Akiko Eisner-Waters or Kiko, as she prefers to be called, is the phenomenal creator of Cura, a lifestyle brand where impeccable design and conscious consumerism is not an either-or choice.
Entering her recently opened gallery in Central District, Seattle, feels like stepping into Kiko’s home, into her actual lifestyle. Gorgeously curated accessories, home goods, garments, and beauty products are displayed throughout the space, all embraced by the stunning art of Michelle Robinson, showcased on the walls for everyone to enjoy.
Eisner-Water’s love and eye for design are tangible in each detail, and it immediately becomes clear that she’s far from new at this.
In truth, Kiko spent years in the corporate world as design director at a major fashion brand, never contemplating once the possibility of going out on her own. She recalls the decision of leaving her job, as a shock to her system. “It was very sudden, and I definitely had to pick up the pieces in terms of my identity. I thought I’d just take a break and go back to the corporate life at some point.” But that day never came, and although she had no idea at the time, her departure marked a fresh beginning, one that would bring her a newfound sense of fulfillment.
A few months after leaving her job, Kiko took a short holiday trip to Chacala, Mexico, the place where the unexpected ‘aha’ moment for Cura arose. “It was a profound moment I’ll never forget,” she said with an expression of bliss. “I was walking through the town, and I saw a few wall hangings that I thought were absolutely gorgeous. For some reason, these particular weavings just really struck a chord with me. I instantly felt that I had to know more, Who had made them? Where were they from? I started asking around and quickly found out they where a commercialization of sacred weavings made by the Huichol people of the Sierra Madre mountains.” She learned the weavings portrayed an ‘Ojo de Dios’ a God’s Eye, and from that moment of fascination, the whole path to Cura began unraveling.
“Within an hour, I continued walking down the road and saw a lovely, idyllic school. Someone on a balcony across the street, said it was a Montessori Waldorf School, and on the spot, I asked my husband, and son –who was eight back then- ‘What would you think…