Totokaelo (TOH-toh-KYE-oh) derives its name from the Latin phrase "toto caelo", meaning "reaching to the edge of the stars." What began in 2003 as a small boutique in Seattle, Totokaelo.com was launched by owner Jill Wenger in June 2008. According to the website, Totokaelo serves two purposes: SHOP and TALK.
SHOP: Its purpose is to source the strongest artists and thinkers in the fashion world today, editing the collections they carry to represent their aesthetic, always choosing pieces that are timeless, versatile, and well crafted.
TALK: They encourage the free exchange of information through a private community of like-minded individuals. Through Totokaelo.com, community members have access to women who share an interest in the same designers.
We love this idea as much as we love the look and feel of the website itself.
The site is very simple, clean, and shows off the clothes well. Product pages have multiple views of each piece, relevant measurement details, the size the model is wearing, and the measurements / usual sizes of the model. The "Comments and Questions" section is displayed right there on the page with no need to click through to see it, and has information about the items that members have shared.
We're also loving the community aspect of the website. You can actually create a member profile, and members can interact with each other both within and outside of the website. Members come from all over, including internationally, with perhaps a little less than half hailing from the boutique's home base of Seattle.
Finally, Totokaelo makes sure to showcase the designers they carry. Each designer has his/her own page with a short bio and photo. Especially important for up and coming young designers, these pages help to understand the story of the person behind the clothes we love. Not only are the stories inspiring, but they help foster the sense of community Totokaelo has worked hard to create. We're in love!