January 2019 eNews

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Seattle, WA

A Banner Year!

The year 2018 was full of introspection, growth, and accomplishment for Beacon Business Alliance and the community we serve. 

We transitioned our name and brand from “Beacon Hill Merchants Association” to Beacon Business Alliance, physically and visually marking the amazing process we went through last year to get to the heart of our work and our renewed commitment to serving the Beacon Hill Community. And there’s so much more! 

Here’s a snapshot:

Annual Rendezvous 2018

What an amazing night!

We had a great turn out for the Annual Rendezvous and presented to members, guests, potential members, and future board member prospects exciting updates and 2018 initiatives, projects, events, and successes. Plus, we talked 2019 projects and priorities. We toasted beverages, shared tasty appetizers and stories, made new friends, and connected with old ones.

Carlos Nieto performs at BBA’s Annual Rendezvous on 12/15/18 at Perihelion Brewery (image credit: Jessie McKenna)

Incredible local performers graced the stage with beautiful music and poetry. Chris LeVaughn’s voice filled the room like a slow fog on a winter morning. Carlos Nieto moved us deeply with his words. And Red Heart Alarm gave us a toe-tapping good time.

If you’re considering becoming a member or you missed the annual meeting, read on for highlights.

New Name and Brand!

We’re now officially Beacon Business Alliance! Watch for our new name and logo on communications and marketing materials.

“Brand Gravity” w/ Milepost 59

Local agency, Milepost 59, led us through Brand Gravity, a process of introspection, brainstorming, and forecasting for what we hope will be our most rewarding year yet as an organization. They helped us define, refine, and prioritize our vision and goals for 2019 and beyond.

Read more about it here.

Shop Seattle Gems

Did you come out for our first ever Small Business Saturday event? We engaged in a month-long virtual campaign leading up to the Shop Seattle Gems event on November 24th. The event celebrated Beacon Hill small businesses with and without brick and mortar storefronts. It was a first in what we hope will be an annual shop small event on the hill that encourages shopping locally all year long. Let us know what you think: Check out Shop Seattle Gems highlights in the post-event video, created by Immersive Square, who also hosted virtual reality at the festival. Additional photos by Outside Thinc, Mark Hensey (photographer—and manager of Victrola on Beacon Hill!) and BBA staff.

Shop Seattle Gems, cont…

Read more about the event, our partners and contributors, here. (See more event pictures here.)

The Garland Project

For the fourth year running, we decked Beacon Hill storefronts with gorgeous garlands. We’ve had positive feedback on this fundraising project and we so appreciate the participation from Beacon Hill businesses. What a beautiful symbol of neighborhood unity. Until next year!

Public Art & Wayfinding Projects

In November, we installed five brightly-colored signal box wraps at Beacon Hill intersections that incorporate the Common Threads: Community Patterns motifs of the Carl Smool art installation at Beacon Hill’s Link light rail station. On the narrow sides of the signal boxes, a map depicts the neighborhood from the north end of Jefferson Park to S. Bayview St. and is dotted with landmarks (it also shows you where you are on the map!). This project is one of multiple efforts to unify and beautify the north Beacon walking district—helping people enjoy all the neighborhood has to offer, making the area more walkable and easier to navigate. The signal box wraps come in on the heels of the wayfinding signs (red poles with blue signage) we installed in 2017 and precede the “Welcome to Beacon Hill” signs we are working on for 2019.

Small Business Outreach & Promotion

As part of the planning and preparation for Shop Seattle Gems, we reached out to over 40 business owners and their staff on north Beacon Hill—most of whom we were able to connect with in person—and created a walking map to highlight the dozens of shops along the north Beacon business corridor. Beacon Hill businesses were highlighted in numerous promotional materials for the event. It was a treat to see Beacon Hill getting well-deserved, city-wide love!

Speaking of Outreach…

We’ve been proactive in developing relationships with existing and incoming Beacon Hill commercial property owners and builders. We communicate important aspects of the neighborhood plan and bring perspective from small businesses and community that will be affected by new development coming to the hill. We will continue to deepen those relationships in 2019 through facilitated discussions of equitability, displacement, access, community safety and more. Look for opportunities to engage in our next newsletter.

(Image: The Denning apartment homes and retail; photo by Maddy Porter, Daily Journal of Commerce)


A Growing Board

We have two new board members this year, Miguel Maestas (Associate Director of El Centro de la Raza) and Kelly Somerfield (Co-owner of Ten Penny Studio). Your votes ensured their commitment to the board going into 2019. Thank you! In 2019 we hope to fill open positions—Beacon Hill business owners, property owners, and folks with an interest and expertise in organizational and/or equitable economic development, we need your diverse viewpoints, ideas, and creativity! Contact Angela Castañeda to learn more about opportunities to engage with BBA.

Business District Services

In 2018, we continued to facilitate graffiti removal with Graffiti Busters to help local business and property owners swiftly remove tagging that mars signage and store front facades. We also brought flower pots to Beacon Avenue. They hang from our vintage red lamp posts. Keep an eye out for additional pots and plantings this spring. We initiated conversations with Adopt-A-Street surrounding creating a volunteer-pick-up supported by the business community.

Did you know?

Our favorite graffiti removal company, Graffiti Busters, offers more than just graffiti removal services, they also do pressure washing, awning cleaning, and more. What’s more, members of the BBA get a discount! Email us for details and to get hooked up.

Nikos Gyros Now Open!

Niko’s Gyros, a Magnolia staple of over 20 years comes to Beacon Hill, bringing authentic Greek cuisine that’s “well-priced”—says one Beacon Hill resident on Facebook—to our lovely neighborhood, adding to the mixed bag of culture and restaurant variety on the hill. Says owner, Alexandra Serpanos, about the business and new venture on Beacon—“We’re a family run business that has been serving Seattle gyros since 1996. After 22 years, my son Niko thought it was time to branch out and expand. We fell in love with the spot and location and hope to serve this wonderful community.” This three-generation family business will fit right in, and we welcome them! Find Niko’s on McClellan between Beacon Ave & 17 Ave S. (ground floor of The Denning, former location of Cafe Bengodi).
  Find upcoming community events by using the following resources:


For people who love Beacon Hill’s ethnic, social, and economic diversity, Beacon Business Alliance promotes the neighborhood, connects stakeholders, and more.


Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved.


Shop Small Saturday 2018

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Seattle, WA

♦ Shop Seattle Gems 2018 ♦

Jessie McKenna poses with some of our amazing Shop Seattle Gems volunteers (Image Credit: Seattle’s Office of Economic Development)

On Shop Small Saturday, Beacon Business Alliance Hosted the Shop Seattle Gems Pop-Up Festival on Beacon Hill—and Had a Spectacular Time Celebrating Small Business!



Beacon Hill showed up to celebrate South Seattle “Gems” on Small Business Saturday, November 24, 2018, braving the fall chill and skies threatening rain. From 11 AM to 5 PM on Roberto Maestas Festival Street and Plaza Roberto Maestas (adjacent to Beacon Hill’s Link light rail station), the Beacon Hill community and visitors enjoyed a live soundtrack spun by DJ WD4D while they visited with local merchants and shopped for everything from herbal tea and bath salts to cozy hand-knit wool hats to original art and prints by local artists.

All the while, Crick Lont (aka Dozer) laid brightly-colored paint through stencils on canvas for all to see, graciously talking to onlookers and passersby about his techniques.

Hyper-local food vendors served up hot hand-made pizzas, BBQ, tamales, tacos, tortas, hot dogs, hot cider, and more. Jing Dai of Immersive Square, with the help of Adriana Guiman, shared a tent with Seattle Department of Transportation, collaborating on a plan to put community art at the intersection of Beacon Ave S. and S. Lander St, adjacent to the festival, allowing event-goers to use virtual reality to “spray paint” on various surfaces and print and save their creations for possible inclusion in the final project.

Alongside the pop-up festival was a “Gem Hunt” where folx searched Beacon Hill businesses along the north Beacon walking district for “gems” and won prizes when they found them. Luck for gem hunters, everyone who participated found Beacon Hill gems just by visiting the small businesses that make our community unique!

Prize winners of the Gem Hunt and a Beacon Business Alliance (BBA) raffle took home gift certificates, large and small, for local businesses as well as locally-sourced goods and small business swag.

Local youth and adult volunteers generously gave their time and energy from set up to tear down to make this event go off without a hitch—and we’re so, so grateful (plus we made so many new friends!).

Leading up to the physical Beacon Hill event, Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, BBA (that’s us!), Story 2 Designs, Outside thinc, and Indie Genius Media promoted shopping small/local in a massive collaborative online effort that was the overarching ‘Shop Seattle Gems’ campaign. The campaign included: trivia and an online photo contest on social media and the release of multiple videos spotlighting neighborhoods—and their well- and lesser-known small businesses—through local celebrity influencers like Sassy Black and Chef Tarik Abdullah who were filmed walking around their favorite Seattle neighborhood shopping districts while they talked about the places they love.

Check out this awesome photo album we created out of all the great pics taken at the festival!



Shop Small Gems Pop-Up Festival
on Beacon Hill – 
Nov. 24, 2018

Produced by Beacon Business Alliance
Beacon Hill Merchants)


Shaka Snipes, Jessie McKenna, Angela Castañeda,
Tamara Vining, and Adi Maxwell


Little Wanderer Knits

Simone Dawson

Avenue South

Arte Colorido

Concuss Creations / Rob Castro

Outsider Pizza

Low on the Hog

Sabor Delicioso

Tamale Torpedo

The following Beacon Hill “gems” contributed (or generously offered to contribute)—items toward prizes and food/drink for our volunteers and by selling us items at or below cost, and more—to support Shop Seattle Gems. We’re so grateful for and truly heartened by this massive community effort!

Day Moon PressRobyn Padlan Hair SalonDarius X StudioLa Esperanza Mercado y CarniceriaCarnitas MichoacanTravelers Thali HouseBaja BistroEstelita’s LibraryEl Quetzal Bar & LoungeThe Station coffee shopOutsider PizzaHello BicyclePerihelion BreweryRed Apple MarketAgabi Inc. (inside Shell Station), Tippe & Drague AlehouseTacos ChukisSeattle Credit UnionCheBogz (Kusina Filipina family food truck!), and a Sheló NABEL merchant popped up on the Plaza for the festival too. What a turn out of local small business!

…and countless community volunteers came out to help! You all ROCK and we couldn’t have done it without you! THANK YOU!!!


Acknowledgements & Contributors:


We’re so proud of and grateful for the many people and organizations that made all of this possible, we created a separate page just to honor them. 

Promotion Campaign Partners

Story 2 Designs
Special thanks to Roxanne Franck & Xio Lugo for their hands-on, and tireless contributions
OutSide thinc
Special thanks to the on-site photographers!
Mujale Chisebuka, Matinn Miller, Liyah Washington,
& Jovony Handy Sr.
Indie Genius Media
Special thanks to Jamil Suleman for his creative direction on our 
gorgeous videos 


City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development
Special thanks to Wynn Barnard, Laura Bet, Michael Wells,
Joe Mirabella, & Mikel Davila
American Express
Special thanks to Jason Lalak, Small Business Saturday Coalition
Milepost 59

…and a big thanks to our north Beacon Hill businesses who opened their doors
to inquisitive gem hunters during the event!




For people who love Beacon Hill’s ethnic, social, and economic diversity, Beacon Business Alliance promotes the neighborhood, connects stakeholders, and more.


Copyright © 2023. All rights reserved.