Minimalist Dreams: Taking Inspiration from Totokaelo

I have always admired minimalist designs. Weather it is fashion, interior, or life in general –  I feel that there is so much discipline involved in letting go. Totokealo shows us how to do it.

This week I found the ultimate minimalist inspiration in fashion and design emporium Totokaelo – (pronounced Toh-toh-KYE-oh). A local institution of Seattle’s art scene, CEO Jill Wenger puts the spotlight on the best of the best independent local artists and designers  into an elegant and beautiful avenue both online or offline.

This cultural landmark occupies a large storefront on Capitol Hill that truly showcases their aesthetic. I’ve seen the pictures, and it truly is a minimalist dream.

Every girl who aspires to create a beautiful minimalist work environment should take notes from this amazing design influencer. Here are some tips inspired by Totokaelo.

1. Assign a space. While it is tempting to just work anywhere, you’ll be surprised at the productivity and creativity that having your own space can bring you. When the company was starting out, its employees would work anywhere they can, and Jill recalls that the move into an assigned work space was “less about brand evolution and more about gaining much-needed thinking space.”

2. Space is very important. Let go of as much as you can and organize what’s left wisely. The Totokaelo office is a minimalist wonder, with lots of airy space that encourages imagination. “The buildout was simple,” says Jill, “we were handed an empty shell.”

3. The details matter. You will see that their office may have an empty template kind of feel, however, small items and accessories on the tables gives character without overwhelming the overall aesthetic.

4. Don’t just dress up, dress smart. Creating a minimalist lifestyle extends beyond the work space. While you can work in just whatever you want to wear, dressing smart will make you feel smart. Dressing up doesn’t take too much of your time and effort.


5. In creating a minimalist space, what’s most important is the idea of prioritization. As Jill explains in her interview when asked what she thinks “less is more” means, she explains:  “Make smart and informed choices. Resist passing urges for something more lasting.”


I recently read that “Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.” If we are able to let go of things that we don’t need, and if we are truly able to free ourselves of excessiveness, we can focus on what’s important, and leave more space for bigger and better possibilities.

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Recommended reading:   [amazon template=product&asin=0615648223]

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.