it was a line).
Soon after, the store began to fill with customers and friends of the artist, MICHELLE CALIA, who’s art was displayed to kick off this Erotique Extravaganza. Her art consists of burlesque and pin up style charactures with various themes. For this show she unleashed: “Carnival”, “Dinner Girls,” and “The Stars Are”. They were well received (my favorite is Sapphire).
It was almost time for the fashion show, so I prep the deep house music (which I love to use while I pretend swish thru the streets and gay clubs of Seattle). I dart back to the dressing room while the models are frantically trying to figure out who’s corset is who’s and what panties to wear with what top.
“Tonight is a civilized event” I sarcastically say with a lectured tone. “That means no drugs, tripping each other on the runway, and no cat-fights.. until I go get my camera out, cuz that shit is SOOO funny to document”. We all laughed and then got into position. I cleverly rigged up a pink polyester curtain to open by way of rope and pulley system so as the models stepped out (back lit with fluorescent light, of course), I would pull the string and the curtains would magically open as the models descended the runway.
I am so grateful for all the fashion designers who worked their asses off to get their work ready for the show:
- Nicole Rae Styer: We featured her awesome corsets. She takes one of a kind apparel and adds all kinds of beauty and wonder to them by way of sequins, doilies, ribbon, yarn, and just about every other craft accessory imaginable. The corsets are my personal favorite since they are already sexy and not usually scene as street fashion… but they are slowly making a comeback.
- Cute Can Kill: Mastermind behind this up and coming fashion label is Carly DeGraeve. She was able to bust out 3 new panty designs. Imagine you are at a cotton-candy circus with rainbows, glitter unicorns and wood sprites in naughty costumes and you basically get the idea of her style.
- Derriere: Seattle based babes Kristie and Jessica fashioned a slue of new work for the show. Among one of the favorites was a panty / bra combo made of mint-aqua jersey and pink zebra print accents. AWESOME
Shortly after the fashion show, it was time for the burlesque dance numbers. First to perform? Sweet-heart and candy “stripper”, BUNNY MONROE. Her strawberry milkshake brought all the boyz to the yard (she could teach you… but she’d have to charge).
Up next: Miss Lucky Penny dazzled us with here exotic dance complete with pink parasol, luxurious mink shall, and over the top feather fans. And since both performances were in the window, he street was packed with on-lookers… not expecting to see pasties and tassels on their way to get pasta and topenade at the popular Italian restaurant next door.
As the night went on (and as I got drunker and drunker) it was clear that everyone was blown away but the events of the night. It is my dream that ALL our events at the store would be this crazy. Who knows… next time YOU might be able to make it.
* A great big thank you to Erik Friend - ShutterBANG.com, our photographer for the event. For booking and price info you can reach him at . You can see all the pictures at: http://shutterbang.com/clients/081004-extravaganzadeerotique/
Posted By Karl
We are really excited about our new ART JAM that we are having. Every thursday from 7 - 9pm, we are opening up the Gallery to have art classes. I didn’t know why I didn’t think of this before! I have my BA in drawing and painting (and if you have seen my work) you’d know that I know my way around an art studio.... especially one that’s filled with hot guys, house music, and a full bar. Which is what the ART JAM is all about. Making art, learning about different techniques and concepts in a chill atmosphere. This thursday marks the first one ever so we’ll see how the evening flows. There will be a still life set up and I will be there to challenge minds, answer questions and serve drinks!!!! Hope to see you there.
Posted By Karl
A professor once told me that my work has the unique quality that there is no artist’s foot print. “It’s like you’d would never know who painted it… there’s no identity of the execution that you could link to the artist… there is only the image.” I still can’t tell if that is a positive statement or negative. I have also struggled with my own identity, wonder who I am, how I should think and feel, what the hell I should be doing with my life, etc. Some times I feel I have none. I walk around empty. Sad. And not knowing I should be doing or why I am here. But I just don’t want to paint cliche images of sadness and depression . . .
I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been struggling with my “artist’s voice” for some time now. I mean… I haven’t painted in over a YEAR! The previous images I’ve been making have been inspired by aspects that I thought were deserving to but put on canvas: nice lighting, strong composition, hot guys, sexy lips.g dicks… I haven’t even titled my work until now. I still want the viewer to assign their own meaning or feeling to the image. But I think It is my responsibility to say something more with my work, or portray more particular feelings or themes, while retaining the dazzling mystery and ambiguity.
It’s my hope that this new collection of work features this shift in displaying more particular emotion due to an increase combination of facial expression, composition splices, and of course my patented “extreme cropping”.
Posted By Karl
My First Experience with Pantie Hose:
Despite what you might think, being a gay man, I have only been in full DRAG once in my life. I was in high school starring as Dorthy Dinsmore in a dinner theater / murder mystery (for church… if you can believe it). But other than that, i haven’t had time (or the money) to buy fancy sequin gowns and 9 inch stilettos. But i was able to revisit the magic of PANTIE HOSE for this current window display!
I wanted to feature our new Corset collection from NRS (Nicole Rae Styer). But this particular corset featured sexy garters. So I was really excited to have to buy leggings for this display. I settled on hot pink panty hose that i cut and converted to slutty thigh-high stockings to show off the garters. But have you ever dressed a mannequin in panty hose? I harder than it sounds. I guess I’m glad that I have still retained some pit of masculinity, as I noticed to huge “runs” in each stocking after the display was finished. Oh well… it adds to it’s “edgy” urban feel!
Posted By Karl
i love these long time
Posted By Karl
I may not be a vegetarian, but I do believe in taking care of the planet. I recycle when I can, try to drive small cars so I don’t take up too much space, try to be as resourceful as I can when making new designs. On a business perspective, I try to do my part as well. I try to order from vendors that don’t use Styrofoam or none-recyclable / bio-degradable packaging. (I even have a big-ass bag of Styrofoam that I use to make holiday decorations). Lots of our fashion is made from recycled fabrics. I didn’t even realize this, but our store is vegan: from the vinyl belts right down to the vegan lip gloss. No animal parts appear in our store. (I just thought I’d share that little tidbit.)
But thankfully there is a growing trend in Eco-friendly production and design. And that is probably why I am SUPER excited about the new line of items we have brought in at the store.... for your Earth-saving, decorating pleasure. We have three new items in particular that exemplify this growing (and smart) trend of the Eco-friendly or GREEN home:
I love love love these. Not only is it visually stunning on a design standpoint, but they are made of 100% recycled cardboard and they don’t even involve the killing of any animals what so ever. Each piece is laser cut and numbered so you can easily assemble it your self. And the price points are very reasonable. The large one is HELLA BIG and makes an awesome impact.
These are rechargeable lights that don’t eat up batteries or create waste like smoke and wax from “normal” candles. They last for 8 hours and cast the same romantic ambient light that a candle would. Great to use as night lights !!! My favorite is the SLUG shape. So cute!!
These are awesome. I was actually unpacking them on the sales floor and when I went to grab “MY” coffee I couldn’t tell which one was mine!!! It’s a ceramic coffee cup with a silicone lid. You can use it over and over with out piling up public garbage cans with a bazillion empty Starbucks coffee cups.
So… I don’t want to turn into Reverend Recycle on ya’. I just think we should be more thoughtful in our consumer buying when it comes to the global environment. There are many other ways you can save the world while accessorizing your home. Try to stay away from buying furniture made of Oak or other trees that take FOREVER to grow back. Use Mango Wood or Bamboo instead.
Did you know that bamboo is technically a grass? It is the worlds most renewable plant and is used in every facet of humanity. There are even clothes made of bamboo. Another interesting thing that you probably don’t care about, is that mango trees only produce fruit once? After the trees are “spent” they are cut down and used to build a variety of eco-friendly furniture. Resourcefulness should be the spice of life.
I just gave you 2 new wrinkles in your brain ! (you can thank me later)
This is Karl, signing off.
Posted By Karl
WHY IS YOUR STORE PINK?
A few days back, I was chatting with my friend (and love of my life), Dan, when he asked me:
“Karl.. why is your store so pink?”
“Well Dan” I start to reveal to him. “A long time ago, in a gallery far far away, a young gay boy was roaming thru a design store and kept seeing all this brown, beige and baby-diarrhea colored furniture. Even the fixtures and architecture of the store was also boring and colorless. Many retailers choose neutral colors as to not detract from their product or service. But at the Galactic Boutique, we say “BULLSHIT!” Life is about experience and energy. We want you to feel excited by what you see at our store and what better way having our store esthetic and color identity blow yer skirt up other than making everything cotton candy pink?
Dan’s question is a valid observation, as our main store front features a bright pink stage for window displays. We also use the color pink freely as a testament to our excitement about color (also… it makes the store a little bit Gay). As being a young Gay entrepreneur, I feel it’s important to be a visible part of the community as to inspire other minorities to hold on to their dreams. Plus the shade of pink we chose for our store’s “branding” and identity is very eye-catching. And you know how I LOVE to be noticed and be the center of attention.
However, we are still in the position of catering to a variety of customers. And not all of them like pink. So there is a large range of color through out the store… however we have kept the tone as bright and cheery as possible. Come in and see for yourself! About 90% of our customers have been lured into the store just because it stands out against the typical gloom of Seattle rainy days (which only last from about August to May… )
It’s like a breath of fresh air”, a customer exclaimed “It’s like walking into heaven”.
I smile and think to myself “my work is done”!