Store Spotlight: Satisfy Your Globetrotting Fix at This New Downtown Boutique
Passport not necessary.
Photo: Aaron Yoshino
Considering Echo + Atlas’ wanderlust-inducing assortment, the newly opened lifestyle boutique’s name is spot on. “Both are Greek gods,” says proprietor Julianne McGee (above). “Atlas is the traveler and Echo is the girl who fell in love with her own voice. I imagine that these are her things from around the world.”
The idea of owning a store had long been brewing in New Orleans-born, Waimea-raised McGee, who left behind her fine art and photography studies for sales and merchandising gigs with Free People and Anthropologie, and a three-year stint with L.A. retail designer Danny Gonzales.
It was Gonzales who helped McGee shape Echo + Atlas’ aesthetic, a charming blend of modern and organic, minimal and rustic. Large picture windows, dressed with indigo-dyed curtains and sculptural paper lanterns, spill in light from bordering North Hotel Street and Nu‘uanu Avenue. A tan cowhide rug featuring shaved geometric patterns by local artist Andrew Mau adorns a wall while colorful Brooklyn-made kites hang from the ceiling. “I like them as decorative objects,” says McGee.
The shop’s eclectic assortment has all the feel of a globetrotter’s treasure trove. On the shelves: ornate jewelry tins from Morocco, locally made Amelia Samarai twine baskets in ombré hues and Japan-designed compostable bamboo dishware. Wall-mounted copper piping holds rows of delicate lace dresses from Venice. And, a table at the shop’s center hosts giant straw Balinese-style food covers and gilded vintage stemware hand-picked from Kentucky antique barns.
Each item is as delightfully unexpected as the next, a reflection of McGee’s own affinity for travel and the findings it brings. “I just love that sense of discovery,” she says.
Echo + Atlas, 1 N. Hotel St., 536-7435.