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Big Little News, Seattle. Once an elevator shaft, now a newsstand of magazines in esotericism

Big Little News in Seattle

As co-owner, Joey Burgess explains, the location of Big Little News is synonymous with being the forefront of change. It is the root for social movements in Seattle and a safe space for the queer community. Situated in what Mr. Burgess considers a melting pot in the city of Seattle, in fact, the Capitol Hill area boasts multifarious businesses, individuals, and locations that exalt the area from others. Big Little News was a curation by co-owners Joey Burgess and Tracy Taylor. They established it during the pandemic as a means to cope with down-time. 

Mr. Burgess, prior to founding Big Little News, mans a chain of business under his belt. He is owner to three queer nightclubs and a chain of bakeries in the Capitol Hill area. These businesses fall under Burgess Hall. A self-sustained and funded parent company. With the support of his staff members in each establishment, Mr. Burgess has allowed for the growth of his brand identity in Seattle. 

His partner, Ms. Taylor, has been involved in the bookselling business for decades. He, in fact, has been part of the Elliot Bay Book Company, in the Capitol Hill area as well. It was through this happenstance of being located close-by each other, that they came to be acquainted. It also spurred for the growth of their friendship and partnership. Mr. Burgess adds that their advocacy in city politics and their ardor for supporting small-business policies in the area is what led to the collaboration in Big Little News. 

Big Little News’s design and naming

Situated in the once confined space of an elevator shaft of an auto-row building on Pike Street, Mr. Burgess and his husband, Murf Hall, restructured the interior of the building. With the vision constructed by Mr. Burgess and Ms. Taylor, Hall put his skills as a designer to work, molding a breath of air into the space. The newsstand’s arrangements allow for magazines and periodical reads to be presented similarly to art pieces in a gallery. 

Further, furniture pieces were custom made. The aim was to guarantee for space within the store whilst presenting magazines and allowing for a backroom for storage. This incorporating wood into the space, purposing it for the flooring, shelving units and as a center table, which Hall constructed. 

Big Little News stands out beyond its curation of goods. Its name, in fact, as Mr. Burgess describes it to be, is a homage to television and pop-culture from the late nineties that leads up to the 2020s. «When it came to naming the store, I turned to television. A merge between the movie, Big Night and the television show, Big Little Lies», he explains. These titles, as the co-owner states, were in likeness of the space. The allusion of being little is a description of the store, limited in space. 

Mr. Burgess adds that through the name a customer is able to gauge the types of reading materials sold within the four walls. «Little is one of the aspects of the storeIt is condensed, in fact, wall to wall. The word little pays an homage as well, to the esoteric forms of periodicals and magazines we carry»

Magazines selection at Big Little News

Reading materials include Purple Magazine, Boys! Boys! Boys!, and of course Lampoon. Mr. Burgess ascertains these magazines through his research that he conducts through social media platforms. A channel he has pivoted to, due to the inaccessibility of travel since the start of the pandemic. 

As he puts it, prior to founding Big Little News, Mr. Burgess was a wanderlust. Finding his way across Northern America, Europe, and Asia he has, over time, come to gather a collection of titles. The establishment therefore reflects it. «There is a representation of works that have been brought in from across the globeBe it food, culture, representation of countries, fashion, social issues in marginalized communities as well as works in the vein of politics»

Being the individual that pivots the choice of works to be carried in Big Little News, Mr. Burgess shares that Ms. Taylor to be of assistance in suggesting titles. This is a talent that she has garnered through her years in the book selling business. To knowing what to carry and what not to. While carrying a set of literary works to be sold in the store, Mr. Burgess and Ms. Taylor also work to disseminate magazines that are yet to be read by the inhabitants of the area. Hoisting in works by creators that surround them, Big Little News is a library and a response of magazines and periodicals to the events taking place around them. 

A queer and women-run establishment

Manning the business as a queer and women-run establishment is the ethos Mr. Burgess and Ms. Taylor share. Replicating their identity into Big Little News through the items sold within the store, in fact, was an aspect that reflected the owners’ identities and those who surrounded them. As Mr. Burgess explains, the location is synonymous with being the forefront of change. Being the root for social movements in Seattle and being a safe space for the queer community. 

«We are by the Cal Anderson ParkIt was renamed in honor of a queer pioneer in Seattle. Music culture is rampant here – having birthed the music band Nirvana. Coffee house culture is also synonymous with Seattle and can be seen across town. These traits exist alongside to queer culture and socialists working to assist marginalized groups across the city». The representation of women and queer culture also characterizes the curation of magazines. Big Little News offers a sense of community as well as a learning experience for queer folk, regardless of age. It sells works by Out Magazine, Crotch, Kink and works by Dapper Dan. 

A congregation for people

Hosting reading items made and catered by women and queer folk, Big Little News plateaus while offering an outlet of congregation for the people around them. Alongside selling magazines and periodical books, Big Little News sells stationary items, puzzles, and gift sets. Mr. Burgess has since formulated a scent exclusive for Big Little News called Extra Extra. To do this, he has worked with a candle company in the locale. 

«We sell these items to complement the purchase of the magazines or books bought here by our customers. Customers who walk by or stop by to pick up a magazine are open to purchase a selection of wines, champagnes, beers, snacks and waters put together by the team and I». 

Sustaining printed goods promoting sustainability

Situated beside Big Little News is an array of home and work complexes that make up the geographic area of Pike Street. Hosting restaurants, retailers and coffee businesses, Big Little News is in a synonymous vein reflected in the neighborhood. Mr. Burgess explains his aim of sustaining printed goods magazines through the titles carried and sold in Big Little News. 

Mr. Burgess states his titles are limited in circulation, urging for the longevity of a magazine’s shelf life. «The magazines we carry are in small quantityRecondite titles sold here have a laxed publication and circulation period. This reduces consumption and wastage and in turn, is our stance in supporting and playing a part in reducing our carbon footprint»

Further, Big Little News donates unsold magazines to marginalized communities. An effort made in collaboration with the publishers based in the United States. «We intended on giving an opportunity for individuals that do not have access to these reading materials, and for them to be able to grow through these magazines and periodicals». Along with this, Big Little News also works to recycle wastage with the authorities in the environs.

Big Little News

1102 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122, United States

Big Little News is a magazine store located in a restored elevator shaft. Selling titles that are big in circulation and by renowned publications, the establishment works especially to plateau lesser-known works by self-funded and self-published creatives and publishers within the United States and from across the globe.

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article.

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore
Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only
natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us at [email protected]

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